Kwitonda

Kwitonda

Gorilla Family

Kwitonda

35 MEMBERS | UPDATED: 20 NOVEMBER 2019

Kwitonda group is found in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and is led by Akarevuro. Originally formed in Virunga National Park (in 1995) in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kwitonda group migrated to Rwanda in 2003 to escape pressure from other groups. Kwitonda Silverback is thought to have been a solitary male before joining Rugabo group in DRC. After the death of Rugabo Silverback, Kwitonda grabbed some individuals of the group to form his own group. After this, he moved to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and established its home range between Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga. Unfortunately, Kwitonda died in 2012 due to old age and left Akarevuro and Kigoma both subordinate Silverbacks fighting for leadership of the group. Somehow Akarevuro won the respect of the group members and took full leadership of the group. Kwitonda group is made up of 35 individuals including 4 Silverbacks, 11 adult females, 4 blackbacks, 3 sub-adult males, 2 juveniles and 11 infants. There’s no doubt that Kwitonda group is the largest of all gorilla groups with even the highest number of gorilla infants!

  • 4

    Silverbacks

  • 11

    Adult females

  • 4

    Blackbacks

  • 3

    Sub-adult females

  • 2

    Juveniles

  • 11

    Infants

About mountain gorillas

The eastern gorilla is a large hominid with a large head, broad chest, and long arms. It has a flat nose with large nostrils. The face, hands, feet and breast are bald. The fur is mainly black, but adult males have a silvery “saddle” on their back. When the gorilla gets older, the hair on the saddle of the back becomes white, much like the gray hair of elderly people. This is why the older males are called silverbacks. Grauer’s gorilla has a shorter, thicker, deep black fur, while the mountain gorilla has a more bluish color. The mountain gorilla is slightly smaller and lighter than Grauer’s gorilla, but still larger and heavier than the western lowland gorilla and the Cross River gorilla. Males are much larger than females. A full-grown male eastern gorilla typically weighs 140–205.5 kg (309–453 lb) and stands 1.7 m (5.6 ft) upright.

The goal of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) is to ensure the conservation of mountain gorillas and their regional afromontane forest habitat in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Volcanoes National Park

Volcanoes National Park

In the far North Western Rwanda lives the Volcanoes National Park that protects the steep slopes of magnificent mountain ranges – home of the endangered mountain gorillas and a rich fountain of montane ecosystems, which embrace evergreen bamboo forest, open grassland and swamps. Volcanoes National Park is named after the chain of dormant volcanoes making up the Virunga Massif: Karisimbi – the highest at 4,507m, Bisoke with its verdant crater lake, Sabinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura.