Nyiragongo Volvaco


Details of gorilla families that are open to visitors in Volcanoes National ParkPNV, Rwanda, including their location.

Trekking gorillas in Rwanda is a breathtaking experience. Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where gorillas can be seen on volcanoes, albeit extinct forested volcanoes. The lush and forested slopes form a dramatic natural setting for your face-to-face encounter with the gorillas. Trekking with these gentle giants through the damp, misty undergrowth gives you the adventurous experience of the first explorers. And standing amongst them as they eat, play, groom and rest - acting in every way like our own families - will take your breath away and leave you smiling for ages. Each of the gorilla families has its own dinstinct features, numbers and unique story to tell.

Rwanda Gorilla Groups:

There are currently SEVEN groups habituated to visitors in Rwanda.

  • Amahoro group - 15 individuals - located on the Visoke volcano.
  • Hirwa group - 12 individuals - located on the Sabinyo volcano.
  • Umubano group - 7 individuals - located on the Visoke volcano.
  • Sabinyo group - 10 individuals - located between the Sabinyo and Visoke volcanoes.
  • Susa group - 35 individuals - located high on the Karisimbi volcano (long and strenuous hike).
  • Group 13 - 21 individuals - located on the Sabinyo volcano.
  • Kwitonda group - 10 individuals - located on the Sabinyo volcano, sometimes in Democratic Republic of Congo and thus off-limits to trackers.

A maximum of 8 trackers are allowed per day to visit each gorilla family, thus Rwanda can take up to 56 visitors per day. Only the Park Authorities will assign which gorilla group you will visit.

You will trek from the Park Headquarters to where the guides observed the Gorillas the day before, from there you will track the Gorillas. The trails may be very muddy, slippery and portions will be quite steep and strenuous. Wear tracking boots. For more on this, click our gorilla etiquette rules and equipment list

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ChimpanzeeThese are mountain gorillas, staying in high up in the mounatins of Bwindi, up to 4000metres ASL. Therefore to track them one may traverse dense growth in this impenetrable forest, through swamps and wet undergrowth, and climb cliffs and high areas in search of them. Tracking can take as little as one hour up to as many as 8 hours when one returns to base camp. But the tracking is made easy by the rangers who would have known prior to your tracking, where the gorillas are. For environmental reasons, you are allowed a maximum of one hour with the gorillas.