Mountain Gorilla families

Gorilla safari adventure in Congo is an outstanding outdoor activity in Congo that  exposes all visitors to both mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park and The Eastern Lowland gorillas in  Kahuzi biega National park.. Getting up close with the these intelligent primates is an evocative and thrilling moment that brings you face  to face with the gentle gorillas in their natural habitat. Travelling to the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo is another reason for you to experience an ethical moment while traversing through the lush green Tropical forest and in the protected area of near Bukavu.

Just like humans with families, gorilla too have different family groups that gorilla belongs as each consists of alpha males, mature females, youths, juveniles and baby gorillas. According to the current history in Congo’s Virunga national park, there  are atmost eight gorilla habituated families exposed to all gorilla adventure junkies, these include;

Kabirizi family

An encounter with this family is yet another ethical experience where you find Kabirizi as the dominant silver back male (although there are two silver backs running taking care of all the responsibilities of the group) who took over leadership of the group after Ndugutse in 1998. He was at that time the leader of the group “Ndugutse” also named after him before he passed on due to the  cross fire from the rebels leading to his death. Basing on the past history , Kabirizi remains an interesting group comprising of 34 members  and are found in Bukima sector next to Goma.

Humba Family-Family most visited by tourists besuse of their humble and calm character

Comprising of 16 members with inclusion of 2 silver backs, living under the leadership of Humba.The group is also currently  found in the Bukima sector  of the park at Goma. Initially the humba family was under the leadership of Rugendo family, but finally broke up after an agreement that Humba made with his father Rugendo . Humba later  left the group with a total  of 8 members including three babies, 1 black back and four adult females, all leading to the current increase.

Rugendo Family

Rugendo group is one of the oldest gorilla group that was first established in 1989 and currently headed by Bukima. Initially the group was headed by Rugendo the father of Humba, before he split from the group. Today the group holds only 9 members, whose decrease came up as aresult of the division in in 1997 where Humba left with half of the group.

Mapuwa Family

After a long struggle to expand the family since 1998, Mapuwa family has finally settled with the  total current number   of 22 members. Mapuwa family now lives in Jomba family near Congo Uganda border under the leadership of Mapuwa although they first belonged to the Rugendo family until 1998.

Lulengo Family

Lulengo family is found in Bunagana area near Uganda. With a total of 6 members, Lulengo is known to be very calm, humble, and friendliest gorilla family to interact . Untill today Lulengo-the dominant silver back has maintained the peace of the group. The group  was named in memory of theof the technical director of Virunga National park who died in a collapse of land mine. Lulengo  family  was first called Masekura under the leadership of Rugabo his father who was killed by the poachers during the times of the great lakes refugee crisis, after which he took over of the family.

Bageni family: is the largest group in Virunga national park with a total number of 26 members. Bageni is now the major silver back who heads the  family group although there are still existing struggles for leadership between  kitagenda and kanamaharagi .


Bageni family is the largest group in Virunga national park with a total number of 26 members. Bageni is now the major silver back who heads the  family group although there are still existing struggles for leadership between  kitagenda and kanamaharagi .



Comprising of 11 members, Nyakamwe family  under the leadership of  Nyakamwe is one of the recent habituated families that was of lately released for habituation.


This family was released for habituation in 2008 with atotal number of 7 members including 1 silver back. During habituation, the family was led by Munyaga who later disappeared giving achance  to Mawazo the current silverback who took over the leadership of the family.

Despite Gorilla groups in Virunga National Park, Kahuzi Biega national park in the same way has 12 gorilla families out of which 5 are exposed for trekking all year round which includes;

Chimanuka family, which currently comprises of 23 family members including four silver backs, 18 adult females and  twins. Chimanuka who is an interesting leader  has it in history that  half of the gorillas where he lived were all killed due to the violent conflict that existed in the Eastern part of Congo from 1996 t0 2003 thus leading to the gradual decrease in the number of the gorillas. By then he was still a solitary male who took adventage of the weak silver back in the neighboring family giving him an opportunity to overcome and acquire the adult females from which he started his group.

Bonanne family; This family was formed in 2016 may, when two female say Mukono and Iragi amother- daughter pair from the chimanuka family after the intereaction with the bonnane family. Mukono on an interaction with Mufansala decided with stay with Mufansala for four months after which  she returned to Bonnane and later two other females joined Bunanne group where  which totaled to 5 members which still exists until today.

Mpungwe group– which also consists of 21 members and are considered the best choice for double gorilla trek

Mugahuka consists only consists of a single silver back, that is mugahuka itself.

Mufansala group