Kwitonda Gorilla Family
The Kwitonda gorilla family derived its name from a dominant silverback that was known as Kwitonda to mean “Humble one”. The group migrated from Virunga national park in Congo to Volcanoes national park in Rwanda in 2003. The group is often on the move making it difficult to trek sometimes.
Mountain gorillas live in altitudes of 2300- 4500 m, the habituated gorilla groups in Rwanda are divided into two for study and research purpose and for tourism purposes. Gorillas in the world can be trekked from only three that is Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
Kwitonda gorilla family can be trekked between mount Mgahinga and Mount Sabinyo volcanoes, the group is said to have moved from Congo due to pressure from other silverbacks looking forward to starting up their own families.
Kwitonda gorilla family is now dominated by a silverback called Akarevuro who was a sub dominant gorilla during Kwitondas reign, Kwitonda died at the age of 40 years on the tenth of September 2012 the cause of his death is not exact as the body was found ten days after disappearing from his family.
During Kwitondas last days he allowed other silverbacks in the family to mate which is unusual for dominant gorillas to do while still alive thisbuilt a strong bond within the group. Today Kwitonda gorilla family is one of the largest in volcanoes national park having 28 members.
Kwitonda was known for his polite attitude towards humans and other gorillas, the small non dominant silverbacks in most groups always break off to form their own families when they are denied mating rights.
The gorilla groups habituated for tourism purposes are 10 namely: Kwitonda gorilla family. Karasimbi gorilla family. Susa gorilla family, Agashya gorilla family, Ugenda gorilla family, Bwenge gorilla family, Sabinyo gorilla family, Hirwa gorilla family and Amahoro gorilla family.
Gorilla trekking is the most reason people visit Rwanda though there are other activities that tourists can include in their bucket list to Rwanda some of this can be seen below:
Golden monkey trekking
Encountering golden monkeys is a unique on life time experience, golden monkeys are called so because of the golden fur coat found on their backs, the monkeys are very playful and good for photographs as they can even take photos of them with flash light.
Chimpanzee trekking can be done at the stunning Nyungwe forest tourists will also be able to see lots of other primates like black and white colobus monkeys, vervet monkeys, blue monkeys and many others.
Rwanda is among Africa’s birding destinations gifted with various species of birds such as the grey crowned crane, red faces barbet, African fish eagle to mention a few.
Explore the Congo trail
The Congo trail is located along Lake Kivu with striking views of the lush green forests at the back drop of green rolling hills, the trail covers 227 kilometers squared. Tourists can explore this trail on foot or by cycles it can take up to 10 days but there are options if one day also.
Visit the coffee plantations
Coffee lovers can have chances of visiting one if the worlds best producers of coffee and learn the coffee making processes, visitors can visit plantations near Nyungwe national park, Gishakura or Gisovu they can also buy some fresh coffee to take back home.
Volcanoes national park in Rwanda is about 2 hours drive from Kigali international airport.
Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost $1500 which is more expensive compared to Uganda and Congo.
There various accommodation units where tourists can sleep in while visiting volcanoes national park for gorilla trekking such as Sabinyo silverback lodge, Garr hotel, mountain gorilla view lodge among the rest.