Rugendo Gorilla Family
Rugendo Gorilla Family : Congo is one of the countries where tourists can do gorilla trekking in Africa apart from Uganda and Rwanda. Congo Virunga national park habituated eight mountain gorilla families that can be trekked by tourists all year round at a low price. Rugendo family was dominated by Rugendo the silver back who was also a father to Humba silverback dominating the Humba gorilla group.
The Rugendo mountain gorilla family was habituated in 1989 with two silverbacks Rugendo and his son, in 1997 Humba split off and took away 8 individuals with him. The Rugendo gorilla family grew but the dominating gorilla was sadly shot dead near the park boundary in clashes between the park military and interahamwe militia groups.
There were still bad days for the Rugendo gorilla family in that 3 adult females were shot dead with a dominating silverback at that time Senkwekwe brother to Humba. The silverback now dominating the Rugendo family is called Bukima.
The Humba gorilla family
This gorilla family split from the Rugendo gorilla family, this group is dominated by a silverback known as Humba and lives in the Bukima area of the park. Humba is still the silverback of this family ever since he split off in 1998.
Kabirizi gorilla family
The Kabirizi gorilla family is one of the gorilla groups found in Bukima area of the park, it’s also one of the largest gorilla groups in Virunga national park. Kabirizi gorilla family got its name in honor and memory of the ICCN director who died in a traffic accident in 1990s.
Munyaga gorilla family
Munyaga gorilla family is also found in the Bukima region of Virunga national park, Munyaga gorilla family was opened up for tourism in 2008 when the group was dominated by Munyaga the silverback who disappeared and the group is now dominated by Mawazo silverback.
One of the most interesting activities to do while in Virunga national park is to hike to the top of the world’s most violent volcano mount Nyirangongo. Mount Nyirangongo is believed to have erupted at least 35 times since 1982. Congo is also very rich in culture, tourists can visit the people and learn about their ways of living and perhaps buy some locally made handcrafts to take home for remembrance.
The best time for gorilla trekking in Congo is during the dry season when the roads to the park are easily accessible and the trekking trails are not slippery and muddy. Tourists trekking mountain gorillas in Congo can sleep in Bukima tented camp, Mikeno lodge, Techegera tented camp, Lulimba tented camp and Volcano summit shelters among the rest. Gorilla permits in Congo cost only $400.