Habituated Gorilla Families in Virunga National Park Congo
Most of the Congo Mountain gorilla population is habituated to Virunga National Park and can only be found there. In 2016, there are eight families of gorillas in the park. Congolese gorilla families have been unstable compared to Rwandan gorilla families or Ugandan gorilla families. Virunga National Park reopened after being closed in 2012 due to activities related to armed families and poachers and is very safe for visitors.
In the past, some park staff was killed by poachers and armed rebel families. Poachers are taking advantage of the uncertainty created by clashes between the government and rebel-armed families in Virunga National Park. The government’s increased oil exploration activities in the park have recently raised concerns for the mountain gorilla family and wider wildlife. These are sad developments considering that the country has more tourism resources than other mountain gorilla trekking countries. With the full restoration of peace and full control of the country’s tourism resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is easily becoming the largest tourist destination in East and Central Africa.
Visitors planning to track gorillas in the Congo should know that the park is currently secure and visitors are highly protected both inside and outside Virunga National Park. Poaching in Virunga National Park has been reduced or almost eliminated. Armed guards, guides, and park rangers are always on the lookout for tourists and mountain gorillas. Buying a Congolese gorilla license is $400 cheaper than in Uganda ($600) and Rwanda ($1,500). A herd of gorillas in Virunga National Park.
Gorilla Families in Congo’s Virunga National Park include:
- Kabirizi Gorilla family
- Humba Gorilla Family
- Rugendo Gorilla Family
- Mapuwa Gorilla Family
- Lulengo Gorilla Family
- Munyaga Gorilla Family
- Nyakamwe Gorilla Family
- Biagini Gorilla Family
Kabirizi Gorilla Family in Virunga National Park
The family is led by the mighty but humble silverback Kabirizi. They are located in the Bukima region near Goma. The organization got its name from the director of ICCN, who died in a road accident. This family of Congolese gorillas was originally known as the “Ndungutse” family, dominated by the Ndungutse. Ndungustse succeeds his father Zunguruka who died of old age. Tragically, Ndungutse was shot dead in 1997 in a firefight between the government and Rwandan rebels. These events and others such as fights and rivalries paved the way for the wild gorilla Kabirizi to take over the family. However, now a new but ambitious silver guard, Masibo, has emerged and threatens to derail the leadership of Kabirizi. You can read about how to do gorilla family quests.
Humba Gorilla Family in Virunga National Park
The quiet 10-piece band is based in Bukima and is named after leader Silverback Hamba. Humba was separated from his father Rugendo in 1998 at the age of six and was the brother of Senkwwe, who was killed by gunmen in 2007. In 2014, Humba’s family had 16 members, but a split between Humba and his brother Nyakamwe reduced the family. Size. Nyakamwe left with 10 people leaving 6 people and Humba. The number of families is increased by newborns and the acquisition of other individuals from other families – for example, the female Kakule of the Munyaga family. This family is popular with tourists and lives near the Gatovu and Bikenge areas of Virunga National Park.
Rugendo Gorilla Family:
The family is named after its former great leader, Rugendo, but is now led by Bukima of the Buhanga family with Silver backing. Bukima now leads one of the oldest (1989) gorilla families in Virunga National Park. Although the band now has 9 members, it wasn’t always like that. The team has changed a lot – especially after the former leader Rugendo fought with his son Humba (the leader of the Humba family). There were 18 members in the family, but Humba left 10 members after the match. Rugendo still had eight members but was killed in clashes between the Congolese army and Rwandan rebel families. Bungendore is considered the father of many great silverbacks who would later lead their teams in Virunga National Park.
Mapuwa Gorilla Family in Virunga National Park
The Mapuwa family has 22 people and is based in Jomba, near the Ugandan border. Mvuyekure is currently leading the family after succeeding Rugendo’s son Mapuwa. Mapuwa left his father Rugendo to start his own family with two women, Mafaze and Jicho, through difficult obstacles. Mapuwa must constantly fight to protect his family while recruiting new members to his team. He had to deal with Pilipili, the strong silverback in Virunga National Park, to remain the dominant silverback. Without the leadership of Mapuwa and now Mvuyekure, the family has also grown from scratch. There were also 2 other silverbacks in the family, 4 young and 5 infants.
Lulengo Gorilla Family:
The family has nine members and is now led by dominant silver player Lulengo. The family can be found in Jomba, near the Congo-Uganda border. The band has had an interesting and long history since its inception. The band was called Musekura, which was later changed to the present Silverback Lulengo, also in memory of a park ranger who was killed by a land mine. Lulengo started leading the family after his father Rugabo (who belonged to the Rugabo family) was killed by poachers. Lulengo has 9 members.
Munyaga Gorilla Family in Virunga National Park
Gasol is the current leader of a family of seven members, including teenagers and infants. The family is named after its former leader, Munyaga, who was replaced by Mawazo, the then-dominant male Gasore. This family was last noticed by park rangers in 2008. The Munyaga family lives in the Bukima part of Virunga Park, popular with tourists for Bilali, her twins, and Kadogo the bald silverback.
Nyakamwe Gorilla Family:
The family has 11 members and is named after the dominant silverback and leader Nyakamwe. The Nyakamwe family split from the Humba family in 2014. Nyakamwe has long been at loggerheads with his brother Humba and a split is inevitable. The family’s habit is relatively new and coincides with the Bagenia family, the largest family of gorillas in Virunga National Park. The family has a baby and 2 teenagers and is located in the Bukima area of Virunga Park.
Biagini Gorilla Family:
Biagini’s family consists of 26 people and is the largest family in Virunga National Park. The organization is located in the Gatovu and Bukim parts of Virunga Park. Bangeni led the family after it split from the Kabirizi family. Due to his height, Bageni, the leading silver guard, faced tough and frequent challenges. This tension within the family has led some to predict a split shortly.