Gorilla families to trek in Rwanda – Gorilla Trekking Rwanda – Volcanoes National Park – Gorilla habituation in Rwanda 

Gorilla families to trek in Rwanda. Rwanda is currently one of the best destinations for gorilla trekking in Africa. It’s located in the famous Virunga massif besides two other popular gorilla destinations Uganda and the democratic republic of Congo. Gorilla trekking in Rwanda is done at the famous Volcanoes national park. Currently, the park has 10 habituated gorilla families for visitors to see and one set aside for research from which the Kwita Izina baby gorilla naming ceremony is selected.

Surprisingly, each gorilla family has distinct and unique characteristics quite different from others. A single gorilla permit in Rwanda costs 1500 paid by all travelers including Rwanda nationals.

Gorilla families In Rwanda

Below are the different gorilla families present in Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park.

Sabyinyo group

The nearest gorilla family and easiest to track inhabits the gentle slopes between Mt. Sabyinyo and Mt. Gahinga. The group is popular for its giant silverback known as Guhonda which has kept its main challenger, Ryango out of the family to remain as a lonely silverback. The group is composed of 13 members including one silver back after another was exiled from the group. The commander of the group; Guhonda is the largest silver back in the park weighing about 220kg. The group was named after the Sabinyo volcano which means ‘old man’s teeth’.

Agashya group

This group is named after the initial family individual who was 13 at the time of habituation. The group was initially led by a silverback called Nyakarima but was later overthrown by Agashya who is now the leader and the family was named after him. Today the family has grown to 27 members including one silverback (Agashya). The group occupies the same territory as the Sabyinyo group but sometimes Agashya takes the family deeper into the mountain when it senses danger.

Gorilla families In Rwanda

Titus Family

The Titus group is the original family named after the silverback Titus which was born during the days of Dian Fossey’s research at Karisoke it was an infant member of the Susa group that Dian Fossey was studying. Titus the young gorilla lost his family to poachers including his father, uncle, and brother and his mother and sister joined other families leaving Titus to be raised by an unrelated male gorilla. According to Dian Fossey Titus the infant seemed “underdeveloped” and had difficulty breathing, but Titus somehow overcame these difficulties.

Susa group (Susa A)

previously with 42 members before the split, it is the most popular family Well known for being the group studied by Diana Fossey during her time in Rwanda from 1967 to 1985. In 2008 the group of 42 individuals splits into 2 as it had become so large. The breakaway group was later known as Susa B or Karisimbi group. Susa A group is well known for its playful twins of Byishimo & Impano and was named after the Susa River that drains through their home range. The group is composed of 33 members including 2 silverbacks and inhabits the forests on the lower slopes of Mt. Karisimbi.

Gorilla families to trek in Rwanda

Karisimbi group (Susa B)

This is sometimes referred to as Susa B and is the group that split from the original Susa in 2008. It is made up of 16 members including 2 silver backs. The group is the hardest to track as it inhabits the upper slopes of Mt. Karisimbi at an altitude of 4507m. The group has established their home high on the upper slopes and is suitable for trackers interested in serious hiking. Tracking this group is sometimes difficult as they go further high though RDB rangers will first locate the group a day before.

Amahoro group

Amahoro is a Kinyarwanda word to mean serenity, as the name goes, the family is known for its peacefulness and congeniality which on the other hand has caused its silver back Ubumwe to lose some members into another group called Umubano. The group has lived to the expectations of her name and is regarded as the most peaceful group. It is composed of 18 members including 2 silver backs and is a bit strenuous to track as one has to endure a hike up Mt. Bisoke slopes where the group established their home.

Umubano group

This family broke away from Ubumwe silverback as a result of constant battles between Charles and Ubumwe the two head silverbacks; Charles consistently challenged the supremacy of the leader Ubumwe. Charles eventually succeeded in breaking away with some members hence forming the Umubano group. The group is composed of 13 members including 2 silver backs and its name means ‘living together’.

Gorilla families to trek in Rwanda

Kwitonda group

This is a migrant group from the Democratic Republic of Congo which was named after its dominant silverback called Kwitonda meaning the ‘Humble one’. Because of its migration background, the group wonders in the lower slopes of Mt. Muhabura, and like the Karisimbi group, it is challenging to track as it sometimes moves to the upper slopes. The group is composed of 23 members including 4 silver backs.

Bwenge group

This group was formed as early as 2007 by Bwenge, and named after him, the group’s dominant silverback, after he had left his Natal group and was joined by females from other groups. The group occupies slopes of Karisoke volcano between Karisimbi and Bisoke mountains and had witnessed dark times when its 6 infants died. The group has however recovered and now has 11 members including one silver back. Bwenge is a Kinyarwanda word that means ‘Wisdom’ and it’s no wonder that this was the group featured in the Movie ‘Gorillas in the Mist’.

Hirwa group

This family was formed in 2006 by some members of the Sabyinyo group and others from Agashya. More gorillas joined in and now the group is composed of 16 members including one silver back. The group derived its name from its formation process which was out of luck. Hirwa means ‘the Lucky one’ and as luck has it, the group got twins in 2011. Hirwa group inhabits the foothills of Mt. Sabyinyo to the side of Mt Gahinga.

Ugenda group

This is a Kinyarwanda word ‘Ugenda’ to mean ‘on the move’ or ‘mobile’. The group was named after its unique behavior of roaming from place to place. It consists of 11 members including 2 silver backs and wonders around the Karisimbi area hence very difficult to track since it has no particular home.

In conclusion, with the description given, you should have a good picture of the characteristics and nature of each gorilla group and be in a position to choose which gorilla family to track on your gorilla safari to Rwanda.

Contact us with any inquiries about trekking gorilla families in Rwanda.

Uganda Cycling and Biking safaris. Uganda adventure tours – Cycling Safaris through Uganda 

Uganda Cycling and Biking safaris. Cycling through Uganda is one of the best safari decisions to make if you are thinking about doing a trip to Uganda.  Exploring Uganda on a bike safari gives you a close encounter with the features that make Uganda a fine destination of choice for travelers from all over the world. Uganda cycling and biking safaris can be arranged together with any other Uganda safari to add to your adventure trip.

Because cycling is considered a sport, many travelers tend to shy away from taking on the activity. The fact is, you don’t have to be a professional or an experienced rider to take on a Uganda cycling and Biking safari. The adventure is designed to suit the traveler’s special requirements.

This is another means of transport that will enable you to directly encounter and attach the pearl of Africa’s wonders and greatness when you book a Uganda safari. It is so fascinating when it comes to Uganda bike safaris that will guarantee you an offer to have a great and close attachment to the pearl of Africa and interaction with its friendly people.

Why a Uganda cycling and Biking safari?

If your dream has always been getting a close encounter with the local communities and experiencing the true Cultures that make Ugandan communities special, then this is the best safari to take on. The Uganda cycling and biking safaris are the most incredible safari offer when it comes to exploring the local communities and experiencing the culture of the indigenous people. When on a cycling trip, there are high chances that you will go off-road trails in the community villages and you will have a lot to learn and enjoy about the indigenous people and their behavior of life. If time allows on the side of the travelers, they can choose to visit community schools and interact with the school children buy them some gifts like books, and play toys and they will not forget your visit to Uganda.

Wildlife game viewing can as well be a fantastic adventure when on a Uganda cycling and Biking safari. in the different tourist destinations such as Murchison falls national park, Queen Elizabeth national park, and Lake Mburo national game park.

Uganda cycling and Biking safaris are not just rewarding adventures but it is a healthy exercise that will protect you from several diseases such as heart attack, cancer, physical fitness, and depression and it is a recreation activity that is full of adventure and fun.

The Uganda cycling and Biking safaris can easily be combined with other tourism activities such as nature walks, community walks, and game drive experiences as well cultural tours.

Booking a Uganda cycling and biking safari.

Booking a Uganda cycling and biking safari is not a technical endeavor on the side of a traveler interested in booking this adventure, just contact the Uganda safari experts like Katland Safaris to make arrangements in the preferred schedules of your visit to Uganda.

We will put all the arrangements for your cycling trip from bike to ride, the road transport, accommodation, and all activities to do on the safari.

Things to do while on a Uganda cycling and biking safari.

Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking.

Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda.
Gorilla Habituation Experience in Uganda.

Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking is one of the top Uganda safari activities to do in Uganda. The country is home to various other primate species including Golden Monkeys, and olive baboons among others.

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda on a budget camping safari in Uganda is done in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, for you to be allowed to go for the gorilla trek you will need to have a gorilla permit which costs USD700 for the foreign nonresidents, USD600 for the East African Residents and USD70 for the East African Citizens, this allows you to spend one hour encounter with the mountain gorillas. You can as well opt for a 4-hour encounter experience that is Gorilla Habituation which costs USD1500 per person per trek, this allows spending more time with the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Forest National Park

Chimpanzee tracking in Uganda is done in Kibale Forest National Park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kalinzu Forest, and Budongo Forest close to Murchison Falls National Park. The chimpanzee tracking is done in the morning and afternoon and we can book for you the permits and organize this trek for you depending on the itinerary and timing of the activities. For normal chimpanzee tracking, a Chimpanzee permit costs USD200 for foreign nonresidents, USD150 for the residents, and USD30 for the citizens and this gives you one hour encounter with the chimpanzees. You can as well do the chimpanzee habituation experience which gives you a half-day encounter with the chimpanzees; this is only done in Kibale Forest National Park

Uganda Cycling and Biking safaris.

Wildlife and Game viewing safaris.

Big Game Safari Adventure in Uganda
Big Game Safari Adventure in Uganda

You will be able to do various game drives in the savannah national parks of Kidepo Valley National Park, Murchison Falls National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, and Uganda’s most popular National Park Queen Elizabeth National Park, wildlife to see includes tree climbing lions, Buffaloes, Elephants, warthogs, Giraffes, Zebras, Leopard, among others.

 Cultural and community encounters.

Uganda is ranked among countries with the most diverse cultures with more than 50 ethnic tribes and languages, you will be able to enjoy various cultural experiences, and you will be able to visit many communities in various national park part of your itinerary where the local community will share with you the hard experience of living near the park and how they have managed to co-exist peacefully with wildlife you will as well enjoy the cultural encounters and traditional dances.

Mountain Climbing adventures.

Mountain climbing is another amazing adventure activity that you can add to your Uganda cycling and biking safari. Uganda is a land of various hills, mountains and various highlands giving you a great opportunity for hiking activities. Mountains include Elgon, Rwenzori, Moroto, Sabinyo, Muhavura, and Gahinga among others which are common for hiking.

Bird-watching safaris.

With over 1000 recorded bird species in Uganda, Uganda is one of the best destinations for birding in Africa; it is home to various migrant birds and Albertine endemics with the Shoebill as one of the must-see bird species. The major birding areas in Uganda include Bwindi Forest, Mabamba swamp, Bigodi wetland, and Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park among others many birds as well can be spotted during game drives in various national parks.

Boat Safari excursions

With various lakes and rivers in Uganda boat trips and excursions are one of another top Uganda safari activities to do, Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park, and River Nile Excursions to the top of the falls and the Delta allow you to enjoy wildlife up-close and various water animals in Murchison Falls National Park.

What is the best time to Visit Uganda for a Uganda cycling and biking safari?

The best time for visiting Uganda is during the months of December to February and then June to October which is relatively drier than March to May and November. Uganda is crossed by the equator making her experience a modified equatorial type of climate with two rainy seasons and because of this people tend to associate drier seasons to be the best time to visit Uganda. This is true because when it is raining, it becomes hard to drive through the park for wildlife viewing because of the heavy rains that make the trails too slippery.

Contact us with any inquiries and questions on how to organize a Uganda cycling and biking safari.

Preparing for wildlife Safaris to Uganda – How to get the best out of your safari game drive in Uganda

Preparing for wildlife Safaris to Uganda. Like any other safari destination in Africa, national parks and game reserves in Uganda are home to wildlife species, and therefore their movements Are not Controlled in any way.  We never make programs with nature before conducting a safari but our team of experienced guides makes it a point to help you get the best of your expectations out of any safari you conduct with us.

Preparing for wildlife Safaris to Uganda – Things to Consider

Have Realistic expectations.

Uganda safari parks are expansive with wild animals spread over vast savannah plains, which means you’ll be driving over distant game tracks to find a concentration of animals. Irrespective of how much you’ve paid for your safari, sightings are not guaranteed, especially for the big elusive animals.

It’s best you curate your expectations with your expert local guide on which kinds of animals you may encounter. Gather more information about the park you’ll be visiting, what kind of animals are there, and the quality of game drives in that park before you book your trip.

Generally, it’s best to have as few realistic expectations as possible and be rewarded with surprising wildlife drama.

Preparing for wildlife Safaris to Uganda

Gather more information about the destination.

Your safari guide’s primary goal is to make the most of your African safari. Most guides are good at spotting animals, and they can also offer exciting information relevant to the sightings. They’ll undoubtedly have plenty of amazing stories to tell. Engage with them to get a brighter picture of your adventure, and the best position, spot rare animals, ask questions, and collect stories to tell back home. Also, make sure they’ve turned off the at-sightings; sometimes, they get caught up in the moments and forget that you may not be hearing them.

Ultimately, it’s easy to get too focused on the Big 5 and other large mammals on guided safari game drives, partly because the Big Five is heavily marketed. Searching for them seems to be the main aim of any safari drive. However, viewing small animals and birds can be highly rewarding as well. A photograph of a dung beetle or a colorful bird is more evocative than spending 30 minutes watching a sleeping lion. An excellent way to focus on the small stuff is to drive very slowly on the game tracks. 

Preparing for wildlife Safaris to Uganda

Be very patient

The best game viewing moment on the Savannah plains is often a waiting game. Whether you’re sitting by a waterhole or slowly trundling through the bush with your eyes peeled, having patience during a safari game drive is crucial to creating lasting wilderness moments.

So, carry a load of patience with your local safari guide because they must ensure that your sightings are as memorable as possible. Instead of driving from animal to animal, it pays to stay with a potentially good sighting. Spending time will offer an opportunity to see some interesting animal behavior.

Less camera time, more viewing

Safari game drives in Uganda offer excellent wildlife photography opportunities, but hopefully, you’ll have some rewarding interactions with your local guide. You’ll probably make a close bond with your guide, and at the end of the day, it’s the human conversations that will continuously stay with you. So, put the camera down, and you’ll find that great shot.

Best Time to Go for Game Safaris in Uganda

The best time to go for game and wildlife safaris in Uganda wildlife viewing on safari game drive in Uganda’s western savannah parks is during the dry seasons from June to August and December to February and the best time for game drives in Kidepo Valley National Park is immediately after the rainy season in September, October, November, and through the long dry season through December to April.

Things to take on a game safari to Uganda

  • Comfortable layers of safari clothing.
  • Gadgets & Tools that’s a nice Camera, pairs of Binoculars, and animal Guide books
  • Any other personal stuff.

Contact us with any inquiries and questions about Preparing for Game Safaris to Uganda