Hirwa gorilla family
Hirwa gorilla family is one of the 10 fully habituated mountain gorilla families found in the Virunga conservation area Rwanda side. Hirwa mountain gorilla family is found in volcanoes national park which is famous for mountain gorilla trekking in Africa. There are other mountain gorilla families in volcanoes national park and these include Karisimbi, Titus, Bwenge, Umubano, Amahoro, Susa, Agashya, Sabyinyo, and Kwitonda.
Hirwa mountain gorilla family lives on the slopes of Mountain Sabyinyo and is one of the most trekked mountain gorilla families in volcanoes national park Rwanda. Hirwa gorilla family was habituated in 2006 and by then it had 9 individuals but the group has increased and of today it has 11 members including 1 dominating silverback called Munyinga, 2 females, 2 sub-adult males, 1 sub-adult female, 1 infant, and 4 juveniles. Hirwa gorilla group is one of the luckiest to have a set of twins which are Isango Gakuru and Isango Gato who were born by Kabatwa.
Mountain gorillas are endangered primates that are only found in Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo. These mountain gorillas are a subspecies of eastern gorillas and they do share 98% human DNA. Hirwa mountain gorilla family can be found in volcanoes national park popular for mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda.
Trekking Hirwa gorilla group
Trekking mountain Hirwa family starts with a briefing at the park headquarters at 7 am. On the day of trekking, you will have to wake up early in the morning and join other trekkers for a briefing where they will be taught about the dos and don’ts of the activity. When the time for allocation of gorilla families comes, your tour operator would have informed the wardens about the gorilla family you want to trek and that will be Hirwa family.
After grouping, trekkers will join their driver guides for a transfer to the starting point of the jungle and the armed ranger guides will lead them into the jungle to search for Hirwa mountain gorilla group. During the search of Hirwa gorilla family, trekkers will get an opportunity to spot some of the park animals such as elephants, buffaloes, duikers, giant forest hogs, hyenas, monkeys, and different bird species. On meeting Hirwa mountain gorilla family, trekkers will be given an opportunity to be around it for 1 hour and this will enable them to know about the habits of members, watch them do daily activities, and take photos.
How much are gorilla trekking permits for Hirwa gorilla family?
To gorilla trekking permits for Hirwa gorilla group do cost the same price as those of any other family in volcanoes national park. A single gorilla family costs $1500 per person per trek in volcanoes national park and these are sold to persons above the age of 15 years old.
The gorilla trekking permits do allow people to trek mountain gorillas and be around them for 1 hour, come with a paid park entrance fee but don’t come with paid accommodation fee or transport. Tourists intending to visit volcanoes national park and trek Hirwa mountain gorilla family can book the permits from Rwanda Development Board or a trusted local tour operator like Africa Adventure Vacations limited at the same fee.
Hirwa gorilla group is trekked by a maximum of 8 people every day and this means there are only 8 trekking permits at Rwanda Development Board and this means that if you are out there planning to visit Rwanda and trek Hirwa gorilla family, you need to book your trekking permits in advance. You also need to inform your tour operator that you are interested in trekking Hirwa gorilla family and they will inform the rangers at the park headquarters so that they group you with those going to trek that family.
What is the best time to trek Hirwa gorilla family?
Hirwa gorilla family can be trekked at any time of the year just that there are some months that are better than the rest and these are the dry months. The dry months do happen in the months of June to September and December to February each year and they are characterized by little or no rainfall which makes the trekking trials less muddy and not slippery, the vegetation in the park is always short giving clear views of family members and their park animals during the trek and the roads leading to the park are passable
Tourists can still trek Hirwa mountain gorilla group in the rainy season of March to May and October to November but there is always plenty of rainfall during these months. The vegetation in the park is tall giving unclear views of the group members, the trekking trails are muddy and slippery and the roads leading to the park are impassable. Tourists that trek Hirwa gorilla family in the rainy seasons have the benefit of getting huge discounts on accommodation facilities.
What to pack for Hirwa gorilla group trekking?
For all tourists across the world intending to visit volcanoes national park Rwanda and trek Hirwa gorilla family, you need to pack all the necessary equipment for you to have the best of the safari and these include waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, sunscreen, a hat, a rain jacket, a camera, and extra batteries, a pair of binoculars, insect repellents, first aid kit, face mask, and a sanitizer, reusable drinking water bottle, and energy-giving snacks.
Other activities to do or after encountering mountain gorillas of Hirwa family?
Golden monkey trekking
With golden monkeys found in volcanoes national park only in Rwanda, you can do the golden monkey trekking activity before or after trekking Hirwa gorilla family. The golden monkey trekking requires you to have the trekking permit and you will join other trekkers on the day of trekking to search these endangered primates and get to stay with them for 1 hour learning about their habits, watching them do daily activities, and take photos.
Birding is another activity you could do before or after trekking Hirwa gorilla group in volcanoes national park Rwanda and the activity is best done when you come along with a birding book and a pair of binoculars. Birding in volcanoes will give you a chance to encounter over 178 bird species of which 16 are endemic to this area.
The birds you are likely to encounter in volcanoes national park on a gorilla trekking safari include Baglafecht weaver, Rwenzori batis, African long-eared owl, Grauer’s rush warbler, Rwenzori turaco, Dusky Crimsonwing, dusky turtle dove, red-faced woodland warbler, African goshawk, handsome francolin, Rwenzori nightjar, strange weaver, Rwenzori double–collared Sunbird, collared Apalis, scarlet-tufted malachite sunbird, lesser honeyguide, and Archer’s ground robin among others.
Tourists to volcanoes national park can do the hiking of any of the Virunga volcanoes before or after gorilla trekking of Hirwa gorilla family. Mountains that are available for hiking in volcanoes national park include Karisimbi, Gahinga, Muhabura, and Bisoke and hiking takes different hours on all these mountains but at the summit, you will have beautiful views of the park surroundings, some of the Virunga mountains, lakes and so much more.
Before or after trekking members of Hirwa gorilla group, tourists can decide to have a cultural visit to the Iby’Iwacu village where they will interact with local people of which some are firmer poachers, get to know how they live their lives, watch them do daily activities, support some of their works and also get entertained by the traditional dancers through dances and drama.