Kwitonda gorilla family
Kwitonda gorilla family is one of the 10 fully habituated mountain gorilla families you can encounter in Rwanda’s volcanoes national park. Kwitonda group is one of the ten families that are found in the thick forests of Volcanoes national park in the northwestern part of the country. The name Kwitonda was derived from a Kinyarwanda word to mean Humble One and this word describes the characters of the silverback and its whole group.
Kwitonda gorilla group was at first part of Virunga national park but it moved and settled in volcanoes national park in 2003 and that’s where you can find it as of today because it has never shown signs of going back. Kwitonda mountain gorilla family lives on the slopes between mount Gahinga and Sabyinyo
Kwitonda gorilla family was led by a silverback called Kwitonda but he died in 2012 at the age of 40 and his body was discovered after 10 days. After the doctors had carried out post mortem report, they found out that his death was a natural one due to old age. At the time of his death, he had left his group because Akarevuro who is now the dominant silverback had taken over as the group leader.
This mountain gorilla family was a good leader and before his death, because he used to allow other silverbacks to mate which is not common with other dominating silverbacks in other families. As of today, this family is made of 28 individuals and this is the second-largest gorilla family in volcanoes after Susa gorilla family because it has 35 members.
Kwitonda mountain gorilla family can be trekked at any time of the year as well as other mountain gorilla families of volcanoes national park namely Bwenge, Sabyinyo, Susa, Umubano, Amahoro, Hirwa, Ugenda, and Agashya.
How much are the permits for Kwitonda group?
Kwitonda gorilla permits and also for other mountain gorilla families in volcanoes national park, it goes for $1500 per person per trek and these are issued out by Rwanda development board a body in charge of tourism in Rwanda. If you need to trek Kwitonda gorilla family in particular, you will need to inform your local tour operator in advance so that they infirm the wardens in the park to include you in a group that is to trek Kwitonda family.
How many people are allowed to trek Kwitonda mountain gorilla group?
Only 8 people and this is one of the rules of gorilla trekking are allowed to trek Kwitonda gorilla family. The number of people allowed to trek Kwitonda is 8 and this is done to avoid overcrowding in the park as well as infecting diseases to these endangered apes. Tourists that are intending to visit volcanoes national park and trek Kwitonda mountain gorilla family in particular are advised to boo their trekking permits in advance of 3-4 months to avoid inconveniences.
What to pack for Kwitonda mountain gorilla family trekking?
In order to have the best of Kwitonda mountain gorilla family trekking, you need to come along with good waterproof hiking shoes, a camera, and extra batteries, a pair of binoculars, a pair of gaiters, insect repellents, sunscreen, a hat, a rain jacket, energy-giving snacks, first aid kit, face mask, and sanitizer, reusable drinking water, and energy-giving snacks.
What is the best time to trek Kwitonda mountain gorilla family?
Tourists can encounter Kwitonda mountain gorilla family 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 are the best to encounter Kwitonda mountain gorilla family and these occur in June to September and December to February.
During the dry months, there is little or no rainfall and this leaves the trekking trails less muddy and not slippery and this does not affect the speed of trekkers, the vegetation is short and this will give you a clear view of this gorilla family members, and lastly the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourists can still encounter Kwitonda mountain gorilla family in the rainy season that occurs in March to May and October to November but there is always plenty of rainfall during this time. The rains do leave the trekking trails muddy and slippery and this reduces the speed of trekkers, the vegetation is thick during the rainy months and this gives unclear views of park animals and the roads leading to the park are impassable.
Before or after trekking Kwitonda mountain gorilla group, tourists can be part of golden monkey trekking which is done only in this park the whole of Rwanda, they can encounter the different bird species in the park such as Rwenzori batis, African fish eagle, grey crowned crane, hike any of the Virunga mountains – Gahinga, Bisoke, Karisimbi, or Muhabura, visit the local people of Iby’Iwacu cultural village, and do some nature walks.