Susa gorilla family
The largest mountain gorilla family in Rwanda Susa was named after River Susa which runs through volcanoes national park. Susa gorilla family is one of the famous mountain gorilla families in volcanoes national park not only being the largest but also the mountain gorilla family Dian Fossey studied while at her research Centre Karisoke inside volcanoes national park. Dian Fossey was an American primatologist who had dedicated all her love to mountain gorillas but she died in 1986 after being found in her cabin on 25th December.
Mountain gorillas are endangered species of primates not so common in the world for they are found in East Africa in the countries of Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo. Mountain gorillas do share 98% of human DNA and this makes them close to human beings and it’s the reason thousands of tourists fly to East Africa and spend time with these apes. Susa gorilla family (Susa A) lives in volcanoes national park in northwestern Rwanda.
Susa gorilla family is not easy to trek reason being it leaves on a higher attitude on volcanoes national park and in times of drought, it climbs further to look for food hence stopping the trekkers from trekking it. If you are sure of your fitness then you need to trek Susa gorilla family because it is one of the hardest mountain gorilla families to trek in volcanoes national park.
Locating Susa gorilla family is not as difficult as before because there are trackers in the park that go very early in the forest and locate where the mountain gorilla family slept the previous night and then later communicate to the rangers at the briefing point on the trails to use and access the gorilla family fast.
Susa mountain gorilla families had the highest number of mountain gorillas which were 42 but the numbers kept on reducing due to different reasons such as death, fights, separations, and much more. As of today, Susa gorilla family has a total number of 35 mountain gorillas of which 3 are silverbacks and the group also has twins Impano and Byishimo.
Susa gorilla family is found in volcanoes national park together with other families like Bwenge, Karisimbi, Umubano, Amahoro, Hirwa, Agashya, Titus, Sabyinyo, and Ugenda. The mountain gorilla families of this park are open for trekking at any time of the year as long as you have a gorilla permit. Trekkers who want to trek Susa gorilla family have to inform their tour operators so that they inform the wardens about it and they locate you the family.
How much are gorilla trekking permits for Susa gorilla family?
The gorilla trekking permits for Susa gorilla family are of the same price as those of other mountain gorilla families in volcanoes national park. The trekking permits for Susa gorilla family cost $1500 per person per trek and they come with a fully paid park entrance fee, ranger guide fee but exclude accommodation fee and porter fee.
The trekking permits for Susa family are sold to people above the age of 15 years and they allow them to be around these members for a maximum of 1 hour while learning about their habits and taking photos. The permits are got from the Rwanda Development Board and all tourists intending to visit Rwanda can get them direct from this organization or from a local tour operator at the same fee.
Tourist intending to visit Rwanda for mountain gorilla trekking are advised to book their trekking permits in advance and for you that wants to trek Umubano in particular you need to inform your local tour operator so that they inform the wardens so that when the time of assigning the mountain gorilla families to trek, you get to trek Umubano family.
What is the best time to visit Susa gorilla family?
Susa gorilla family can be visited at any time of the year in volcanoes national park Rwanda but there are some months that are better than the rest and these are the dry months. The dry months do happen in June to October and December to February and are characterized by little or no rainfall. During the dry months, the trekking trails are dry, the vegetation in the park is thin giving clear views of the park animals and the roads leading to the park are passable.
Tourso9st can still visit volcanoes national park and trek mountain gorillas in the rainy season but during this period, there is plenty of rainfall and this makes the trekking trails muddy and slippery, the vegetation in the park is always tall with unclear views of the gorillas and other park animals and lastly, the roads leading to the park are impassable. the rainy season favors those budget travelers because they benefit from huge discounts on accommodation facilities.
What to park for Susa gorilla family trekking safari?
There are so many things needed to have the best of Susa trekking but there are those that don’t have to miss and these include waterproof hiking shoes, a pair of gaiters, long-sleeved clothes, a rain jacket, a camera, and extra batteries, insect repellents, sunscreen, a hat, first aid kit, face mask, and sanitizer, a pair of binoculars, reusable drinking water bottle, and energy-giving snacks.
Activities to do before or after trekking Susa gorilla family
Tourists on a mountain gorilla trekking safari in volcanoes national park can hike any of the Virunga volcanoes that are within the park. Hiking any of the mountains requires a hiking permit and each of the mountains has its own fee. The mountain available for hiking in volcanoes national park includes Muhabura, Gahinga, Bisoke, and Karisimbi. Hiking these mountains takes you through hiking trails spotting some of the park animals and at the summit, there are spectacular views of the surroundings like lakes, mountains, and the national park itself.
Golden monkey trekking
Golden monkey trekking is the second most done activity in volcanoes national park so tourists on a safari to trek Susa gorilla family can be part of this amazing activity. Golden monkey trekking will require you to have a permit which is $100 at the Rwanda Development Board. The trekking activity enables tourists to search golden monkeys and be around them for 1 hour and this helps them to know about their habits, watch them do daily activities, and take photos.
Birding activities in volcanoes national park before or after trekking Susa gorilla family will enable you to see some of the 178 bird species so far recorded in the park such as Red-backed shrike, baglafecht weaver, bateleur, red–faced woodland warbler, strange weaver, Ruwenzori turaco, brown woodland warbler, archer’s robin-chat, handsome francolin, narina trogon, lesser honeyguide, palm nut vulture, and grauer’s swamp warbler among others.
Tourists in volcanoes national park can have a visit to Iby’Iwacu cultural village after or before trekking mountain gorillas of the Susa gorilla family. The cultural visit to Iby’Iwacu cultural village will enable the tourist to meet local people and interact with them, know about how they earn a living, watch them do day to day activities, be part of the ceremonies if any, and get entertained by the local traditional dancers.