Locally translated as “Lucky one” in Kirwanryanda, Hirwa gorilla family was formerly one of Rwanda’s 10 gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park. Hirwa gorilla group was formed in 2006 when Munyinga silverback rebelled and broke away from Susa Family. Munyinga was known for mating with adult females in his former groups (Susa), which caused troubles between his and his dad. Munyinga then decided to leave Susa family and form his own. Munyiga left with some adult females and that’s how Hirwa family was formed. Females started giving birth to babies while Munyinga continued to collect more females from other gorilla families which has seen the gorilla group grow big to 20 members. The family is called Hirwa cause it has been lucky I o many ways including the birth old twins. Hirwa gorilla family is one of the few gorilla groups with a set of twins. During Hirwa’s stay in Volcanoes National Park, the family lived in the foothill of Mount Sabyinyo and was one of the most trekked gorilla families in Rwanda. The exceptional behaviors of Hirwa family members made it a favorite gorilla family in Rwanda.
Where to trek Hirwa family
Initially, the Hirwa gorilla group was trekked from Volcanoes National park Rwanda. In Late 2019, the Hirwa family crossed borders to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in southwestern Uganda. Visitors to trek Hirwa gorilla family, therefore, visit Mgahinga Park. The reasons why Hirwa family migrated to Uganda are unknown but mountain gorillas are nomads, which keep moving. Its believed that the Hirwa family crossed to Uganda unknowingly. No one knows how long Hirwa will stay in Mgahinga.
Cost of trekking Hirwa gorilla family
The fact that the Hirwa family is now in Uganda, travelers pay $600 for the Ugandan gorilla permit. Booking is done through Uganda Wildlife Authority or Gorilla Trek Africa, the leading travel agent in Uganda and Rwanda. Travelers are advised to book as early as 6 months in advance to secure permits and be part of this memorable adventure. Money collected from the sale of Hirwa gorilla permits is shared between Uganda and Rwanda. UWA takes 50% and the other 50% is given to Rwanda Development Board.
Gorilla Families in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Apparently, Mgahinga Gorilla Park is home to 2 gorilla families (Nyakagyezi and Hirwa gorilla families). For all years, Nyakagyezi has been the only gorilla family in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. 16 gorilla permits are issued out each day since 8 people visit each family. Trekking to see gorillas in Mgahinga forest starts at 7:00am at Ntebeko Information Centre with registration and pre gorilla trekking briefing.
Other Gorilla families in Volcanoes National Park
Volcanoes National park in northwestern Rwanda is home to a quarter of the world’s mountain gorillas. With an exception of Hirwa family, Volcanoes Park is now hosting 9 gorilla families available for trekking. Gorilla permit booking is through Rwanda Development Board or Gorilla Trek Africa. Rwanda’s gorilla permits cost $1500 each. Gorilla groups in Volcanoes National Pak include:
• Susa Gorilla family
• Karisimbi Gorilla Family
• Sabyinyo gorilla family
• Agashya Gorilla group
• Bwengye gorilla group
• Amahoro gorilla family
• Kwitonda family
• Umubano group
• Ugenda gorilla family
What to pack for gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda
During the gorilla tour bookings, travelers are advised to have a fully equipped packing list. Among the things to carry for gorilla trekking in Uganda, Rwanda or Congo include
1. Hiking boots/shoes
2. Gardening gloves
5. Energy giving snacks
6. Bottled drinking water
7. Long-sleeved shirts/blouses
8. Long pants
10. Insect repellants
11. Rain jacket among others
Hirwa gorilla family currently living in Uganda is an amazing gorilla family worth visiting. Contact Gorilla Arica today, book a gorilla tour to Mgahinga Gorilla National park and get a chance to trek Rwanda’s Hirwa gorilla family from Uganda.