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The Kwitnda gorilla family consists of 20 members and it was created by Kwitonda, a silverback gorilla. Originally the family lived in the Virunga National Park of dR Congo. It migrated to the Volcanoes National Park in 2003 and the major reason was to escape pressure from other groups in the Virunga National Park.


Before migrating and settling in the lower slopes of Mt. Sabyinyo and Mt. Gahinga in 2003, the group used to live in Africa’s oldest National Park, Virunga National Park. Then, it was still led by Kwitonda, an adorable silverback that passed on shortly after clocking 40 years in 2012.

Kwitonda Silverback is thought to have been a solitary male  who joined the Rugabo gorilla family in the Virunga National park. After the death of Rugabo, the silverback who led the family, Kwitonda took away some individuals of the group to form his own family. Due to pressure from other gorilla groups, Kwitonda migrated to the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. He established his home range between Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga.

After the death of Kwitonda in 2012, two subordinate silverbacks Akarevuro and Kigoma fought for the leadership of the group. At some point, Akarevuro won the respect of the group members and took full leadership of the group.

However, on May 4th, 2021 the group split. Kigoma left the group with 16 members of the group to form the Kwisanga group.

Today Kwitonda group is made up of 20 individuals who are composed of 2 Silverbacks, 8 Adult females, 2 Blackbacks, 3 Juveniles and 5 Infants.

The group is named after Kwitonda, the silverback who first he led his family away from the Virunga of Congo.

Tracking the Kwitonda Gorilla Family

It is among the difficult gorilla families to trek because it most times it keeps far a way in thick forested areas. It is among the best groups to hike for young or adventurous travelers.

Kwitonda is a Kinyarwanda word that means the humble one that clearly describes the character of the group and the silverback.