The Sabyinyo Gorilla Family is made up of 18 mountain gorilla individuals. It inhabits the gentle slopes of the Sabyinyo volcano that Rwanda shares with Uganda. This is among the easily accessed gorilla families in the Volcanoes National Park. It has the biggest silverback gorilla called Guhonda within the whole of the Volcanoes National Park area.
The group is currently led by the dominant Silverback Gihishamwotsi. At the time of its habituation the group was named Amavubi (wasps). The name was due to their aggressive character which really gave hard time to researchers who did the gorilla habituation process. Later the name was changed to Sabyinyo, the volcanic mountain where the group was first seen by the researchers.
At the time of its habituation, it was led by Murthi, a silverback gorilla. When Murthi of Group 13 died, Guhonda a lone Silverback took advantage of Murthi’s death and grabbed 3 females from Group 13 (Gukunda, Kampanga and Ijisho) to create his own group. He also grabbed a number of members from Group 11.
Guhonda who was the biggest and obviously stronger dominant silverback of the group. For a long time, Guhonda managed to keep its major rival silverback Ryango in isolation from the major group.
The Sabyinyo group currently consists of 18 individuals including 3 Silverbacks, 6 Adult females, 1 Sub adult females, 4 Juveniles and 4 Infants.
Tracking the Sabyinyo Gorilla Family
Tourists can track this group around Mount Sabyinyo and Mount Gahinga. If you wish to encounter gorillas in the wild without going through so much trouble, this group is for you. They like to graze in the easily reachable forest zone of the mountain after which they are named, Mountain Sabinyo. In seasons when food is scarce here, they don’t go very far. Rather, they hang around the lower slopes of the bamboo zone. This preference for less bushy settings makes it easy to take their pictures as they go about their normal-wild-lives. The group is headed by Guhonda silverback and has 12 members.