The Hirwa gorilla family migrated from the Volcanoes National Park, which is located in Rwanda to Uganda in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The Hirwa gorilla family derives its name from ‘Hirwa’, which is a word in Kinyarwanda, which means ‘the lucky one’. Some individuals from the Agashya families and the Sabinyo families formed this group in 2006, it originally started with 16 members, and later its number increased to 20 members.

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In October 2019, the Hirwa Gorilla family migrated from the Volcanoes National Park in the country Rwanda to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. In addition, in history, it has been confirmed that around 20 mountain Gorillas crossed over to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

A Silverback who named as Munyiga and is known as the only dominant silverback in this gorilla group is leading the Hirwa gorilla family / group. This Mountain Gorilla group came into existence after there was trouble between Munyinga the dominant silver back and the Susa family because of always mating the females in this group. Hirwa Gorilla family/ group was considered a lucky one among the few mountain  Gorillas in Volcanoes National park that were able to give birth to twins. In 2011, these twins named as Isango Gakuru and Isango Gato were born from a female Mountain Gorilla group that was known as ‘Kabatwa’.

Hirwa Gorilla Family
Hirwa Gorilla Family

This Gorilla group is famously known for its movements across the Virunga Conservation Area to Mgahinga Gorilla National park and it is known because it previously inhabited the slopes of Mount Sabyinyo, which is marked as an extinct volcano among the Virunga ranges. This mountain was nicknamed as the ‘Old man’s Teeth’ due to the fact that its peak resembled the worn out teeth and it is  not like the peaks found in the Virungas and the Whole world at large. It is easy to trek this mountain gorilla group in just one hour because these gorillas are so close.

Trekking the Hirwa Gorilla Family/Group in Uganda.

Tourists who travel from worldwide on a safari to trek the Hirwa Mountain Gorilla families can only do so from Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, which is located in the Southwestern part of Uganda. Mgahinga Gorilla National park is situated in Kisoro district and is known to be the smallest national park in Uganda, which covers total surface area of 34 square kilometers. This national park originally had only one habituated gorilla group/family known as ‘Nyakagezi’ until in October 2019 when the Hirwa gorilla family moved in from the Volcanoes national park and settled in Mgahinga National Park hence increasing on its numbers.

The Uganda Wildlife Authority whose aim is to protect the wildlife in all the National parks in the country manages the Hirwa gorilla family. Tourists going for gorilla trekking activity in Mhainga National park are supposed to acquire trekking Permits, which cost a fee of 700 USD per person, and they are encouraged to acquire them at least 6 months before travelling in order to avoid funny circumstances. However, this Gorilla fee is equally divided between Rwanda and Uganda because this gorilla group originated from Rwanda and there is a probability of them moving back to its original habitant in Rwanda.

Gorilla trekking activities in Uganda have a limit of the number of people who go for trekking in order to avoid the spread of air bone disease such as flue and cough between the tourists and the mountain gorillas.  Trekkers are always put in different groups of eight members per group. Hirwa Gorilla group can only tracked on Mount Muhavura an extinct Volcano standing at an altitude between 2,227 and 4,127 meters above the sea level.  All Gorilla trekking activities in the park begin from Ntebeko, which is the main entrance to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

How to get to Hirwa Gorilla National Park.

Tourists planning to go trek mountain gorillas in Hirwa gorilla group, which is found in Mgahinga Gorilla national park, will take a drive of about 510 kilometers from Kampala city to the National park, which is located in Kisoro district. Alternatively, travelers will access the park from Bwindi Impenetrable National park by driving a distance of about 101.1kilometers via the Kabala-Kisoro road, which will take them about 3 hours.

Alternatively, tourists travelling from Rwanda and planning to visit Mgahinga Gorilla National Park can go through the Cyanika border in Kisoro. This journey will take them about 3 hours and a half to arrive at the National Park.  However, tourists can drive to kabale and take a detour, which follows the shoreline of the scenic lake Bunyonyi and late connects to Kabale-kisoro, which is considered the main road at Muko.

Therefore, tourists planning to go for a tour in Mgahinga National Park can also use this opportunity to go trek the Hirwa Gorilla Family/ group which a memorable experience. Do get in touch with our trusted tour operators and companies such as Achieve Global Safaris and Explore Tours Rwanda for any inquiries regarding this habituated gorilla family and the best offers on your safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

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