It is also known as group 13 because the 13 members that made up the group and were habituated under leadership of the dominant silver back Nyakairima. The family is now comprised of 25 members with 12 adult females, 1 silver back known as Agashya, 7 babies and 3 juveniles.
The name changed to Agashya when a prominent silverback called Agashya took over the throne of Nyakairima hence group 13 remained as an alternate name. Agashya is a Kinyarwanda word meaning News.
Nyakairima is credited for doubling and increasing the number of members from 13 to 25. Many times, Agashya determined the credibility of Nyakairima before winning the many contested battles and taking over the leadership of the family. That means Agashya fought many battles with Nyakairima to be able to take over the leadership.
Agashya is so security alert and will always take the family up on the raised landscape in case he feels threatened and at times they become threatened by some trekkers.
Agashya is Sabyinyo gorilla group’s neighbor with both of them inhabiting the rugged slopes of Mount. Sabyinyo which is located along the border of Uganda, Rwanda and D.R. Congo within the larger Virunga massif. This is one of the greatest conservation areas that is home to the remaining population of mountain gorillas in the world.
Tracking Agashya (Thirteen) group is regarded as the most fascinating gorilla experience in Volcanoes national park, as it is a calm, peaceful and one of the safest treks in the park. Booking gorilla permits to track Agashya family can be done directly through Volcanoes national park, bought directly from the Rwanda Development Board or booked through a professional local tour operator.
Just like other Rwanda gorilla permits, a permit to visit Agashya family costs 1500$ per permit per trek, which is more expensive than Uganda’s and D.R. Congo’s. Only eight persons are allowed to track this group on any given day, and each group of trekkers is accompanied by rangers, trackers, porters and guides.