It was 2007 when Silverback Bwenge, a leader of Bwenge gorilla group left his original family and converged with another group of female gorillas hence forming the Bwenge Gorilla family. This group is found at the foothills of Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. This is obviously one of the most famous groups in Volcanoes National Park because some of its members featured in the 1988 ‘Gorillas in the Mist’ that was filmed in memory of Dian Fossey.
Bwenge Gorilla group comprises of 11 members and 1 silverback. The group underwent through hard times when it lost 6 of its infants in a fatal death, an incident that turned out to be a very terrible horror for the whole family. Bwenge means ‘wisdom’ in local Kinyarwanda language. Therefore, it is a family blessed with wisdom. Are you a person with great wisdom? If so, then you have a lot that you share in common with Bwenge family group.
This will definitely be a great experience to meet up with Bwenge, a Silverback who is popularly known for his great wisdom. Trekking this family is a double experience where you have to hike over 600m and then trek the beautiful family. Sometimes the tracks are covered with mud and slippery but it’s not so hard to hike. But nevertheless, one needs to be physically fit to be able to trek this family.
Most of the Rwanda gorilla families are unique and each with unique features and characteristics that differentiate them from another family. Therefore, you have to read about and know which of the families you can trek and which will be favorable for you. What you need to know is mountain gorillas in Rwanda can be only trekked at Volcanoes National Park and rules and regulations apply.
You will attend a half hour briefing session that will enlighten you on whatever information you ought to know about mountain Gorilla trekking. Also the ranger guide will tell you the dos and don’ts you need to know while trekking these great apes. Here you have a chance to ask any question of your choice that you need to know about gorillas. Then you will be divided in groups of 8 under guidance of armed rangers, guides and porters to help carry your heavy belongings.
This activity lasts between 1 and 6 hours depending on where mountain gorillas are located but you will have only an hour of interaction with a particular gorilla family, after which you trek back to the lodge. Gorilla permits in Rwanda cost up to $1500 USD and can be bought at volcanoes national park in Kinigi; but advance booking is advisable either through a trusted tour agency or directly from Rwanda Development Board.