Known to be a violent family in Virunga national park, Mapuwa inhabits areas near Uganda-D.R. Congo border, Bunagana in Jomba region. It is one of the eight gorilla families with in the biologically diverse Virunga national park of D.R. Congo. Other families here include Lulengo, Rugendo, Humba, Kabirizi, Bageni, Nyakamwe and Munyaga.
The story of this family begins from August 1995 when silverback Mapuwa, together with his brother Ruzirabwoba decided to leave their father’s family, Rugendo and start a solitary life. Three years, Silverback Mapuwa decided to form its own group, and on 1st august 1998 Mapuwa attacked Lulengo family and grabbed two female gorillas – Jicho and Mafaze.
Since then, Silverback Mapuwa has never stopped fighting and expanding his family and in 2002, he interacted with Pili-Pili whom he battled and managed to capture three gorillas and added to his group. The group has since kept on increasing with new births and currently, it is made up of 15 members including 1 silverback (Mapuwa), 6 adult females, 3 black backs, 3 juveniles and 2 babies.
Tracking Mapuwa family is quite interesting as you get a chance to track both Mapuwa and Lulengo which are known to live within close proximity in Jomba sector.
The trek begins early morning after a briefing conducted by head ranger; and travelers head off into the misty jungles of Jambo sector near the border with Uganda. The views of the entire Virunga massif and Rwenzori ranges are clear and visitors have a chance to combine gorilla trekking in D.R. Congo as well as golden monkey or second gorilla trekking in Mgahinga gorilla national park in Uganda.