Mt. Karisimbi is part of the eight ancient Volcanoes that form up the Virunga Mountains. Mt. Karisimbi is the second highest peak in the Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda (An altitude of 4507m high). Other mountains in the Volcanoes include Mt. Bosoke, Mt. Sabyinyo, Mt. Gahinga, and Mt. Muhabura all on part of the Virunga mountains.

Karisimbi Gorilla Family

The Volcanoes is home to Mountain Gorillas (with almost 480 primates) which were listed as critically endangered by IUCN. Mt. Karismbi is a habitat to groups known as Karisimbi Group (Susa A) and Karisimbi Group (Susa B), today we want to take close look at a gorilla group called Karisimbi group B which seceded away from Susa A. The Karisimbi group is one of the groups that was researched and studied by Dian Fossey (An American primatologist) during her time of habituating gorillas in Rwanda from 1967 until her death in 1985. The name Susa comes from ‘Susa River’ where the group was first seen before it split up.

Karisimbi Gorilla Family (Susa B)

This group broke away from Karisimbi gorilla group known as Susa A, it occupies the  upper slopes of Mt. Karisimbi (The second highest peak in the Volcanoes National Park) at an altitude of 4507m high. This group is led by Silverback Nyagakangaga. Initially the entire Karisimbi group had 42 members, but after the split up in 2009 from Susa A, Silverback Nyagakangaga left with 13 members to find a new haven, the increased in the number up to 15 family members but later experience a break down when some of its family members had to join to other groups.

Currently the group is composed of 11 members with 4 Silverbacks with Nyagakangaga the leader of the family, 1 adult female, 1 black back and two infants. The group was at first called Susa B but later the name changed to Karisimbi group in year 2010. This is one of the hardest groups to trek in the Volcanoes because it likes foraging and as well stay along the Caldera on Mt. Karisimbi, it could even take a day trekking this particular group which may rather seem impossible.

However, you as a trekker this shouldn’t scare you off because the Rwanda Development Board rangers are experienced and skilled enough to locate and find the family in a short period of time. Also effective communication between the rangers helps in relieving the trekking stress as a result of failing to find the family in time.

In order to effectively to trek this group, you have to ensure that you are physically fit because it offers you more amazing experiences apart from gorilla trekking, you take a close look at nature at its best, climbing high heights on Mt. Karisimbi. This requires a traveler to keep doing physical fitness at least a month earlier to avoid suffering from fatigue from your long awaited for event in the thick forests of the Volcanoes. Surprisingly, Mountain gorillas live between altitudes of 2300m and 4500m above sea level in the thickets of the Volcanoes National Park.