Come explore the wilderness with Amahoro tours, and find out what makes Agashya and his family so special. Learn how this came to be the largest branch in our Mountain Gorilla family tree, and come meet your favourite characters in person.
Contrary to popular belief, group thirteen has more than 13 individuals. The name comes from being the 13th established group ever found, as was customary back in those days. The first person to use this method was Dian Fossey, now a famous primatologist.
This group has never had more than one silverback in its history, and that is why, after the death of the leading silverback Murith in 1992, all the adult females were lost to other silverbacks in the Sabyinyo group. Group thirteen had only three young males left, Munani, Nyakarima and Kwirinda, who couldn’t be leaders at their age.
However, these young males stayed together until the older one, Munani turned to silverback. Unfortunately, Nyakarima left the group, and Kwirinda died of injuries due to interaction with another group.
Munani, being a silverback who wanted to form his group at any cost, had an interaction with the Sabyinyo group. He obtained Safari, a female which had also been a member of group eleven once. He also obtained two other females, Gukunda and Cyuzuzo.
In 2002, the silverback died a natural death, leaving seven members with a black back. These inexperienced males, together with the oldest female (Safari), led the group for five months, until a new silverback came to take over.
The new Silverback, Agashya, came bringing three members with him, raising the number of members to ten. However, the black back with the most authority of the five who had been leaders refused to submit to the new silverback, and left the group to a solitary life.
After Agashya came into power, he raised the number of group members to 27 with 9 females in only eight years. The name Agashya means ‘something special’, and it was given to him in recognition of his ability to lead such a big group. What’s more, in June 2011, the group was named the AGASHYA FAMILY.