When it comes to safaris to Rwanda, the most prominent attractions that never miss out in most of the travelers’ bucket list are the rare mountain gorillas. These unique apes feature as among the very few tourist attractions in the world that offer visitors with the most thrilling experiences that come once in a lifetime. They are only found in 3 (three) destinations; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). These rare apes share about 98% of their DNA with humans making them a few most vulnerable species on earth. In Rwanda, they are only located in Volcanoes National Park, northwestern part of the country takes trekkers approximately 2 hours’ drive off Kigali International Airport. Volcanoes National Park comprises of ten (10) habituated gorilla groups that have been set for visitor experiences.
Titus gorilla group derived its name from Titus gorilla silverback that was born on 24th August 1974 at a time when Dian Fossey conducting her research at Karisoke Research Centre. Titus was monitored by Kelly Stewart who later named the group after him. Unfortunately, he lost his family members to poachers which included his uncle, brother, sister and father. This was the most challenging moment in Titus’s life. The family then never had females for a period of more than 8 (eight) years and the males were monitored in homosexual behavior till when five females from other families joined his family. Titus led the group for longer period of time and it is estimated that he led the family up to 2007 till Beetsme silverback succeeded his leadership in 2009.
He led the family till he passed on in 2012 and he became one of the male gorillas with several infants and managed the biggest gorilla family. He was protective to the female whereby he was sighted biting a female when she was caught up mating secretly with his son Kuryama. Beetsme featured as a good silverback till he passed on. Titus group features as one of the families that have thrived for longer time. Today, this troop features both new and old individuals that are all peacefully surviving in the same group. Titus was however got when he was dead in his nest surrounded by his group members and he was declared to have died of natural causes. At the age of 35 years, this gorilla king was famous as the most successful gorilla in the Land of a Thousand Hills with numerous infants compared to any other gorilla. This family still serves research needs but recently tourists have been accepted to track through it especially when the permits are overbooked for the main ten habituated families. Titus family is found between Karisimbi and Visoke Volcanoes.
In conclusion, Titus gorilla family is one of the oldest families in Volcanoes National Park. A visit to this group offers tourists a chance to explore more about Titus that features as the oldest silverback that thrived for long and also sired many infants.