Here's the family we were about to see, introduced to us by our two guides at Kinigi, the park headquarters ...
Sabinyo Group Photo
© Anouk Zijlma
The Sabinyo family is the smallest habituated mountain gorilla group in Rwanda with just nine members. It is usually the quickest to find, its territory lies within the Volcanoes Park, on a lightly forested saddle between Mount Sabinyo and Mount Gahinga. It took us just over an hour walking/scrambling to get to them. Trackers are sent out early in the morning to locate the groups, they then radio in so the guides know where to start hacking through the dense vegetation as you get higher up the slopes. The Sabinyo group does have youngsters, so even though it's small, you tend to be able to see all ages. The Sabinyo group has one of the oldest and largest silver-backs on the planet as their leader and you have an excellent chance of seeing him.
Personally, if I had not hurt my ankle just a week before the trek, I would have enjoyed a longer hike. Not that the burning nettles are fun, but it's quite amazing to be in these volcanoes, it's very exciting and challenging. The Susa group, is usually the furthest away and has the most members, almost 40. While hiking time varies between the different groups, the actual amount of time spent with the gorillas is always the same, exactly one hour.