The Uganda Rwanda border was recently reopened after being closed for a period of close to three years. We have therefore resumed the cross border gorilla trekking trips in which you land in Kigali where we pick you from and then transfer you to Uganda to explore and do some of the exciting activities Uganda has to offer.

There are a lot of activities you can do in Uganda including but not limited to – Gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, Wildlife viewing, Adventure sports, cultural tours and so much more. Our packages which start from Kigali and cross to Uganda range from short 3 day excursions to multi day tours with an option of Ending the trip in Entebbe also available if you don’t wish to return to Kigali after the trip.

Important things to note while planning your crossover trip

Shorter distances for gorilla trekking trips:

The drive from Kigali to Bwindi is 4-5 hours. This is much shorter compared to the 8-9 hours drive if you are starting your trip in Entebbe.

Moderately priced Gorilla trekking permit:

The Uganda Gorilla trekking permit costs $700 while the Rwanda gorilla trekking permit costs $1500, this therefore means that you will save a lot of money if you decide to land in Rwanda but trek gorillas in Uganda.

Lots of activities to do in Uganda

Uganda has many national parks and game reserves as compared to Rwanda. Therefore if you decide to combine your visit to Rwanda and Uganda, you will have a variety of activities to choose from ranging from Gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, white water rafting and kayaking, Game drives, cultural tours and so much more.

Booking your tour

Kindly get in touch with our reservations team and we shall design for you a custom itinerary based on your preferred length of day and dates of travel.

Interesting facts about the mountain gorilla

Mountain gorilla interesting facts

Interesting facts about the mountain gorilla you did not know

Interesting facts about mountain gorillas – Mountain Gorillas are the endangered primate species living in the dense tropical forests of Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga gorilla forest in south western Uganda, Bwindi impenetrable forest, harbours over half of the world population of the mountain gorillas and others can be seen in volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the DR. Congo. The gorillas where in extinct due to the serious poaching and killing of this great Apes. However, due to active conservation measures and tourism, they have been saved from the hands of the poachers and are now increasing in number. The facts about the mountain gorillas, is that you can not see them out of there habitats compared to other animals. They can not survive in Zoos you can only see the gorillas in the wild in the tropical forest of Bwindi, Mgahinga, volcanoes and Virunga National park.

Listed below are the interesting facts about mountain gorillas

Why are they called mountain Gorillas?

The mountain gorillas are the largest primates that live in the dense tropical forests, they live at an elevation ranging from 1,500 to 4,000 metres in altitude. The temperature tends to drop below the freezing point making the place extremely cold up in Bwindi impenetrable forest, Virunga, volcanoes national park. the gorillas have thick fur covering their skin which helps to regulate the temperatures. There is over 1,063 according to the latest figure of the world’s population of the mountain gorillas in the Virunga massif that is Uganda, DRC and Rwanda.

Mountain Gorillas are wanderer – they do not have a home

Mountain gorillas do not have a stable home, they are wanderers they live in the wild and each g=day they move from one location to another to build their nests, they have a territory ,they make their beds with twigs, leaves, branches, they cover small kilometres each day to set up a new home. But they can also migrate from one country to another like they can move from Uganda to Rwanda or to the Democratic Republic of Congo or vice versa. This is a reason why travellers trek the mountain the gorillas because they move each day and you will need to move some distance to locate them. Trekkers will raise up early morning and head to the park headquarters for briefing and they will be divided in groups led by the rangers/ Guides in to the forest for the start of Gorilla trekking. Gorilla trekking depends on the particular gorilla family you have been assigned to trek and only a group of 8 people are allowed to trek each gorilla family per day.

Baby Mountain Gorillas are smaller than Human Babies:

Mountain gorilla babies are much smaller compared to the human babies, when the baby gorilla is born, they weigh three to four pounds lower than the average weight of the newly born human baby. However, unlike the humans, the gorillas can grow up to 500 plus pounds.

The Gorilla Doctors make forest Calls which Keeps the Gorillas Healthy:

The Mountain Gorillas have their Physicians who often visit the different gorilla groups in the forest, the Gorilla Doctors make forest calls, as away of monitoring the health of the gorillas, administer immunisations, and treat the gorillas they may be sick or having injuries. These all contributes to the overall conservation efforts which results in the increase in number of the endangered species of the mountain gorillas.

Mountain Gorillas are the Gentle Giants of the Forest

Mountain gorillas are peaceful primates in the forest but when startled, they can become aggressive and fierce and will be forced to attack you. When disturbed, that can charge and to show the anger, they roar, thumping the chest, grunting loudly but may not attack you, it only does this to as an attempt to bluff you and as away of protection and defending his family. In case the gorilla’s charges, you can respond by crouching down and lowering your head to show that you have accepted defeat. The gorillas are strong and huge creatures, the silverback is the head of the family and will defend the family at any cause. The male gorilla/silver back is Ten times stronger than the Adult human.

Mountain gorillas, though massive and huge, they are not fat:

Just like the human Vegas and vegetarians, the mountain Gorillas will give you a picture of what a plan based diet will do to you, though their diet consists of easiest food to find, the vegetation, the gorillas feed on leaves, branches, plants and some times insects when the leaves have dried off. The gorillas consume up to 60 pounds of leaves and vegetables each day which makes them look huge but in actual sense, the gorillas are not fat they have much thick far covering their bodies since they live of high mountains and the temperature rich the freezing point.

Mountain Gorillas use tools to make life Easier.

Mountain Gorillas use tools for their daily life and also to simplify work for them for example, gorillas learn the use of tools from the other fellow gorillas for example, picking snares from the young gorillas, also, they use sticks to extract ants from the ground or from the tree tops those that get stuck on trees. some gorillas even put a log across the stream for them to pass easily from one side to another among others, gorillas are under a study and in the near years, there will come more other use of the tools by the gorillas to make life easy.

The greatest threat to Mountain Gorillas:

The common threat to the mountain gorillas is the rampant poaching, poaching snares set to trap the small antelopes, sometimes end up trapping the mountain gorillas thus causing illness and death. Also, the over whelming population of humans causing inadequate land for settlement has caused encroachment of humans in to the gorilla inhabits which causes destruction of the forest due to man made activities such as deforestation for charcoal burning, logging among others.

The silver coat on a silverback Mountain Gorilla shows a sign of Maturity like a lion’s Mane:

The young male gorilla has black backed fur, but when the young male gorilla grows and has reaches sexual maturity, he will start to develop a saddle shaped areas of silver hair sh. Like human beards and lion manes, indicate that the gorilla has matured and can now take on the role of the head of the family and to look after the family members.

Mountain gorillas communicate with one another

The fact that the mountain gorillas are almost have the total DNA of 98% like the humans, they have a higher larynx compared to humans and a soft palate which does not make them to communicate with verbs, nouns or make sentences like the humans do. They simply grunt, hoot, make gestures, chest beating, and making symbols which is there way of communication. As a result of gorilla habituation, this has facilitated the communication and the interaction of the gorillas with the humans using the sign language.

Top Interesting facts about mountain gorillas – Interesting facts about the mountain gorilla you did not know. Mountain gorilla interesting facts.

Best Gorilla Trekking Destinations in Africa

Top Destinations in Africa Where to see gorillas

Where to see gorillas in Africa – Africa boasts for having varied landscapes in different regions that are habitats for numerous sub-species of gorillas. These are the endangered mountain gorillas, western lowland gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas or Grauer’s gorillas. Among all these, most people prefer to trek for the endangered mountain gorillas which are found in only 3 countries; Rwanda, Uganda and DRCongo. There are over 100,000 western lowland gorillas in the rain forests of the western and central Africa.  Best Gorilla watching in Africa.

The top nine best gorilla trekking destinations

Encountering gorillas is absolutely a great wildlife experience. Watching one of the closest relatives to human beings that live in forests, with behavior that is almost the same as humans is amazing and ought to be planned for as one of safari activities. Plan for your gorilla trekking tour in any of these destinations. Where to see gorillas in Africa;

Uganda – Gorilla Trekking in Uganda the Pearl of Africa

Uganda offers extraordinary gorilla trekking experience. It has more than a half of the entire endangered mountain gorillas in the whole world. They live in the rainforests in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla national park in the far southwestern part. Because Mgahinga is situated on the border with Rwanda, the gorilla group there sometimes roams around to the border and the gorillas are still protected by the rangers of Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. There are 13 gorilla groups that have been habituated for trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest. The big forest has been divided into 4 regions all with different groups of mountain gorillas and tourists select the group they wish to visit. Trekking in each of the different regions comes with a unique experience. A permit for gorilla trekking in Uganda costs US$ 700 for each individual.

Bwindi impenetrable national park also has gorillas which are used for research and study by researchers and scientists. These gorillas can be visited along with the researchers for the Gorilla Habituation Experience at a fee of US$1,500 per person.

Tourists that visit Uganda for gorilla trekking have a variety of other adventurous activities they can do; Chimp tracking, wildlife viewing, water rafting, canoeing and mountain climbing among others.

Rwanda – Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, the land of a thousand hills

Rwanda is famously known for its luxury gorilla trekking experience that takes place in Volcanoes national park. The effort of Dian Fossey foundation in conservation of these primates has today largely contributed to making Rwanda the number one gorilla trekking destination in Africa. 10 gorilla families have been habituated in Volcanoes national park for trekking. The park is easy to access on good roads and there are cozy lodges around the park. The park organizes an annual activity known as “Kwita Izina” where various celebrities are invited as gorillas are given names. You can be part of this event. A gorilla trekking permit in Rwanda costs US$ 1,500 for each person.

A gorilla trekking safari to Rwanda can have other tourist activities added to it, for example, visiting Dian Fossey’s tomb, visiting the local communities, touring around other destinations like Akagera national park, Nyungwe forest national park and others.

Democratic Republic of Congo Gorilla tours

DRC is a popular destination because it has both mountain and eastern lowland gorillas. Mountain gorillas live in Virunga national park on the slopes of the Virunga volcanoes while the eastern lowland gorillas are in Kahuzi Biega National Park and more lowland gorillas in the far western part in the mountains of Madiakoko. There are 4 mountain gorilla groups that have been habituated for trekking in Virunga national park. Gorilla trekking in congo has not yet picked up as compared to that in Rwanda and Uganda. This is because the region suffered political unrest for a long time. However, today the destination has been declared safe for travel though it is recommended that tourists organize their safaris through tour operators. DRCongo still has the cheapest gorilla permit among the three mountain gorilla destinations, costing US$400. DRC has good lodges for tourists to stay on their gorilla trekking safaris. While at Virunga, you have a chance to visit the only gorilla orphanage centre in the world-Senkwekwe.

More thrilling tourist activities to do in Congo include; Nyiragongo Volcano Hile, visiting Tchegera Island.

Congo Brazzaville Gorilla trekking

 This country is one of the best destinations to visit for western lowland gorillas. It is also known as Republic of Congo and neighbors the DRC to the west. Gorillas live in Odzala-Kokoua national park in the northwestern side of the country. There are 2 habituated gorilla groups and a group of not more than 4 is allowed to visit each group. More gorillas can be watched in Nouabale-Ndoki national park at Mbeli Bai.

Nigeria- Cross River gorillas

The Crosss River gorillas are rare species of gorillas found around the border of Nigeria and Cameroon. They live in the forested mountains at the top of cross river. Their appearance is different in a way that they have shorter mouth, their heads are elongated yet with shorter skulls as compared to western lowland gorillas. There are 200-300 Cross river gorillas found in Afi Mountain, Mbe Mountain and the Okwangwo division. Chances of spotting these gorillas are low because they are few living in a large area of 3,000sq miles.

Central African Republic

CAR has the largest number of western lowland gorillas in the whole world. It has habituated gorillas available for trekking in the thick tropical rain forests. The primates can be perfectly watched from Dzanga Bai in Dzanga-Sangha Special reserve. You are advised to first find out about the situation in the country before travelling because it is a troubled destination.

Equatorial Guinea

Gorilla tours to Equatorial Guinea are conducted in Monte Alen National park located in the southern province of Mount Alen centre. The western lowland gorillas live in the rainforest on the slopes of the mountain. The park covers a total area of 1600sq km. Trails that lead to locations where gorillas may be spotted are quite long. Tourists will move long through a long trial and stay at Esamalan Camp. Gorillas in this park are not habituated. However much tourism in Equatorial Guinea is still in its early stages of development, there are some few local guides that conduct lead tourists through the forest for gorilla trekking.

Angola gorilla tours

Angola is another West African country that hosts the wondrous western lowland gorillas. They are only found in the Cabinda enclave in the northern side of the country. Gorilla trekking tours are not yet well develop and because of this, the chances of seeing these primates are low.

Gabon gorilla experience

With a variety of wildlife that has been protected for conservation, tourism in Gabon is still underdeveloped. There are 13 national parks and most of these are habitats for gorillas particularly the western lowland gorillas. Some of the national parks in Gabon that harbor gorillas are Moukalaba-Doudou national park, Lope national park, Laongo national park. Habituation was tried out in Mikono conservation centre of Lope national park but it was not successful. You therefore have chances of spotting these gorillas in Lope national when you are on a wildlife safari for other residents on the park other than the trekking activity. Besides the gorillas that are found in Laongo national park, there are much more attractions to enjoy here including chimps, forest elephants and the amzing marine life along the shores of Atlantic Ocean; whales, dolphins and hippos among others.

For the most interesting experiences of gorilla trekking, book for your safari in Uganda and Rwanda through Adventure in the wild safaris.

Africa has a number of countries that are great for safari even though they do not have gorillas. These include; Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Swaziland among others. They offer magnificent wildlife tours, beach tours, hiking experiences, cultural experiences and more.

Contact us if you have any questions about Where to see gorillas in Africa or African safari and gorillas, best gorilla. 

How big is a silverback gorilla

How big are silverback gorillas, how big is a silverback gorilla, how big is a gorilla, how big is a silverback

A silverback gorilla is an adult male mountain gorilla. They are referred to silverbacks because their back hair starts to turn from black to grayish, silver colored as they approach maturity. This happens at the age of around 11years and full adult size is obtained at 15 years or more. Silverback gorillas are also larger in size compared to other gorillas, which are the females and younger ones. The color and how big the silverback gorilla is are clear ways can differentiate them from a mature female and the younger ones.

Mountain gorillas are endangered sub species of the Eastern gorillas. They are found in only three countries namely Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They live in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and the Virunga massif which comprises of Mgahinga national park, Virunga national park and Volcanoes national park. there is a population of only about 1060 mountain gorillas left in the world which are found in the above mentioned areas with Bwindi Impenetrable forest hosting the largest number, approximately half of the total population.

Mountain gorillas do not survive in captivity and their habitats are forests on higher elevation of 8,000-13,000 feet. They live in groups of 5-30 members and each group is headed by a silverback gorilla.

How big is a gorilla: size of a silverback gorilla

Generally, male mountain gorillas are normally bigger than female mountain gorillas. A silver back gorilla grows to a height of 1.5 to 2 meters with the arm stretching from 2.3 to 2.6 meters.

The weight of a mountain gorilla

A fully mature silverback can weigh up to 195 kilograms. Some silverbacks weigh up to 200 kilograms while females can weigh up to 160 kilograms. One of the heaviest silverback so far recorded was 219 kilograms but was unfortunately shot at Lake Kivu in 1938.

Mountain gorillas can be seen at any time of the year. You can contact us and have your gorilla trekking space secured in any of the three countries. A gorilla trekking permit costs USD700 in Uganda, USD1,500 in Rwanda and USD400 in the DRC. The experience of meeting these gentle giants is the most thrilling experience in Africa. It is important to plan for this activity early enough because the number of people allowed to visit each gorilla family is limited to a maximum of 8 people per day. We perfectly plan for your itinerary and include other interesting activities around the destination.

How big are silverback gorillas, how big is a silverback gorilla, how big is a gorilla, how big is a silverback

Hirwa Gorilla Group

Hirwa Gorilla Family is one of the gorilla families well known in volcanoes national park in Rwanda but recently shifted to Uganda’s Mgahinga national park. These two national parks neighbor each other in the Virunga Massif with exactly the same kind of vegetation cover which enables these animals to stay in any of the areas.

Mountain gorillas are critically endangered subspecies of the eastern gorillas. the only place you can find these primates is the Virunga massif (Mgahinga national park, Volcanoes national park and the DRC) and Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park. Gorillas are very mobile animals and for quite a long time, Mgahinga and Volcanoes national park have been sharing Nyakagezi gorilla family which roams around the two parks and has been the only habituated gorilla group trekked in Mgahinga. It was however good news to hear that Uganda has received another gorilla family (Hirwa gorilla family) which migrated in august 2019 from the northern part of Volcanoes national park in Kinigi province and settled in the southern part of mgahinga national park. hirwa gorilla family consisted of 17 members at the time they migrated to Uganda but lost 4 of them that were struck by lightning in the forest of Mgahinga.

Uganda Wildlife Authority has been availing only 8 gorilla trekking permits for Mgahinga national park daily but this has now increased to 16 permits availed daily until the group migrates again back to Rwanda. we have no idea about when it could move back to Rwanda but all the members are very safe in Uganda as they remain under the Conservation policy of the International Gorilla Conservation Program which is in charge of all gorillas of the Virunga area.

Trekking for gorillas in mgahinga national park

Mgahinga national park is the smallest national park in Uganda. There have always been only 8 permits produced each day for tourists who want to go for gorilla trekking in the park since there was only one gorilla group called Nyakagyezi. Nyakagyezi was joined by an interesting gorilla family from Rwanda in August 2019 increasing the gorilla trekking permits to Mgahinga to 16 per day. Contact us to book for your gorilla trekking permit to trek for Hirwa gorilla family. A gorilla trekking permit costs $700.

Gorilla Poaching is one of the major threats for both Mountain and Lowland Gorillas. Gorilla Poachers usually use the most brutal means to attack and Kill the gorillas in their natural habitat which has for long reduced the number of Gorillas especially the mountain gorillas which are currently enlisted as an endangered species.

Why Gorilla Poachers kill the Gorillas

Gorilla Poaching for Bush Meat

Central Africa is popular for the sale illegal Bush meat, the Gorillas and chimpanzees being some of the wildlife which is hunted for meat. It should be noted that it is very hard to hunt the gorillas and therefore the Gorilla meat is rare and very expensive which motivates Gorilla Poachers to continue hunting for the gorillas.  It should be however noted that due to conservation efforts, Gorilla poaching has been totally eliminated in Uganda and Rwanda, therefore at the moment this is common in Congo and central Africa.

Gorilla Poaching for Medicinal Purposes

Many people and medicine men believer that parts / meat of Gorillas cure some sicknesses. This has also been a motivation factor in central Africa that has made gorilla poaching continue despite being declared illegal.

Gorilla Poaching for trophies

The Gorillas both mountain and lowland are very strong and hard to hunt, this has made several trophy hunters to continue poaching the gorillas for pride and trophies.

Gorilla Poaching Statistics

The number of mountain gorillas had reduced to 700 individuals by the late 1990’s and the population of the lowland gorillas had also been reducing drastically. By 2009 it was estimated that about 4% of the gorillas where being poached monthly and thus this called for strong conservation efforts to save this endangered species of primates.

Gorilla Conservation in Uganda and Rwanda

Uganda and Rwanda have in the past decades stepped up the conservation their efforts to conserve the mountain gorillas. This was done by first creation of the national parks by declaring them as protected areas, then beefing up security in these areas to stop gorilla poachers from Killing the mountain gorillas.  The conservation efforts where boasted by introducing the gorilla trekking activity, which has been generating funds to facilitate the conservation efforts as well as being used to develop infrastructure near the parks and also for sensitization of the communities around the protected areas about the importance of the mountain gorillas.

 Gorilla Poaching in Africa, Gorilla Poachers, Gorilla Conservation efforts

How tall are gorillas

How tall are silverback gorillas?, The tallest silverback gorilla

This Blog provides information on Tallest gorilla, How tall are gorillas, how tall are silverback gorillas, tallest silverback gorilla, tallest gorilla ever, how tall is a gorilla, how tall is a silverback gorilla.

Tallest Gorilla Ever Fact:

The tallest gorilla recorded stood at 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) silverback with an arm span of 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in), a chest of 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in), and a weight of 219 kg (483 lb),  the tallest gorilla ever died in 1938 after being shot in Alimbongo, northern Kivu in the eastern democratic republic of congo.

Silverback gorillas are normally bigger, larger, heavier and taller than female gorillas. they have more muscles on their bodies and weigh higher than other gorillas.

A silverback is an adult male gorilla. They are referred to as “silverback” because their back hair turns to silver when they approach maturity at the age of 11 years and by 15, they are considered fully mature. Gorillas live in groups and each gorilla group is headed by a silverback that will be able to protect its members, provide food, care for it and will be the only one to mate with the females. In case the gorilla group is attacked by an enemy or approached by a gorilla that is not a member of the group, the silverback protects its members by threatening or fighting the intruder. Silverbacks therefore have to be strong enough to protect their groups.

How tall are gorillas?

There are two types of gorillas; Eastern gorillas and Western gorillas. Eastern gorillas have two subspecies namely mountain gorillas and eastern lowland gorillas and there are also two subspecies of western gorillas namely the Western lowland gorillas and Cross river gorillas.

The Eastern lowland gorillas are the tallest subspecies of gorillas. A male Eastern lowland gorilla grows to a height of about 1.85 meters while females reach a height of 1.6 meters.

The average height of a mountain gorilla is 1.7 meters. Silverbacks reach a height of 9 inches while females range from 5 feet.

The tallest silverback ever recorded was 1.95 meters with an arm span of 2.7 meters with weight of 219 kilograms. It was shot in 1938 in a place known as Alimbogo in the northern part of Kivu in the DRC.

Western gorillas are generally slightly smaller and shorter than the other gorilla types. They inhabit the tropical and sub-tropical forests of the western parts of Africa in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola and Nigeria. The height of western gorillas ranges from 1.2 meters to 1.8 meters.

Gorillas have two legs and two arms and they often use all the four during movement though they can stand on their legs alone. They can also move only on legs but for a short time and they’ll thereafter get include the arms. The arms are longer and stronger than the legs. The length of a gorilla arm is almost two times the height of its leg.

This Blog provides information on Tallest gorilla, How tall are gorillas, how tall are silverback gorillas, tallest silverback gorilla, tallest gorilla ever, how tall is a gorilla, how tall is a silverback gorilla.

It’s believed that, the gorillas share a total DNA of 98% with humans and they are the next to humans after the chimpanzee, yet they live in the wild in the thick forests, the common question is that what do gorillas eat/ feed on?

Mountain gorillas are the endangered animal species living in the dense tropical forest of Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga national park in south western Uganda, volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the democratic republic of Congo. These three African countries, are situated in east Africa and are famously known to be harboring the mountain gorillas.

The mountain gorillas have the same DNA like that of humans and they are known to be the strongest and largest primate species on earth, the mountain gorillas, are divided in to two gorilla species that is the east low land gorillas and the western low land gorillas from the two categories, , they are also subdivided in to four categories that is the mountain gorillas, western low land gorillas, eastern low land gorillas and cross river gorillas. The mountain gorillas, are slightly different from the rest of the gorillas because of their body shape, and the habitat they live in. the gorillas are named basing on their different habitats and the body shape.

The endangered gorillas live in the thick forest of Bwindi impenetrable forest, volcanoes national park, Mgahinga national park, and Virunga national park these countries are situated in Africa. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, harbours the largest number of gorillas, the park has got over half of the world remaining population of the mountain gorillas and its one of the highly visited destination in Uganda for gorilla trekking experience, Bwindi is sub divided in to four sectors including Buhoma, Nkuringo. Rushaga, Ruhija these sectors harbour habituated gorilla families that are open to tourists for gorilla trekking, the park has got 18 habituated gorilla families one of which is trekked at Mgahinga gorilla national park. volcanoes national park, is also home to the endangered mountain gorilla species, the park has got 14 habituated gorilla families opened to trekkers and the rest are for research purposes. Virunga is situated in the Democratic Republic of Congo with 8 habituated gorilla families ready for gorilla trekking, these gorilla families are being trekked on a daily basis. Therefore, back to the question, what do gorillas eat?  Gorillas feeding habits, depends on their natural habitat, where they live and the season or time of the year.

The mountain gorillas are herbivores and mainly feed on vegetation as their daily meal, they also feed on other plants like stems. Flowers, buds, barks. Seeds, bamboo, shoots, fruits, vines, herbs, roots, leaves, shrubs, and young branches from trees. They also feed on insects like ants, snails, caterpillars, termites among others but in small quantity since they are full of proteins. They also eat ash, soil to help regulate their digestive system, and to neutralize the poisonous plants that they may have consumed, also the ash adds minerals to their system and all their lively hood is in the forest, shelter, food and they depend entirely in the forest until when they die.

The mountain gorillas live and move together in groups of 2 t0 40 members with the Silverback has the head of the family. The Silverback holds the position of leadership in the family by looking after the family, defending the family in case of any harm, settling dispute, deciding the feeding area for the family, time of feeding and making nests, among other things the head of the family should for his family. The Silver back gorilla takes leadership until when he is old or dies, that when another silver back can take over the leadership of the family.

There is slight difference between mountain gorillas the low land gorillas, the mountain gorillas are smaller in size compared to the low land gorillas. They mainly live in the tropical forest and feed on vegetation and plants which does not support fruit growth due to the high altitude which does not support the growth of fruits compared the low land climate. The lowland gorillas are bigger in size and feed on mostly fruits, seeds and tree backs mostly during the dry season when there is scarcity of vegetation.

Mountain gorillas when feeding, do not complete the whole vegetation in an area but they feed selectively for example, they can consume stems from one plant, move to the next and eat the leaves, roots from another, and so on this is done to allow the vegetation to re-grow since they will need food also for the next day. The gorillas move from one place to another looking for food every day.

the life span of a gorilla is 35 years and beyond, the female gorillas have slow rate of giving birth, they give birth to 4-6 off springs throughout their life. They start giving birth at the age of 10-12 years and their gestation period takes about 8.5 month in order to deliver. These slow rate of giving birth, makes it hard for the population to raise faster. A new born gorilla weighs up to 3-4 kgs and feed on only breast milk up to the age of five month. The mothers feed them once in one hour, the feeding continues up to the age of 4 years. The female gorillas weigh 113kg and are five feet tall while the male gorilla weighs 136 kg to 196kg and measure up to 5 to 9 feet tall making the male gorilla huge, stronger and bigger than the female gorillas.

Best time to visit gorillas

Mountain gorillas in any the three east African countries that is Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, Mgahinga national park in Uganda, volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in democratic republic of Congo. All these parks are open for tourist visiting for gorilla trekking any time of the year, gorilla trekking is an activity done in all national parks throughout the year. However, it’s so, but the most appropriate to visit is during the dry seasons when there is no rainfall and the ground Is dry and less slippery since gorilla trekking involves hiking steep slopes in the forest, it requires the ground to be dry. The dry season is from the month of February, June, July, August, September, December January these months have little or rainfall at all, the ground is dry and the vegetation is dry compared to the wet season when the ground is muddy and slippery causing difficulty in trekking through the forest.

Gorillas communicate with each other in the forest using different sounds like roars, shouts, screams, growls, hooting, the chest-thumping among others. gorillas communicate with each other when they want to find food, mating, offering support to each other and showing distress when they are angry. Gorillas feed on vegetation, plats for their entire life in the wild.

The endangered mountain gorillas

Are Gorillas endangered? This is a commonly asked question and one can prove it beyond doubt that the gorillas are really an endangered species, looking closely at the remaining number of the gorilla species in the whole world clearly indicates that, the gorillas are an endangered because of the race that is remaining with very few members living in the dense tropical forests in Africa.

Gorillas is distinguished into two groups, the Eastern Gorillas and the Western Gorillas. Each Gorilla group is subdivided into two, the western Gorillas are subdivided into the western lowlands and the river gorillas and the eastern gorillas are subdivided into the mountain gorillas which inhabit the higher altitude areas and the eastern lowland gorillas inhabit the lowland areas. Gorillas lifestyle is that they live in the groups of 5 to 10 members and more and each family is by the dominant silverback as the leader of the family, he decides for the whole family for example the feeding areas, nesting areas, he also provides protection to the family members, he defends them from any cause of harm form other gorilla families. Just like humans, the male gorilla is also the head of the family and he will defend his family at any cause.

For any traveller in Africa, Gorillas in Africa are seen in three east African countries namely; Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Uganda, gorillas are found in two national parks that is Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park both situated in south western Uganda. Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, harbours over half of the worlds population of mountain gorillas living in the tropical forest in Uganda, Bwindi has over 19 habituated gorilla families opened for gorilla trekking to the travellers 16 of which are trekked in Bwindi national park, and 1 is trekked in Mgahinga national park. but there is also a gorilla habituation experience in the Rushaga sector of Bwindi with 2 gorilla families under habituation. Rwanda gorillas are  found in volcanoes national park and its  the easiest gorilla trekking destination since they are easily accessed thus has attracted number of tourist for gorilla trekking in volcanoes national park, in DR.Congo, the gorillas are found in the Virunga national park and Kahuzi Biega national park known as the home for the eastern lowland gorillas.

There are several reasons as to why the gorilla in Africa is considered as an endangered species, we look at the top reasons closely affecting the life of the gorillas.

Habitat loss, gorillas in Africa, live in the dense tropical rain forest in Africa, the forest offers cool, moist climate and the different vegetation types from which the gorillas feed on. The gorillas are herbivores and mainly feed on stems, bamboo shoots, ants, leaves, plants and others for their survival. The biggest challenge facing the gorillas is habitat loss whereby the forests have been destroyed due to the following reasons; the increased number of people in the country in different communities which has led to encroachment of people in to the forests in search for land for settlement, agricultural purposes, livestock raring. Deforestation where by the trees are cut down for fire wood and charcoal burning mainly for sale and also for domestic purposes, these has led to the loss of habitat where the animals live causing even the death of other animals due to these factors.

Diseases affecting the gorillas, Gorillas share a total DNA of over 98% with humans making the closest relatives to humans after the chimpanzee, therefore, they are vulnerable to human diseases such as flu and cold among others and they can catch the disease for humans faster once they are exposed to the human diseases which affects the life of the gorillas since they do not have the strong immune systems to fight the disease, they find it hard to fight it hence spreading all over to other members of the family and when the disease persists, it causes the death of gorillas hence reducing the number of gorillas in the tropical forests in Africa.

Civil wars and instabilities, the life of the gorillas are endangered like in the past years due to the civil wars which broke out in Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo, led to the destruction of the mountain gorillas in their natural habitat since the rebel groups in habited the forested areas for their hiding grounds during the civil wars which put the life of the gorillas in endangered due to the fact that many of them where killed. But currently, there peace and stability prevailing in Rwanda, and the DR. Congo whereby they have tried to conserve the life of the gorillas that’s is endangered also Bwindi and Mgahinga national park, are free to visitors taking part in gorilla trekking.

Lack of awareness, lack of awareness comes in away that people have no knowledge about the benefits and the results of conserving the gorillas. The people do not know the importance of the gorillas to the surrounding communities and the societies living around the forest inhabiting the gorilla species. Therefore, the government should enforce streaked laws and provide awareness to educate the locals on the benefits of gorilla and wildlife conservation in the country, this way, the life of the gorillas will have been tried to be protected which will result to increased number of gorillas in the coming years thus boosting the tourism activities in the east African countries taking part in gorilla trekking.

Poaching, gorillas face challenging threat from the poachers living in the surrounding villages and communities near the forests, the local people set traps along the path of the animals which catch animals like the antelopes, bush pigs and others , intern, the traps end up catching and harming the gorillas that roam around the forests in search for food. In the past years, animal poaching used be so high in volcanoes national park in Rwanda during the times of Dian Fossey a primatologist who was carrying out her research on the gorillas and also tried to conserve the life of the gorillas but later, she was murdered by the rebels during the civil war that broke out in Rwanda. After her death, the government started fighting poaching of animals in the forest and now, the country is peaceful, with no cases of poaching of the animals. But there are still rampant cases of poaching in Virunga national park in Congo and mainly they hunt the gorillas due to the following reasons;

Traditional medicines, many gorillas are being poached for the purpose of traditional medicine used by the traditional healers and the witch doctors where by, they use the gorilla body parts for charms thus causing a threat to the life of the gorilla. Since this activity requires poachers to enter the forest and to kill the gorillas leading to their destruction which in long run will cause their extinction.

For bush meat, gorillas in many occasions, are also hunted for their meat, people who have tested the gorilla meat believe that its so tasty thus causing high demand of gorilla meat due to the interest of every person wanting to test to prove if the meat tests as its being said. Also, the high demand of gorilla meat in the market, gorilla meat is transported to countries like Europe thus it has increased poaching activities since the locals want to acquire income from the sale of the meat for their survival regarding the hard life faced in the country side.

For trophies, gorillas are also being hunted down for trophies, the gorilla body parts are used to show of pride, power and wealth of private individual so as to gain more respect in the community where they live in.

Pet trade, many infant gorillas are captured and sold to the foreigners who want to keep them in their homes as pet animals. The locals who enter the forest to capture the young gorillas, end up killing the mother because the female gorillas protect the young one and it’s not easily to capture the infant from the mother .therefore, the mother dies in a process of trying to protect her child from being taken away by the poachers. And when they are taken, many infants die in the zoo since they are not used to living in such areas and conditions which does not favour their survival and the food they feed on, this is also a greatest threat to the life of the gorilla hence causing the decrease in number of the gorillas in the long run.

Conserving the endangered mountain gorillas in Africa

  • The life of the gorillas can be protected from the treats, that causes killing and the destruction of the gorilla habitats if these precautions are put in to action, thus these will help reduce on the rampant killing and the destruction of the gorillas since it will help conserve the gorilla species thus boosting the tourism industry and the economy as well which will bring about development to the countries.
  • Keeping a 7-meter feet distance away from the gorillas at all times during the gorilla trekking these will help a prevent disease transmission from the humans to the gorillas.
  • Sensitization of the local community and the country as a whole about the rampant poaching and the trading of the gorillas which as caused the life of the gorillas and other animals.
  • Any person feeling ill or having a chronic disease, is not allowed to go in to the forest to trek the gorillas like flu or cold since the gorillas are vulnerable to human disease, they can easily catch the infection which may end up killing the gorillas.
  • Do not litter the forest with papers, food droppings, bottles, these can cause diseases to gorillas. endeavour to remove all the rubbish in the forest as you walk out of the forest.
  • Supporting the local communities living the around the parks through creating projects, such as agriculture and others that will help them generate income and food for home consumption in order to avoid the use of the forest for survival.
  • Also supporting the local community business like art and craft, for example the Batwa community visits in Bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national park, Iby’lwacu cultural village visit in volcanoes national park. these activities will help the locals engage in cultural performances like cultural dances, storytelling among others to avoid using the valuable time as the time for poaching of the animals in the forest.
  • The revenue collected from these activities like gorilla trekking, the money earned, should be divided and used for gorilla conservation and the remaining percentage , be transferred to the communities to help boos the community projects like constructing hospitals to improve on the health of the people, schools which in time, will help boost the economy and later improve on the peoples standards of living thus bringing development to the communities and the locals will not take time to destroy the forest which is the habitat of the animals thus destroying the life of the animals.

The gorilla species are one of the biggest tourism attractions in east African countries that is Uganda, Rwanda and the democratic republic of Congo but the life of the gorilla is highly affected which has led to reduction in number of the gorillas seen in the tropical forest in east Africa, due to the following factors like man-made and others being the natural factors hence calling for a need to cub these dangers if the life of the gorillas is to be conserved thus boosting the tourism industry which will bring about development.

Are Gorillas Endangered? – endangered mountain gorillas

Bwindi Gorilla Groups

Bwindi Gorilla Families / Bwindi Gorilla GroupsBwindi impenetrable forest national park is a home to the largest population of mountain gorillas in the whole world and has the highest number of gorilla families. The park has about a half of the world’s remaining total population of mountain gorillas. Bwindi impenetrable national park is located in the southwestern part of Uganda, about 470km form the capital Kampala. It is situated close to the only other four national parks where you can see the endangered mountain gorillas which are Mgahinga national park also in southwestern Uganda with one habituated gorilla family, Volcanoes national park with 10 habituated gorilla families and Virunga national park in the DRC with eight habituated gorilla families.

Bwindi impenetrable national park covers a total land area of about 321 sq kilometers which is divided into four sectors; Rushaga, Ruhija, Nkuringo and Buhoma. There is a total of about 36 gorilla families in Bwindi impenetrable national park and among them, only 19 families of gorillas have been habituated. These Bwindi gorilla families are available for trekking throughout the whole year. Visitors who choose to and go for gorilla trekking in Bwindi have 98% chances to see the gorillas hence the top gorilla trekking destination in the world.

Bwindi gorilla families include the following;

Bitukura gorilla family

Bitukura gorilla family was first sighted in 2007 near a river. It initially had 24 members and today it has 14 members. The family is located in Ruhija sector with peaceful members who are close and friendly to Kyaguriro gorilla family. The family is led by a silverback named Ndahura who took over power from Karumazi because he could no longer fight for his members due to old age.

Kyaguriro gorilla family

Kyaguriro gorilla family was established in 1999 after habituation. It is situation in Ruhija sector and comprises 15 family members including 2 silverbacks. It was initially being led by Zeus before he was banished by a silverback known as Rukina and later on died at the age of 31 in 2015. The group is now being led by another silverback called Rukara.

Rushegura Gorilla family

This family has about 19 members and is led by a silverback named Mwirima. Rushegura is the place where silverback Mwirima separated from his former group called Habinyanja which was being led by his brother Rwansigazi before he formed his own group. The silverback started Rushegura family in 2002 with 12 members and the group has grown to 19 members today. It is located in Buhoma sector in the northern part of the park.

Habinyanja Gorilla family

Habinyanja gorilla family is one of the oldest habituated gorilla groups in the park. it started in 1997 and was first visited in 1999. It consists of 17 members and by the time it started, it was under the leadership of a silverback who was named “Munguris” which means “old man” who later on died and his brothers Mwirima and Rwansigazi took over. These two silverbacks had different personalities which later on forced them to separate and stay in different groups.

Mubare gorilla family

Mubare locally means “stones”. The family was named so because of it was found in the forest in Mubare hills which are stony. The family started in 1993 with 8 members. it was then habituated and by the time if was opened for tourism, there were 18 members. it later on suffered kidnap of its members and as the old aged leader of the group Ruhondenza tried to fight this problem, he developed a lot of sadness in his heart until he died while sleeping. After his death, there were only 5 members left and they have increased to 8 members being led by Kanyonyi. Mubare gorilla family is located in Buhoma sector.

Orugonza gorilla family

This group is situated in Ruhija sector consisting of 25 members who are led by Tebirikwata. It is one of the groups with many members which has been highly contributed to by higher child births compared to other groups. It is also proud to have a pair of twins. Orugonza gorilla family was put in place in 2011.

Kahungye gorilla family

Kahungye gorilla family was launched in 2011 with 27 gorilla members with 3 silverbacks. Later on, one of the members broke off with a number that left the initial gropu with only 13 members. This group is located in Rushaga sector.

Nkuringo gorilla family

The group was named after the location in Nkuringo sector. It is found in the western part of the park and it also got its name from the word “round hills” which will be seen all around the southwestern parts of Uganda where Bwindi impenetrable national park is located. Nkuringo gorilla family was the first group to be established in Nkuringo sector.

When Nkuringo gorilla family was established in 2004 for tourism, it was led by Alpha who later on died in the same year 2004. He left 2 sons Rafiki and Safari. Safari took over power and they have so far welcomed two gorilla babies since then making a family of 19 members. Nkuringo gorilla family stays in one of the places with trailheads that are quite challenging but the experience is always worth the hike when you come across this amazing family.

Mishaya gorilla family

The group was named after one of the former silverbacks who was known for fighting and frequent interactions with other groups. Mishaya broke away for Nshogi family group to form his own group. He once got involved into a severe fight in 2010 which led to loss of one of his infants. He also got a lot of injuries but was taken care of by the in charge vet and he later on died in 2014.

Mishaya is located in Rushaga sector with 12 members and is led by a silverback known as Mwine.

Nshogi gorilla family

This group was first sighted near river Nshogi hence its name Nshogi family group. It is located in Rushaga sector with 26 members. Nshongi gorilla group was put in place for tourism in 2009. It started with 36 members who were led by a silverback who was named Nsongi. The group declined to 26 members after the break off of 10 members by Mishaya who was known for fighting.

Bweza gorilla family

Bweza gorilla family has 9 members including one silverback. It is known to have been the largest group before it got split. It is located in Rushaga sector and is one of the most wonderful groups to visit.

Chritmas gorilla family

Christmas gorilla family is a new group that was established in Nkuringo sector in Bwindi impenetrable national park with 9 members and a dominant silverback called Christmas.

Busingye gorilla family

Busingye locally means “peace” and the gorilla family was named after the silverback Busingye who was a member of Kahungye group before he broke off to form his group in 2012. The group started with 7 members and is located in Rushaga sector. The family now consists of 9 members.

Bikyingi gorilla family

This gorilla family is led by Bikyingi the only silverback in the group. The family is located in Rushaga sector in the southern part of the park. it consists of 21 members including the silverback.

Mucunguzi gorilla family

Mucunguzi gorilla family broke off from Bweza group and is located in Rushaga sector. It has 8 members. Just like most gorillas that break off to form new groups, the silverback got into a fight before breaking off from Bweza. The group is led by Mucunguzi.

Kutu gorilla family

This group is also located in Rushaga sector. It is has 8 members and a silverback that leads the group.

Mukiza gorilla family

Mukiza gorilla family is located in Ruhija sector. The group was named after the silverback known as Mukiza who initiated a fight in 2016 and grabbed 10 members from Kyaguriro gorilla family to start his new family. This group is available for trekking anytime of the year.

The more the gorillas separate, the more families available in the forest for trekking and the more the permits availed for tourists to come and encounter these amazing cousins. Bwindi impenetrable national park is the world’s top mountain gorilla trekking destination.