Where can I find mountain gorillas in Africa? Out of the primate species in the wild, mountain gorillas are with no doubt the most sought after by most travellers and tourists that come to East Africa and Africa at large. So for any tour consultant now of the questions you will have from your prospective clients will be where can I find mountain gorillas in Africa?
To help you answer that with ease in this article we break everything down that you need to know about Mountain gorillas and Africa.
In the three countries there are four parks that have natural habitats for the mountain gorillas. The four parks are Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bwindi National Park has the highest number of mountain gorillas totaling up to half the entire world population of mountain gorillas. The mountain gorillas in this park live in four sectors Buhoma, Rushaga, Ruhija and Nkuringo; Buhoma being the most famous, trekked and with the most mountain gorilla families.
Volcanoes National Park in the next in line with the most number of mountain gorillas, followed by Virunga National Park and then Mgahinga National park with has the least number of gorillas about 10 – 15 individuals total in the whole park.
To view the mountain gorillas you have to acquire a mountain gorilla trekking permit from the country’s wildlife authority. It’s advised to acquire your permit at least 3 months before your trek.
The trekking permits cost 1500 USD for Rwanda, 700 USD for Uganda and 400 USD for the Democratic republic of Congo.
On a trekking experience you will be up early have breakfast and pack a snack and water for the trek and then go for a briefing meeting before you enter the forest for your experience. You will ascend for about 2, 4 or 6 hours depending on where you are trekking and how deep the mountain gorillas are in the forest. When you meet the gorillas you will spend an hour with them and then descend the forest back to the meeting point have a debrief and then head to your next activity or accommodation.
Mountain gorillas behave like we humans, they actually share more than 97% of our genetic code with humans. They are gentle being, social and quite intelligent. They are huge power and if attacked or intimidated in any way they fight worse than a lion, trampling over you and living you lifeless. They have broad chests, large forearms and feet. Their faces are hairless and tend to brownish. Gorillas are herbivorous eating bamboo shoots, fruits, trees bark, termites and some cases leaves.
They live in groups led by a dominant male a silverback who leads a group of females and their children. The silverback determines where the group sleeps, eats and operates during the day. The male also mates with all the females in his group or family. The gorillas give birth to one offspring per time. The gorillas will live up to 40 to 50 years outside captivity.