Mountain Gorillas: Gorilla Trekking, Primate Safaris Uganda
Africa primate Safaris tailored by Primate Safari Experience will lead you to enjoy gorilla trekking : Learn about the facts of Mountain Gorillas, Lifespan, habitats and gorilla trekking rules, Conservation of mountain Gorillas in central Africa.
Facts about Mountain Gorillas
The Scientific name for the Mountain Gorilla is Gorilla beringei beringei. Mountain Gorillas are remarkably strong and have a short trunk and a broad chest and shoulders. The Mountain Gorilla is the hairiest race of gorillas. Its long, thick black hair insulates it from the cold living conditions at high elevations. When the males are mature they develop a streak of silver hair on their backs and are therefore called ‘silverbacks.’
The largest of all primates and the rarest of the three subspecies of gorilla, they have the largest jaws and teeth of the three and long black hair. Adult males can weigh up to 200kg and be up to 6ft tall.
Predominantly ground dwelling, mountain gorillas prefer open canopy forests that allow light to reach the forest floor; their diet consists of bamboo, roots, stems, leaves and vines. Female gorillas actively choose their breeding partners as the male protection is essential to a successful reproductive cycle.
Adult male gorillas can reach 400 pounds, while females can reach about 200 pounds. Female gorillas don’t have the crest on the top of their heads or silver on their backs like the males. When a silverback is standing upright, they can be as tall as 5 and a half to six feet tall. Normally gorillas walk on all fours, and are only about 3 and a half feet high at the shoulder.
Male partners are usually the older, stronger and more experienced silverbacks. Communication varies between barks, screeches, pant grunts and chest beating. Movement is usually on all fours via “knuckle walking”. Group size varies from 2-30 individuals but a common average is 9. Mountain gorillas have a fairly limited home range, making them easier to track and habituate for tourism and research possibilities.
Diet of Mountain Gorillas
One may be surprised that mammals as large and strong as mountain gorillas are primarily herbivores (vegetarians), eating a variety of plants and leaves. Mountain Gorillas eat a staggering 142 different species of plants like celery; nettles, bamboo and thistles, and they are quite particular about what parts of each plant they like to eat. The Mountain Gorilla also finds ant nests and eats the ants, along with an occasional worm or grub. There isn’t much fruit where they live, but they are partial to eating the wild berries that grow in their habitat.
The mountain gorillas spend a lot of their time traveling and foraging in search of food, because plants and trees change with the seasons. Full-grown mountain gorillas can eat up to 60 pounds of vegetation a day!
Where to see Mountain Gorillas
Mountain Gorillas are found in east and central african, gorillas are rare species in distribution – Only present in moist tropical or subtropical forests in the Virunga Mountains along the borders of south west Uganda, north west Rwanda and eastern DRC.
In Uganda gorilla trekking is done in Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and mgahinga national park located in the south western Uganda.Uganda gorilla safaris will lead you to either of the two parks where one is located with in the virunga ranges yet the other is located outside the virunga mountains but the gorilla trekking experience is the same in two National parks.
In republic of Congo , Mountain gorilla trekking is done in the famous volcanoes national park located in the northern province of Rwanda. The difference be
Level of Protection – Critically Endangered. Recent efforts have seen the population increase from 650 to 700 mountain gorillas. Habitat is under constant threat from logging and civil unrest in DRC. Poaching is also still a threat.
Best Time to visit to go gorilla trekking
Among the top safari activities enjoyed throughout the year without hassle is gorilla trekking in the three destinations of Uganda , Rwanda and DR congo . Since these gorillas are found in the areas with topical rain forest and topical climate , it can rain anytime of the year , although the tourism of these regions have the peak and low season which makes securing the gorilla permits complicated compared to some months like June , July and August. The traveler is able to visit throughout the year although approx short wet seasons do run from March-April and October-November. Tracking in the rain forest does mean that you can get wet at any time of the year!
Primate Safaris Options available
Primate Safari Experience offers safaris to see the mountain gorilla in both Uganda ,Rwanda and democratic republic of congo throughout the year . Please contact us for further information.