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Gorillas – Gorilla Trekking, How they live & Information about Gorillas of Africa

History of Gorillas

Gorillas have got an ancient history that is traced about nine million years ago. Although there are some different literature about how gorillas came into existence, the one proved states that they came from monkeys and other apes from Africa and Arabia. It is stated that after a long period of staying together, the eastern separated from the western and central Africa gorillas. After the split, the eastern gorillas further split to form two types namely; Eastern lowland and Mountain gorillas. One of the primate lovers in history known as Colin Groves came up with an idea of giving identity to the various types of gorillas and he named them; mountain, western lowland and eastern lowland gorillas. Briefly that’s how these primates came into existence.


Where do mountain gorillas live?

Mountain gorillas are an endangered specie and they are rear to find on planet earth. The only places where they can be found is Uganda in Bwindi Impenetrable National park and Mgahinga national park, Rwanda in Volcanoes national park and DR Congo in Virunga National park. They are only found in the places listed because of the conducive environment and unique climate that lives the primates chance to live and multiply. Unlike other types of gorillas like the western lowland and eastern lowland, mountain gorillas can not be caged in zoos and this is why trekking them in their natural habitats is the best option for a client interested in watching mountain gorillas. As of the last research carried out, there about 1,000 mountain gorillas in left in the world and Bwindi impenetrable national park is home to over half of this population. This explains why mountain gorillas were listed by IUCN as an endangered specie. We have come up with a detailed article about mountain gorillas and why they are refereed to as endangered specie. You can visit and read comprehensively about the mountain gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo.

Characteristics of Mountain Gorillas

Body and Appearance of mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas are different from other gorillas in away that they have got thicker fur all over their bodies and this helps them to stay in colder environments in high altitudes. It should be noted that a male mountain gorilla is called a silverback gorilla and in most cases taken to be the head of a gorilla family. A mature silverback gorilla weighs about 190 kilograms. For a mature female mountain gorilla, it weighs about 100 kilograms. However, a lowland gorilla are heavier than a mountain gorilla and a mature lowland gorilla weighs about 250 kilograms. Mountain gorillas are longer and stronger than human beings. They have got dark brown eyes and their hands are longer than the legs. Although mountain gorillas can stand and walk like humans, they prefer knuckle-walking simply to support their weight and attain stamina while on the move.

A day in a life of a mountain Gorilla

Just like human beings, mountain gorillas have got active time in a day and resting time. Their day normally starts at 6:00am and ends at 6:00pm. They spend the big part of morning time feeding on tree stems, flowers, vegetables, bamboo stems and more. In the middle of the day,they are free to play and enjoy time with their family members. The juvenile use this time to play and interact with their group members. They also use this time to clean up by grooming to remove dirt and parasite from their fur. In the evening, the mountain gorillas feed again. As night approaches, mature gorillas start to build nests for stay as a male silverback gorilla ensures that all its group members are present looking through the vegetation to find any missing individual. They then retire after a long day and its common for the juvenile to stay with their mothers in one nest.

Way of Life – Mountain Gorillas

Although the Juveniles like climbing trees jumping from one branch to anther, mountain gorillas live most of their lives on ground. Due to their heavy weight, they fear falling down from trees and actually many injuries uncured by a mature gorilla are from tree-falling. When it comes to sleeping, the mountain gorillas sleep on the ground and their nests are organized on the ground.

Mountain Gorillas, Family and settings

Mountain gorillas are social and their way of living is similar to that of human beings. They live in a group/family each with a male called the silverback gorilla, the females and Juveniles. The silverback gorilla is the head of the gorilla family and it ensures security for the whole family. This aspect of living makes a mountain gorilla unique compared to other primates like chimpanzees which dont organize to stay in a family. Normally, the silverback and mature female gorilla hold up the family and ensure continuity by producing young gorillas called the juveniles. They both ensure that the juveniles feed, play, sleep and offer protection until they are mature.

Once the juveniles grow into mature individuals, the young silverback gorilla will leave the family to go and join a new group or form another family. If a young silverback wishes to stay in its old family then it has to fight with the old silverback (father) for power. If it wins then it takes over the family leadership. For the female juveniles, once they are of mature age, some leave to join other young families while as others stay with the old family.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking

Its costly to go on a gorilla trekking safari but the experience with the primates in their natural habitats is worth it. Mountain gorilla trekking is the leading tour activity in Africa and its currently number one one the list of those interested in visiting the continent. With few mountain gorillas left in the world, gorilla trekking can only be done in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. We arrange gorilla tours to Volcanoes national park, gorilla safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park, gorilla trips to Virunga national park and gorilla holidays in Mgahinga national park.

Silverback Gorilla Safaris company runs gorilla tours the above destinations at an affordable price. It doesn’t matter which country you visit because the experience is amazing. Some tourists ask themselves; which country is best for gorilla trekking? We always tell them to treat each gorilla safari differently because a feeling on a gorilla tour to Uganda is different from that of Rwanda gorilla safari. Therefore going gorilla trekking in any of the three countries is rewarding.

How long doesn’t it take to trek Mountain gorillas?

The time spent on a gorilla trekking adventure depends on the gorilla family one intends to trek.Some gorilla families are far compared too others. However a normal gorilla trekking exercise takes between1 hour to 8 hours.

What is the best time to go gorilla trekking?

Gorilla trekking is a success during any time of the year and we recommend you to book doing any month. However, there are best months to go on a gorilla trekking safari and this is during; June to September and December to February.

Are you interested in a gorilla safari? Silverback Gorilla Safaris Ltd has compiled a list of packages from which you can select the best. We have tailored some trip itineraries customizable to include all your travel desires and activities. We also have combined gorilla tours with other activities like chimpanzee tracking, Dian Fossey grave hike, wildlife viewing, cultural tours, nature walks, city tours, birding and more. Go on and gook a gorilla trekking safari with us!


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