Gorillas are vegetarian apes that are situated in various countries around Africa despite the prominent ones being around the Central and Eastern part of Africa i.e Rwanda, Uganda and large greenery Democratic Republic of Congo. They are famously known for being aggressive and dangerous which is not true because they are shy, quiet, peaceful and gentle Primates that live in the green forest jungle. These are threatened due to the consistent encroachment done by the humans who have expanded their territories into the forest.
Way of Life
- Gorillas are vegetarians and usually feed on various food plants eating the leaves, stems and barks. Sometimes, they tend to feed on soil, snails, insects and dead small plants. The plants they feed on include bamboo shoots, vast thistles, lobelias.
- They drink from streams during the dry seasons and lick water from heavy rain storms.
- They have a single stomach with longer intestines just like the humans.
- They spend 30% of their time feeding, hunting and the remaining 40% resting.
- They are 90% terrestrial of all apes due to the fact that they spend most of this time on ground.
- They can move on all fours although can stand upright for short periods to reach food plants and to chest beat while displaying power.
- They rise very early in the morning so as to travel looking for food in the morning.
- They eat as they hunt despite the fact that they are fond of finding an open space to settle so as to eat till satisfaction.
- They are led by a dominant silverback who makes decisions on where they should go and feed.
- They tend to wander around in the afternoon before going to rest and make their nests to rest and sleep in the night.
- Each Gorilla in the group makes their own nest to spend the night as well as make it safe for the infants who sleep with their mothers until the period of weaning which take places from 3-4 years.
- The nests are built around a dominant silverback male who ensures protection for all his members.
- They defecate in their nests and the freshness of the dung is proof to the age of the nest.
- They tend to over sleep on rainy days/ in the mornings after a long trek.
- They move less than 1 km every day.
- They live in vast groups of about 12 members with a dominant male silverback as the leader.
- They are social with great bonds that enable them to stay together peacefully especially between females and the dominant silverback.
- Males in multi male groups tend to have weak relationships for they are always fighting for power. Although they try to live in harmony with each other.
- The females’ relationships depend on kinship with stronger bonds amongst themselves.
- Their social behavior is calm, peaceful and conflict amongst the members is rare. However, they usually have confrontation about right of ay and where to feed from.
- Transfer of power in the groups depends on how strong the dominant silverback. When provoked into battle with a young powerful black back then looses the fight, he is forced to leave the group into exile so that the victorious black back male takes over as the leader.
- In cases where the silver back also loses his life naturally/ old age, the black back takes over.
Gorilla Trekking Process
A gorilla trek is such an exceptional safari activity for everyone to take on while on vacation holiday in Rwanda, Uganda and the DR Congo.
Before the trek, ensure to take early breakfast for sometimes tracking a certain Gorilla group in the thick forest may take longer i.e more than 5 hours and on an empty stomach it is quite tiring and exhausting. After breakfast, proceed to the headquarters of the different National Parks for orientation regarding the Dos and Don’ts around the Mountain Gorillas in their natural forest vegetation habitat.
Carry packed lunch to eat at lunch break during the tracking process depending on how far a preferred Gorilla group is currently located according to the Park Rangers for some treks are hectic and require some physical fitness depending on the exact location of the Gorillas in the thick green forest vegetation.
In Uganda, a gorilla group is tracked when you are booking the gorilla permits whereas in Rwanda, tourists get allocated at the exact day for gorilla trekking.
Upon locating and finding the gorillas, viewing is limited to strictly one hour. This is because there is need to reduce human and animal interaction so that sustainability is maintained. For the Gorillas are wild animals that need to search for what to eat you are never allowed to feed them so when you take long with them, you deny them the chance to be free in their natural forest vegetation.
Cost of Gorilla Trekking in Uganda, Rwanda and DR Congo
Gorilla Trekking Permits are valid Documents required for all travelers interested in watching the Mountain Gorillas in their natural forest vegetation habitat. The Cost of these varies from one country to another i.e in Uganda these cost US $600 per person, Rwanda US $1500 per person and DR Congo US $400 per person.
Check prices for our gorilla trekking packages
Prices for our gorilla trekking trips are quoted according to luxury, midrange and budget. Also as advised above, the more the number of people the lesser the price because you have to share the cost of some items like the vehicle, driver guide fees, fuel which cuts down the entire gorilla safari cost.
Mountain gorillas are Uganda and Rwanda’s biggest tourist attraction. They are special gentle and peculiar creatures found only in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. Gorilla tracking is an interesting humbling experience which leads you into a strange tropical rain forest through dense vegetation and undergrowth looking for the rare mountain gorillas. The trek takes any where within the jungles of Parc Nationale des Volcans (PNV), Bwindi Forest, Mgahinga or Virunga National Park. The trek duration ranges from an within an hour to a whole day.