Mountain gorillas

Mountain gorillas are the world’s great apes found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  They became popular in 1979 through the film Life on Earth, though t that time they creatures were tending to being extinct. Their habitat was being taken away by the communities who were also poaching the animals.

But in the recent years all that has changed Mountain gorillas are some of the most sought out creatures, the three countries with their habitats receiving over 1000 visitors every year who are interested in seeing the gorillas, learning about them as they enjoy their company on mountain gorilla treks.

And it’s because of their unmatched popularity in the region that you will see in this article we detail some of the unique features about the mountain gorillas.

Mountain gorillas are like humans they have almost 90% of their DNA similar to that of humans so most of the things they do are quite like how humans do them.

The gorillas are social beings of course like their human cousins; they live in groups of 5 to 40. The groups are known as troops. Each group has a leader or dominant male called a silverback. The other members of the group are females and younger adult males called black backs.  The females who are usually the mothers take great care of the young gorillas as the silverback male protects the troop from any danger.

The silverbacks are the largest mountain gorillas of all weighing between 150 to 200 kgms or more as the females weigh 80 – 150 kgms.

In any given habitat there’s more than one troop and these troops try as much as possible to avoid each even though they have overlapping territories in the habitat. The territories are marked by the sleeping nests made mainly from leaves and stems.

When troop silverbacks meet, they will exchange charging, bouts of roaring, chest-beating, hooting and plant-bashing and then continue on their way. However if either of them starts a fight they will fight until death. The one who lives wins the battle. The gorillas will also exchange charging, bouts of roaring, chest-beating, hooting and plant-bashing when they meet danger or when they want to scare off poachers.

Mountain gorillas
Mountain gorillas

The mountain gorillas feed on leaves, select fruits, shoots, bamboo and stems; all these found in their natural habitat the mountainous forest. They feed during the day and do most of their movements during the day.

The mountain gorillas will live in the wild for up to 60 years and then naturally give out. The females will have a child every other four years, which is quite slow growth for the gorilla population.

Currently, its estimated that the world population of mountain gorillas is over 1000 in four habitats Bwindi national park and mgahinga national park in south western Uganda, volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the democratic republic of congo.

To keep the population of the mountain gorillas growing the three countries have found ways of boasting the mountain gorilla conservation which include sensitising the surrounding, enacting and enforcing mountain gorilla protection laws and most of all promoting mountain gorilla trekking which is a way of funding the mountain gorilla conservation projects but also a way of interesting people more in mountain gorillas and their well-being.

Mountain gorilla trekking is done all year round in all the parks mentioned above and it costs 700 USD in Uganda, 1500 USD in Rwanda  and 400 USD in the democratic republic of Congo.  For you who would want to trek the gorillas in any of these countries, you will need to book for your trekking experience way in advance.