There are so many interesting facts about mountain gorillas in Africa. Mountain gorillas inhabit the Virunga Conservation Area and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Three parks share the Virunga area and these are Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in Congo. They all lie at the mountain slopes of the Virunga Massif Volcanoes. These three countries charge different prices for trekking mountain gorillas but the experience is worth it. A gorilla permit in Uganda costs $600, $400 in Congo and $1500 in Rwanda.
Mountain Gorilla Facts
There are slightly more than 1000 mountain gorillas in the whole world.
Male mountain gorillas outweigh female mountain gorillas. The males can weigh up to 180 kilograms and the females weigh only about 90 kilograms.
When mountain gorillas are born, the babies are very weak and weigh about 4 pounds. They are taken care of by their mothers and cling to their backs up to 3-4 years of age. They survive on their mother’s milk until they become mature.
Female mountain gorillas start getting pregnant at the age of 10 years and they bear 2-6 offsprings in a lifetime. Their gestation period is 8-9 months.
The dominating silverback in a group decide all the group’s daily activities and does everything possible to protect the group from danger, even at the expense of his life.
Mountain gorillas are shy and gentle. They can only charge when threatened and be extremely aggressive. When charging, they grunt, roar, beat their chests, tear vegetation and engage in so many things to scare off the threat. During such moments, female mountain gorillas also tend to protect their young ones even up to death point.
Mountain gorillas can only be found in Virunga Conservation Area and in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.
Mountain gorillas share over 98% DNA with humans, making them one of the human closest relatives next to Chimpanzees.
Mountain gorillas can live up to 54 years of age. The lifespan of mountain gorillas in the wild varies with the one in captivity. They cannot survive when in captivity.
When a male mountain gorilla is grown, the hair on their back changes and becomes silver grey. This is why they are called Silverbacks.
Gorillas build nests where they sleep every evening. They only stay in the same nests during cold seasons or when it has rained. They have already adapted to this.
Mountain gorillas are the largest primates in the world.
Mountain gorillas are unique that they can cry when hurt and can also laugh when tickled just like humans. They are also emotional.
Mountain gorillas don’t drink water always because over 90% of what they consume contains water.
Mountain gorillas are very intelligent that they can learn sign language and interact with humans.
Male mountain gorillas can consume over 49 pounds of vegetation in a day. The females eat slightly lesser than what the males consume.
Mountain gorillas use their four limbs for walking. Their front limbs are way longer and stronger than the limbs behind.
Mountain gorillas live in groups of 5 to 30 members under the leadership of a silverback. The group can live together for more than 20 years.
Mountain gorillas are primarily herbivores but can feed on meat sometimes to supplement their diet. This is, however, a rare scenario for them.
For reasons unknown, Mountain gorillas are said to be afraid of reptiles like chameleons and caterpillars. Baby mountain gorillas that are always fond of following anything crawling may end up giving their way to caterpillars and chameleons.
Mountain gorillas cannot live for long in captivity. If you saw gorillas in a zoo then you probably saw lowland gorillas. Mountain gorillas can only survive in mountainous areas with high altitude.
Mountain gorillas don’t necessarily use vocal sounds for communicating like humans do, but can use gestures to interact with others.
Mountain gorillas do not have a specific mating season. Babies can be produced anytime in the year.
Mountain gorillas are nomadic in nature. They don’t live in the same place every day. They always move all day in search of food and fruits.
Mountain gorillas rise up very early at 6 am to search for food and take naps at around midday before they start foraging food again in the afternoon, until 6 pm when they can build nests and sleep.
Mountain gorillas use tools like stems and branches to extract insects from the ground or hollow trees.
Mountain gorillas are highly threatened by humans through poaching and encroachment on their natural habitats.
The heaviest silverback recorded weighed 225 kilograms.
Trekking mountain gorillas
Gorilla trekking is an extremely exciting life experience. Not so many get a chance to create its memories. Mountain gorilla trekking takes about 3-6 hours depending on the location of the gorilla family. After finding gorillas you will spend strictly 1 hour with them. Make sure that you follow the gorilla trekking rules before and after meeting this. This excstatic activity early morning in each of the respective gorilla parks.