Mountain gorillas inhabit the Virunga conservation area of Bwindi and Mgahinga national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Congo at the mountain slopes of the Virunga massif volcanoes. All of the three countries charge different prices for trekking mountain gorillas and the experience is worth it, a gorilla permit in Uganda costs $600, in Congo the cost is $450 and $1500 in Rwanda. There are various accommodation sectors you can choose to sleep in depending on the area where you booked the permit.
Mountain Gorilla Facts
There are slightly more than 1000 mountain gorillas in the world
The male mountain gorillas weigh more than female mountain gorillas, the males can weigh up to 180 kilograms and the females weigh 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 as they survive on their mother’s milk till they mature.
The female mountain gorillas start getting pregnant at the age of 10 years and they bear 2-6 offsprings in a lifetime and the gestation period is 8-9 months.
The dominating silverbacks in a group decide all the group’s activities and do everything possible to protect the group from danger.
Though mountain gorillas are shy and gentle, they can charge when threatened and be extremely aggressive by a grunt, roar, beat chests, tear vegetation and the female mountain gorillas will also 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 98% DNA with humans and this makes them human closest relatives like chimpanzees.
Mountain gorillas can live up to 54 years of age
When a male mountain gorilla is grown, the hair on their back changes and becomes silver that’s why they 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.
Mountain gorillas are the largest primates in the world than other primates
Mountain gorillas are unique in that they can cry when hurt and can also laugh when tickled just like humans
Mountain gorillas don’t drink water because over 90% of what they consume contains water.
Mountain gorillas are very intelligent in that they can learn sign language and interact with humans
The male mountain gorillas can consume about 49 pounds of vegetation in a day though the female ones slightly eat smaller than that
Mountain gorillas use their four limbs for walking with their front limbs being longer than the being longer than the behind limbs
Mountain gorillas live in groups of 5 to 30 members led by a silverback and the group can live together for up to over 20 years.
Mountain gorillas are mainly herbivores though they can sometimes feed on meat to supplement their diet
For reasons Unknown Mountain gorillas are said to be fearing reptiles like chameleons and caterpillars, the baby mountain gorillas that are always fond of following anything crawling will give their way to caterpillars and chameleons
Mountain gorillas cannot live for long in captivity; in case you saw gorillas in a zoo you saw lowland gorillas.
Mountain gorillas don’t necessarily use vocal sounds for communicating like humans but can use gestures to interact with others
Mountain gorillas do not have a specific mating season so babies can be produced throughout the year
Mountain gorillas are nomadic in nature, that is they don’t live in the same place every but move all day in search of food
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 wanderers or rather nomadic in nature this is so because they don’t have a home base they move daily and sleep in different places.
Mountain gorillas are threatened by humans through poaching and encroachment on their habitats.
You can only encounter mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Virunga conservation area and nowhere else in the world.
The heaviest silverback recorded weighed 225 kilograms.
Trekking mountain gorillas
Gorilla trekking is a very exciting life time experience that only a few get the chance to engage in, gorilla trekking will take about 3-6 hours depending on the location of the gorilla family. After finding gorillas you will spend strictly 1 hour with the mountain gorillas, make sure that you follow the gorilla trekking rules you will be given at the briefing. Gorilla trekking always starts early morning.