Mountain gorillas inhabit the tropical rainforest in Volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Virunga national park in Democratic republic of Congo, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda.
Mountain gorillas have a low birth rate with females having only 1-2 fertile days in a month and the gestation period is 8 and half months. When baby mountain gorillas are born, they weigh about 3 kilograms and are vulnerable just like human babies they breastfeed and depend on their mothers until about the age of 4 years.
Mountain gorillas are herbivores animals that feed on entirely vegetation comprised of leaves, fruits, bamboo shoot, stems, pith, bark, roots and sometimes supplement their diet with insects, ants and termites. Mountain gorillas start foraging very early in the morning until afternoon when they rest others take a nap before they start to forage again late afternoon until 6pm when they build nests to sleep in.
Mountain gorillas have long and thick fur that helps them to survive in cold temperatures of rainforests where they live in, these great apes share 95% DNA with humans making them close relatives.
Trekking gorillas in dry season
The dry season is the best time for trekking mountain gorillas when the weather is dry, the trekking trails are not slippery and muddy and the bushes are also thin making it easy o spot mountain gorillas and take clear photos. The roads also leading to national parks are very accessible during this time.
Gorilla trekking requires hiking and for the trekkers to be in good physical shape hence this makes trekking during the rainy season very hectic with muddy and slippery trails that make the jungle hard to traverse.
The dry seasons in Rwanda and Uganda are the same starting from June to September the longest dry season and December to February the short dry season. The dry season is also the best time for visiting other wildlife national parks in the country apart from gorilla trekking.
Mountain gorilla permit prices differ depending on the country where you trek gorillas from, the cost of permits in Rwanda is $1500, $600 in Uganda and $400 in Democratic Republic of Cong during dry season and $200 during low season.
What to bring for gorilla trekking
When planning to trek mountain gorillas even during the dry season, you need to pack everything you need even in the wet season because rainforests can become unpredictable therefore it can rain at any time. You need to come with water proof hiking boots, garden gloves, warm and long sleeved clothes, insect repellents, sun screens, a hat, plenty of drinking water and energy snacks among others.
It should be noted that trekking mountain gorillas during the dry season requires booking permits in advance because of very high demand making the permits scarce, permits must be got 3-6 months before coming to the country.
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