Tap to inquire

The Dynamics of Silverback Gorilla Conflicts

Want to understand why silverback gorillas fight? Male gorillas become silverbacks when they mature and develop a patch of grey hair on their backs and across their shoulders.

Only silverback male gorillas can lead a mountain gorilla family and mate with any female in the group.

Female mountain gorillas become sexually mature at an early age compared to male gorillas.

Why do silverback gorillas fight?

Silverback gorillas normally don’t fight unnecessarily, but when the need arises, they fight vigorously, causing injuries that sometimes lead to death, although fights are rare in stable gorilla groups.

Below are some of the reasons why silverback gorillas fight:

  1. Group dominance: Silverback gorillas normally fight when one of the male silverbacks in the group wants to take over the dominance of the group.

  2. Female mountain gorillas: Sometimes mountain gorilla silverbacks fight when a dominating silverback realizes that a male in the group is mating with the females. The dominating silverback in the group is the only one allowed to access the group’s females.

  3. Silverbacks of different groups: Silverback mountain gorillas sometimes fight when two gorilla groups meet; they feel threatened, and the silverbacks start fighting.

  4. Group breakups: Silverbacks also fight when a male wants to leave the group with some members to start up his own family.

  5. Lone silverbacks: Silverback gorillas sometimes fight with lone silverbacks who aim at grabbing some members from other gorilla groups to start up their own families.

In conclusion, mountain gorillas normally don’t engage in fights without sending warnings to their opponents, such as groaning and making loud hoots, hitting the ground thunderously, beating their chest, throwing and tearing vegetation. Silverbacks always send threatening signs before attacking, and if the opponent persists, they will eventually attack.

Mountain gorillas use their strong canine teeth for biting and their strong muscular hands for beating; they cause deep gaping injuries and can sometimes drag the predator.

It’s uncommon for mountain gorillas to attack humans except for unhabituated gorilla families not used to human presence.

Cost of gorilla permits

The cost of gorilla permits differs in all three countries, with Rwanda charging $1500, the Democratic Republic of Congo $400, and Uganda costing $700. Gorilla permits are always in high demand, so they should be obtained in advance before flying into the country for gorilla trekking.

Children under the age of 15 years or sick visitors will not be allowed to trek mountain gorillas.

Gorilla FAQs & Information

  1. Why Can’t You Look or Make Eye Contact with a Gorilla?
  2. Importance of Mountain Gorillas
  3. What to do when a gorilla charges on you
  4. What is The Largest Species of Gorillas?
  5. What is a Group of Gorillas Called?
  6. What is the Mountain Gorillas Role in The Ecosystem?
  7. The Mountain Gorilla Defense Mechanism
  8. How to Provoke/Annoy a Gorilla
  9. How Gorillas Greet Each Other
  10. Do All Gorillas Become Silverbacks?
  11. Do Gorillas like Humans
  12. Do gorillas Eat of Kill Their Babies?
  13. Do Gorillas Eat Humans?
  14. Can you Tame a Gorilla
  15. Can you Own a Gorilla?
  16. Do Mountain Gorillas live in Families & Groups?
  17. How to Protect & Save Mountain Gorillas
  18. Why Gorillas Are So Strong
  19. How Many Humans Does it Take to Beat a Gorilla?
  20. How do you call a Baby Gorilla?
  21. How Do Gorillas Sleep?
  22. How Mountain Gorillas Communicate
  23. The Gorilla Life Cycle
  24. Do Gorillas drink water?
  25. Are Gorillas friendly & gentle to humans?
  26. Why do Apes, Gorillas beat their chest & sound hollow?
  27. Gorilla Threats: Why Mountain Gorillas were endangered?
  28. Why were Mountain Gorillas going extinct?
  29. What is a Silverback Gorilla?
  30. Gorilla Species: Different Kinds/Types of Gorilla & Breeds
  31. Mountain Gorilla Diet
  32. Mountain Gorilla Size, Average Height & Weight Measurements
  33. Natural Mountain Gorilla Predators
  34. Mountain Gorilla Population
  35. Lifespan of Mountain Gorillas
  36. Mountain Gorilla Natural Habitat
  37. Mountain Gorilla Conservation Efforts
  38. Mountain Gorilla Behavior
  39. How to Survive a Gorilla Attack on Humans
  40. Are Gorillas Dangerous to the People
  41. Why are Gorillas Poached in Africa
  42. How Gorillas Adapt to Rain-forest Environment
  43. Interesting Facts about Mountain Gorillas in Africa
  44. Traits, Qualities & Characteristics of Mountain Gorillas
  45. How Strong is a Silverback Gorilla?
  46. Best Place to See Mountain Gorillas in Africa
  47. Uganda Gorilla Families
  48. Rwanda Gorilla Families
  49. Congo Gorilla Families

Featured in:

How we work

To offer a more rewarding way to travel, we do stuff the right way; right from the planning process.

We pay attention

We will spend time and pay attention to your expectations, then propose an experience that you might like.

We complement

Next we will discuss our selected options, point out the best safaris for you and make awesome recommendations.

We hold your booking

We will tentatively hold your booking and make reservations while we talk through the safari details or make changes.

Speak to an expert to start planning your African safari holiday...

Give a call to one of our specialists or arrange a video meeting/session for awesome ideas and safari advice.

+256 787 23 0575
Eddie Safari Guide
Ronnie Safari Guide