Silverback Mountain Gorillas are
the largest primates. They are ground-dwelling and predominantly
herbivorous. They are social and live in
individual Mountain Gorilla families. They inhabit
the forests of Central Africa and
are divided into two species and either four or five
Dian Fossey devoted 18 years
of her life to both study and protect our largest primates
read more about her here
DNA of gorillas is extremely similar
to that of a human, between 95 and 99% depending on what is
counted, and they are the next closest living relatives to
humans after the two chimpanzee species.
these docile mountain gorillas is a unique and awe inspiring
experience which is not found anywhere else in the world,
leaving you with life-long memories.
as a leader in Gorilla tours for several years to
both Uganda and Rwanda we will not only design your
perfect safari package to meet your requirements but
also arrange in conjunction with our ground handlers
a) Gorilla permits
b) Your airline tickets with Rwanda Air or SAA to
c) Airport transfers to the forests and guide for
various other tours.
d) Accommodation - etc
natural habitats cover tropical or subtropical
forests in Africa. Although their range covers a small
percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of
inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of
the Virunga Volcanoes & Bwindi
impenetrable forest ranging in altitude from
2,200–4,300 metres (7,200–14,100 ft).
This area is concentrated in the corner where the three
countries of Congo,
Gorillas live in dense forests and lowland
swamps and marshes as low as sea level, with Western
Lowland Gorillas living in Central West African countries
and Eastern Lowland Gorillas living in the Democratic
Republic of Congo near its border with
are undeniably the most unique primate that survives
in the forgotten forests of the Equatorial jungles of
are four gorilla species.
Namely the Mountain Gorillas, Western Lowland
Gorillas, Eastern Lowland Gorillas and the
rare Cross River Gorillas.
All are labelled either endangered or critically endangered.
Within these species variations can also be found.
Gorilla families are led and
protected by a dominant male known as a “silverback
name for his silver "saddle". Although
mountain gorillas are frequently
portrayed as aggressive, dangerous killers, perhaps
due to Hollywood films, conversely they are social animals
that are rather shy, peaceful vegetarians that are active
during the day. This point
was originally proven by
Dian Fossey when
photographs showing the gorilla "Peanuts"
touching Fossey's hand depicted the first recorded peaceful
contact between a human being and a wild gorilla.
gorillas are much larger than the females,
and are almost twice as heavy. Adult male mountain
gorillas are called silverbacks because they
have a saddle-shaped patch of silver hair on their backs
after they have reached about
12 years of age.
gorillas carefully nurture their young.
Baby gorillas learn to crawl at about 2 months and can
walk before they are 9 months old. They can grasp their
mother's fur to ride on her back at 4 months.
gorillas are fed mother's milk for the
first 2 1/2 years of life. When they are weaned, gorillas
begin to build their own sleeping nests out of vegetation
(and not use their mother's nest anymore). Young gorillas
stay with their mother for 3-4 years. Adult male gorillas
(silverbacks) will care for weaned orphaned young.
are fully grown and able to reproduce at 10-12 years
old. Females are pregnant for about 8 to 9.5 months
and have about 3 babies in their lifetime. Newborn gorillas
weigh only about 3-4 pounds (1.4 to 1.8 kg),
about half the weight of a newborn human.
Read more about Gorillas
gorillas have coloration and facial features that are quite
different from the lowland gorillas and other species. The
mountain gorilla has noticeably more hair to protect it
from the colder mountainous regions where they live and is
the one species that seldom
lives successfully in captivity.
The male known as the Silverback Mountain Gorilla is identified
by the silver saddle on his back and hind legs.
restrained in a zoo they will not
breed and will eventually die. Hence the mountain gorilla
is the most sought amongst tourists on gorilla trekking safaris
contrast to the six billion human beings living on our crowded
planet, there are only some seven hundred mountain gorillas
left on the borders of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo.
Dian Fossey dedicated
18 years of her life to researching and studying these Mountain
Gorillas. Dian was also very instrumental in fighting
back at the poachers, who have been known to kill and entire
family of 30 gorillas to be able to capture two babies
for a European Zoo !!
lowland gorillas are also on the endangered species list,
but they remain far more common than their relatives, the
mountain gorillas. They live in heavy rain forests, and it
is difficult for scientists to accurately estimate how many
survive in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Equatorial
Guinea, Gabon, Angola, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
lowland gorillas tend to be a bit smaller than their mountain
cousins. They also have shorter hair and longer arms. This
is the subspecies of gorilla usually found in zoos.
Sadly it is estimated that almost 500 of these gorillas are
locked away in Zoos around the world
lowland gorillas are currently more numerous than mountain
and eastern lowland gorillas combined and their population
is estimated at between 150000
Lowlands Gorillas, or Grauer’ Gorillas
Eastern lowland gorilla features a distinctive red crown,
often seen in zoos
are the largest primates in the world, and Grauer’s
is the largest of the four gorilla types.
Males can weigh more than 500 pounds and
stand erect at 2 meters. There
are approx only 4500 in the wilds.
As large forest mammals that feed predominantly on vegetation,
they have an important influence
on the natural composition of plant communities.
Cross River Gorillas
only 200 in their entire population, the Cross River gorilla
is rarely photographed in the wild.
thought to be extinct, this unique subspecies of gorilla “resurfaced”
in the 1980s and is found only along the southern section
of the Nigeria-Cameroon border. Preferring habitats of low-
and mid-elevation rainforest and mountain forest, the remaining
Cross River gorillas live in roughly 11 subgroups dispersed
amongst the region’s highland areas. One of four known
subspecies of gorilla, Cross River gorillas most closely resemble
western lowland gorillas but differ in the dimensions of their
skulls and teeth. Researchers have also recognized a number
of socio-ecological distinctions.
other gorillas, the Cross River gorilla reproduces slowly,
with females giving birth only once every four to five years.
Since their estimated numbers hover at fewer than 300 individuals,
this critically endangered species depends on conservation
efforts and law enforcement for its survival.
GORILLA TRAVEL TIPS -
US Dollars are widely accepted. Credit cards are accepted
in major towns.
for Gorilla trekking:
The forest can often be wet and sometimes cool in the damp
atmosphere. A light weight water proof jacket is advised.
Good walking boots / shoes with long socks. Jeans can be tucked
into your long socks to keep out any red ants while mountain
gorilla trekking. Some areas of the forests also contain
thistles / stinging nettles which can irritate the skin of
the hands and arms when brushed against. We suggest long sleeve
shirts and either a pair of light gardening gloves or a pair
of socks pulled up over the hands and arms will suffice. Your
boots will get muddy and we suggest you bring two small plastic
bags to repack your boots in to protect your clothing from
getting dirty in your case. A small back pack is ideal for
cameras, water bottle etc. leaving
your hands free to negotiate the bush that you will be walking
A reasonable level of fitness is recommended
as you will be trekking through thick forest and you
will also experience some gentle climbing.
Though viewing is limited to one hour
there could be a few hours trekking mountain
gorillas before finding their current location.
You should be free of colds / flue etc as gorillas are not
immune to human diseases. Travel insurance is always recommended
(medical cover etc).
The forests are in Mosquito areas and you
should consult with your pharmacist about
malaria precautions before leaving home. Yellow fever
also required and may well be requested
for proof of this on your
return home. You may wish to visit
the International Centre for Disease Control for a more technical
view on the health in these countries
If required can be obtained on arrival at the airport.
220 Volt - European round two-prong plugs and square 3 pin
To protect and conserve the Mountain
Gorilla approximately only 70 Gorilla
permits are issued each day, allowing for one hour viewing
with a gorilla
family, this affords the gorillas the least disturbance
to their lives. With this in mind it is imperative to plan
and book your gorilla trekking safari
experience in either, Rwanda or Uganda
well in advance.
recommends a lead time of 2 to 3
months to ensure you get your gorilla permits
for your chosen holiday period.
Gorilla permits cannot be verbally reserved - they will only
be booked and issued on receipt of payment by the Parks Board
in either Rwanda or Uganda