Welcome to Virunga National Park congo

Mountain Gorillas

Mountain Gorillas-Africa Safari Tours & Adventure.

Wild Gorilla with BabyThe mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of the two subspecies of the eastern gorilla. There are two populations. One is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three National Parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. The other is found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some primatologists speculate the Bwindi population in Uganda is a separate subspecies,  though no description has been finalized.

Gorillas display uncanny human characteristics. The close-knit family groups are headed by a silverback – a mature male – who selects places for the group to eat and sleep, and has many privileges, including the right to feed first. This privilege pays off for the rest of the family, as if the group is threatened, the silverback – weighing up to 120kg (260lbs) – will defend them to the death, if necessary.

Life Style of the Gorillas

Size of the Mountain Gorillas:

Male mountain gorillas reach an average of 6 feet tall (when standing upright) and weigh 400 to 500 pounds, making them the largest of the great apes (chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas). Females are smaller, standing an average of 4 to 5 feet tall and weighing 150 to 200 pounds.

Food of Gorillas

Mountain gorillas eat large amounts of vegetation and spend about 30 percent of each day foraging for food. They
consume roots, leaves, stems of herbs, vines, bark from trees, shrub-sized plants, and bamboo shoots.

Behavior of the Mountain Gorillas

Mountain gorillas are shy, retiring animals. They live in social groups of 2 to 35 individuals. An adult male silverback is the leader and protector of his band, which consists of females and offspring. Silverbacks will charge anything that threatens them or their group and are known for their chest beating displays when in danger.
Mountain Gorillas in VirungaA silverback is an adult male gorilla, typically more than 12 years of age and named for the distinctive patch of silver hair on his back. A silverback gorilla has large canines that come with maturity. Black backs are sexually mature males of up to 11 years of age. Silverbacks are the strong, dominant troop leaders. Each typically leads a troop of 5 to 30 gorillas and is the center of the troop’s attention, making all the decisions, mediating conflicts, determining the movements of the group, leading the others to feeding sites and taking responsibility for the safety and well being of the troop.
Males will slowly begin to leave their original troop when they are about 11 years old, traveling alone or with a group of  other males for 2–5 years before being able to attract females to form a new group and start breeding. While infant gorillas normally stay with their mother for 3–4 years, silverbacks will care for weaned young orphans.
If challenged by a younger or even by an outsider male, a silverback will scream, beat his chest, break branches, bare his teeth, then charge forward. Sometimes a younger male in the group can take over leadership from an old male. If the leader is killed by disease, accident, fighting or poachers, the group will split up, as animals disperse to look for a new protective male. Very occasionally, a group might be taken over in its entirety by another male. There is a strong risk that the new male may kill the infants of the dead silverback.
Females reach breeding age at about 10 years old. They typically bear young every four to five years, giving birth after a gestation period of eight to nine months. Young gorillas cling to their mother’s chests until they are old enough to ride on her back.  A young gorilla remains with its mother until 5 years of age.

Gorilla Trekking Tours to Congo

Gorilla PermitEastern Lowland gorillas are different from their more famous mountain gorilla cousins, which are found in Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. Physically, they are smaller and less furry, the silverback males have much more ‘silver’ on their backs, and they are more adept tree climbers. They also live in family groups with a single dominant male, and females may leave the group if they think the male has lost his edge as protector and provider – theses ladies are not easy to please, not even when the average silverback sports 200kg of pure muscle!

The gorillas are critically endangered, the net result of decades of the bush meat trade, trophy hunting, loss of habitat and catching deadly viruses from human contact. Gorillas have no immunity to many of our common ailments but are just as – or even more – susceptible as we are. The common cold and its symptoms are likely to be terminal for a wild animal – being unable to smell danger or react to it quickly, not feeding properly and becoming weakened by fever all adds up to a very vulnerable gorilla. Tragically, catching a cold from a human can wipe out a whole gorilla family, which makes the precautions you take when trekking to see these gorillas that much more essential.

Virunga GorillasAfter the decision that was taken by Rwanda development board to increase the costs of the gorilla permit from $$750 to $1500 gave chance to democratic republic of congo to start selling their gorilla tours to various travelers that wish to go gorilla trekking in the wilderness of par de virunga to encounter the mountain gorillas at the most discounted prices of gorilla permits at USD 400 per pax per visit.

In the entire Africa, mountain gorilla trekking is only done in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic republic of congo , yet when it comes to the eastern lowland gorillas, they are only found in congo thus all gorilla trekking tours have to lead you to virunga the africa’s oldest national park found in the virunga mountains with the combination of climbing the nyiragongo volcano.

Booking a gorilla trekking safari to democratic republic of congo is recommended to be done through the reliable congo safari companies that are listed on this guide of virunga national park and the shortest gorilla safari can be 2 Day congo gorilla tour.

Your guide keeps a minimum distance of about seven metres (22 feet) between you and the gorillas, you wear a face mask to reduce the spread of any airborne germs, and you cannot trek if you are in any way ill – no matter how mild the symptoms may be for you, they could be deadly to the gorillas.

Mountain Gorilla Orphanage Centre

There is also Senkwekwe Gorilla orphanage centre that inhabits orphaned gorillas and has stood out as the only facility in the world that takes care of these endangered orphaned species.

Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Biega

Visit Kahuzi BiegaEastern low land Gorillas are situated in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo ( Kahuzi Biega National park and Maiko National Parks) where as Mountain Gorillas stay in the Virunga Mountain region spanning the DRC, Rwanda Ugandan borders and also taking part of Bwindi. This makes it a fact that mountain Gorillas can only be watched or visited in only three Countries and that’s Most of the Safaris to those nations have a safari activity called what is Gorilla Trekking or Gorilla Encounter.

In Congo there are two types of gorillas and these are the Eastern low land gorillas that are tracked and habituated in Kahuzi Biega National Park in the Southern part of Lake Kivu, The conservation project for the lowland Gorillas is called Grace Gorilla that is situated in Bukavu town, This National Park can be Accessed via Rwanda through the drive to nyungwe forest or via Gisenyi on Boat.

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