Mountain Gorillas In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park- Uganda

March 28, 2022
News Journeys Uganda

Welcome to the pearl of Africa home to more than half of the world’s population of mountain Gorillas. Scientifically known as Beringei Beringei, the mountain Gorilla is a member of the sub species Gorilla Beringei Beringei and can only be fund in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), The Republic of Rwanda and Uganda. The rest of the zoo and sanctuary gorillas are usually low land gorillas. There are over 800 mountain gorillas in the world and one half is found in Virungas conservation area that is shared amongst Uganda (Mgahinga Gorilla National Park), Rwanda (Volcanoes National Park) , and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (Virunga National Park) and the other remaining half is found in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park of Uganda.

If you have never been to Uganda or never dreamt of Uganda, here is the number one reason you should add Uganda to your bucket list. If for no reason at the very least you should visit for the sake of Mountain Gorillas. Theses gentle giants are a delight to spend time with in the delight. And I call them gentle because they surely are, until provoked.

There are a number of things the set the mountain gorilla apart from other gorillas. The fur of the mountain gorillas, is often thicker and longer than that of other gorilla species, this is highly attributed to their living environment which is rather colder and high altitude. Whereas humans are identified by the finger prints that differ from one another, the gorillas are identified by their nose print which is unique to each individual gorilla.  An average mountain Gorilla is the second largest primate and shares 90% DNA with human beings. An adult male mountain Gorilla is called a silverback because of the gray or silver-colored hair that develops on their backs with age. The hair on their backs is shorter than on most other body parts, and their arm hair is especially long. The male mountain Gorilla is ten times stronger than the strongest heavy weight champion fighter. The mountain gorilla is primarily terrestrial. Like all great apes other than humans, its arms are longer than its legs. Like the common chimpanzee and unlike the bonobo and orangutan the mountain gorilla moves by knuckle-walking, supporting its weight on the backs of its curved fingers rather than its palms.

The mountain gorilla is diurnal, most active between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. more like most average human beings, during their time the mountain Gorilla spends most of these hours eating, as large quantities of food are needed to sustain its massive bulk. It forages in early morning, rests during the late morning and around midday, and in the afternoon, it forages again before resting at night. They do climb trees a lot. Each individual mountain gorilla builds a nest from its surrounding vegetation to sleep in, constructing a new one every evening. Only infants sleep in the same nest as their mothers, and like the human being, they are carried until they are about 9 months.

Gorillas are intelligent, majestic, meticulous and gentle giants that share over 90% of their genetic material with humans. The mountain gorillas, once habituated are given names by which they are identified, and the families are named too. The average life span of a mountain Gorilla is between 40 and 50 years. The mountain gorilla, like humans is highly social, and lives in relatively stable, solid organized groups held together by long-term bonds between adult males and females, however relationships among females are relatively weak and cannot really be compared to that of humans. They live in families and communities of approximately 30 individuals led by the dominant male or alpha silverback. The silver back also organizes group activities like movements, eating and resting. Usually they feed on wild celery, tree bark, pulp, large quantities of flowers, leaves, fruit, roots, bamboo and shoots in season.  The Adults can consume up to 75 pounds each day.

Mountain gorillas can only be found in Africa and in particular East Africa Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mountain gorillas can be tracked all year round. Because the Gorillas live in afro montane tropical rain forests, most of the time it is damp and cold or even rainy, so majority of tourists prefer to visit in the dry months of June to September as well as from December up to February.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to more than half of the mountain Gorillas and the most popular destination to trek the mountain gorillas lies in southwestern Uganda on the edge of the Rift Valley. Its mist-covered hillsides are blanketed by one of Uganda’s oldest and most biologically diverse rainforests, which dates back over 25,000 years and contains almost 400 species of plants. Roughly half of the world’s population, including several habituated groups, which can be tracked. The Virungas conservation area swaddles the boarders of Uganda, the democratic republic of Congo and Rwanda. This covers an area of 433 km2 of afro montane rain forest, home to the remaining population of mountain gorillas. The conservation area is divided into three National parks and are managed by the individual countries Mgahinga National Park for Uganda, Virunga national Park for Congo, and Volcanoes National Park for Rwanda.

The mountain Gorilla trekking experience is memorable and the feeling is incomparable!!! All the photographs you have seen or encountered in magazines, on the internet, billboards and other places are nowhere compared to the one-on-one experience with the mountain Gorilla. The moment you look into their deep brown eyes, I guarantee you will be hit by the spell and immediately fall in love with them just like the legendary Dian Fossey who once mentioned that ‘the more you learn about the dignity of gorillas, the more you want to avoid people’, so please come learn about them with Journeys Uganda as you appreciate their beauty and splendor as they gently go about their business which is breath taking.

However, for you to be able to take part in this exciting gorilla trekking adventure you need to book with a registered tour company that offers memorable Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla trekking experiences. Once you have booked your safari with Journeys Uganda we then go ahead and book your gorilla trekking permits that are limited and on high demand that is why we book them upfront.

And when the day of trekking the Gorillas is here our professional guides will take you to the park headquarters where you will be briefed about the trek and the mountain Gorilla in general, then you will set off and head for the thick forest in search of the mountain Gorillas. The trek is physically tasking and requires certain degree of fitness. However, there are porters at a small fee who can help around tremendously. The ultimate crown is the encounter with the mountain Gorillas. While you trek through the forests of Bwindi and Mgahinga there is a chance of seeing other animals like the endangered Golden monkeys in Mgahinga national park and over 100 mammal species in Bwindi Forest National Park including Chimpanzees, Olive Baboon, Blue, L’Hoest’s and Red-tailed Monakye among others. The whistling and the songs, the rustling of dry leaves, the rhythms and high pitched hisses made from the sound of birds like Africa Green Broadbill, Dusky and Shelley’s Crimsoning, the scratchy descending calls of the Handsome Francolin, the low growling Rwenzori Turaco, the mechanical and vibrating African Broadbill among others and the beautiful butterflies painting the sky give a satisfying experience.  The sight is extra – fulfilling with water falls and gorillas going ahead with their daily life activities.

There quite a few mountain Gorilla permits available in each gorilla park mostly Mgahinga with one wondering family Nyakigezi and the rest in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Parks which is justification for the early bird booking. They are also in Rwanda but “UGANDA IS NOT RWANDA ’also there more Gorillas in Uganda than there are in Rwanda.

This is an experience and encounter that you will live to tell. Come and enjoy this nature given moment together with Mountain Gorillas.

Are you planning to share a moment with the mountain gorillas? JOURNEYS UGANDA is ready to take you there.

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