Currently there are only just over 800 of these awesome creatures left on our planet, and they are only found in a select few forests in Africa. This is partly why they are so amazing to see and why we highly recommend the experience of mountain gorilla tracking.
The mountain gorilla is a highly sociable animal that thrives in a stable group of his/her peers. Each group usually has one male, also known as a silverback, and groups may have between ten and thirty members. A female gorilla carries her baby for almost nine months and carefully looks after her new-born for several years before she will have another. The babies ride on their mothers’ backs for two to three years from the age of four months. When they are a few years old they learn to play, chase each other and swing from the trees, and in general, become part of the family.
Interesting facts about mountain gorilla in Uganda and Rwanda
- Their longer and thicker fur enables them to live in colder temperatures
- Adult male mountain gorilla have a silver strip of hair on their backs and are therefore called silverbacks
- The tallest silverback to date was 6 feet and 4 inches tall
- Adult gorillas eat between 18 and 34 kilograms of vegetation per day
- Young mountain gorilla learn by play, and will be found wrestling, chasing and somersaulting
- All mountain gorilla are naturally afraid of certain reptiles, such as caterpillars and chameleons!
- They are also not a big fan of water, and won’t cross rivers if it means getting wet
- A baby gorilla develops about twice as fast as a human baby
Tips for successful mountain gorilla tracking in Uganda and Rwanda
- A little research goes a long way towards a terrific gorilla tracking experience. Find out about the forests, practical clothing and footwear, best cameras and lenses and about obtaining a permit.
- Know your level of fitness. You will need to walk through the forest in order to find a group of habituated gorillas, but the guides will find closer groups for those who are not as fit as others.
- Pack light and consider a porter. Make sure you have water and perhaps a snack with you, as well as a light rain jacket. A small backpack should be adequate for the trek, but if you need help, it may be possible to hire a porter to carry your things.
- Enjoy the forest. Many people are only concerned about getting to the gorillas and forget to enjoy the incredible beauty of the forest.
- Follow your guide’s instructions. You are now in the gorilla’s world and respecting their territory is of utmost importance. The gorillas are peaceful creatures that won’t harm you, but always follow the advice of your guide.
- Every minute of the hour counts. In most cases, tourists are only allowed to spend an hour with the gorillas so that they don’t become stressed and overwhelmed by human onlookers. By all means take lots of photos and a video or two, but don’t forget to spend some moments just watching them through your own eyes and taking in the incredible experience.
If you are keen to arrange an awesome trip to meet gorillas in the misty mountains of either of these two countries, please contact us as we have all the details for you and comfortable, readily available and affordable accommodation in the ideal locations.