Africa is known as dark continent but worthy the visit cozy of the primates that can be only found in African countries like Rwanda, Uganda, Democratic republic of Congo to visit the mountain Gorillas , Eastern Lowland gorillas , western Lowland gorillas and Chimpanzee in the Wild National Parks .
Africa is a very big and beautiful continent comprising of many countries from the North to the South then East to the West. The continent is very blessed and rich with mysterious destinations that leave every traveler thirsting for more opportunity to transfer to encounter and experience the wonders of the universe. There are very many attractive destinations in Africa but we are mainly looking at the lovely primates the continent has to offer like the chimpanzees, Mountain Gorillas, Lowland Gorillas, Golden Monkeys, Baboon, Black & White Colobus Monkeys, blue monkeys, Lhoest Monkeys and these are prominent in the tropics inhabiting the thick rain forests where they have stayed and lived as mammals.
Gorillas are species that are divided into two types that is the Mountain Gorillas & Lowland gorillas which can be visited in Africa. Mountain Gorillas live in the Highlands and the lowland gorillas live in the swamps and the lower areas forests.
Mountain Gorilla Trekking Adventures can only be experienced in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These move on their four limbs i.e hands and legs in search for fruits, vegetables, shoots, roots, vines, small insects due to the fact that they are vegetarians. These live in groups of 6-12 members with an adult male with silver hair at the back referred to as the dominant silverback and the leader of the group. He makes decisions on where to eat, when to sleep, which group to attack etc and his orders are final and have to be followed for he has to defend his family. He is followed by adult females who produce the young ones and later come in the black backs which are both female and males which tend to leave the group when they grow older and these are followed by juveniles/infant Gorillas. They are known to be shy animals though very active during day and when night falls, they build their nests out of leaves and plant material where they sleep and adult mothers sleep with their infants. They are also very vulnerable to human diseases like whooping cough, flu/ colds, diarrhea etc. People who are sick are advised to cancel trekking these primates or don’t get closer for this has led to massive deaths of some due to catching illnesses from humans.
In Uganda, these can be spotted in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park & Mgahinga Gorilla National Park where as in Rwanda these can be spotted in the prominent Volcanoes National park and in the Democratic Republic of Congo they are found in Virunga National Park.
The Eastern lowland gorillas can only be spotted in only Democratic republic of Congo in two national Parks of Kahuzi Biege National Park & Maiko National Park but one National Park is open for Eastern Lowland gorilla trekking which can only be enjoyed once booked with Primate Safaris Rwanda and the shortest Trip to visit the apes is 3 Days Eastern Lowland gorilla Tour starting from Kigali Rwanda and cross to Bukavu via Ruzizi border.
The Mating Cycle for all the primates is the same and these include Mountain Gorillas, Eastern Lowland Gorillas, West Lowland Gorillas and the Cross river Gorillas with the gestation period; 8.5 months and only one baby is produced very helpless since they weigh 3-4 Ibs learning to crawl at 2 months under their mothers care for about three years. At 8 and 9 months, they can walk around.
The threats to all Mountain Gorillas, Lowland gorillas are the same as identified by the travelers and gorilla doctors like Poaching, increased human activities and deforestation and the last one being the climate changes that also affect their habitats.
The Mountain Gorillas
These inhabit the thick tropical rainforests as well as Mountainous areas and are distributed in various areas. In Uganda they are found in the thick tropical rainforests of the magnificent Bwindi Impenetrable National park where you will find 12 Gorilla families allocated in four different sectors which include Buhoma with the Mubare, Habinyanja and Rushegura Gorilla groups, Ruhija with Nshongi, Mishaya, Busigye, Kahungye and Bweza Gorilla groups, Rushaga with Bitukura, Oruzogo and Kyagurilo Gorilla groups, Nkuringo with the challenging Gorilla group which is difficult totrack due to its constant movement in the hilly areas. There is also the Nyakagezi Gorilla group at Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. At Bwindi two Gorilla groups are being habituated though not yet opened for tracking and these include the Bushasho and Bikingyi Gorilla groups. In Rwanda, 10 Gorilla groups which include the Susa, Karisimbi, Agashya, Umubana, Ugenda, Kwitonda, Sabinyo, Hirwa, Amahoro, Bwenge can be tracked at Volcanoes National Park. In DR Congo these can be tracked at Virunga National Park which include 6 Groups i.e Kabirizi, Humba, Rugendo, Lulengo, Muyanga and Mapuwa.
Get the extra added advantage of visiting Mountain Gorillas in Uganda than in Rwanda of Gorilla Watching experience that comes at an expensive cost of staying with the mountain Gorillas in the wild the entire day since morning to evening.
Please Note that Gorilla Trekking is different from Gorilla Experience: Never be lied by the tour Operator but be ready to stay with the gorillas since morning till evening on Gorilla Watching experience yet on gorilla trekking it’s strictly one hour.
The Eastern Lowland Gorillas
The eastern lowland gorilla also called the Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) is a subspecies of the Eastern gorilla endemic to the mountainous forests of the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Big populations of this Gorilla inhabit Kahuzi-Biega and Maiko National Parks as well as their nearby forests like the Usala, Tayna Gorilla Reserve and along the Itombwe Massif. The Eastern Lowland Gorilla is larger than all the four subspecies with jet black coats just like those on Mountain Gorillas despite the fact that their hair is shorter on the head and body. Just like other Gorillas when the silverback grows mature, its back turns into silver. In 2004, about 5,000 Eastern Lowland Gorillas were estimated to have been in the wild.
The Western Lowland Gorillas
Unlike the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, the western lowland gorilla is the smallest subspecies among the Gorillas and has extraordinary strength as well as size. They display distinct sexual dimorphism with no tails and jet black skin with rough black hair that covers their whole body except for the ears, face, hands and feet. The hair along the back and rump of males is grey in color and this usually disappears as they mature. These are referred to as silverbacks hence the leaders of the group. They have relatively large hands & thumbs with nails on all digits just like those of humans. They have short muzzles, a major brow ridge, big nostrils and candid eyes and ears, wide strong teeth and large muscles in the jaw area. Western gorillas normally stand upright walking in a bent quadrupedal way with their hands twisted and knuckles touching the ground a movement style that requires long arms which applies to the western gorillas because of the fact that their arms are larger than the standing height. These are very many as compared to the Eastern Lowland Gorillas i.e estimated number is 100,000.
Plan for the gorilla Safari holiday to visit the primate in Africa to enjoy the primate watching experience in Africa . Primate Safaris Rwanda is among the leading tour operator in the region offering Apes Safaris to Rwanda, Uganda and Congo.