Mountain Gorillas in Congo
The mountain gorilla in Congo 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). The other is found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Some primatologists consider the Bwindi population in Uganda may be a separate subspecies,though no description has been finalized. As of September 2015, the estimated number of gorillas remaining is less than 900.
The fur of the mountain gorilla, often thicker and longer than that of other gorilla species, enables them to live in colder temperatures.Gorillas can be identified by nose prints unique to each individual.Males, at a mean weight of 195 kg (430 lb) upright standing height of 150 cm (59 in) usually weigh twice as much as the females, at a mean of 100 kg (220 lb) and a height of 130 cm (51 in). This subspecies is on average the second largest species of primate
The mountain gorilla is primarily terrestrial and quadrupedal. However, it will climb into fruiting trees if the branches can carry its weight, and it is capable of running bipedally up to 6 m (20 ft). Like all great apes other than humans, its arms are longer than its legs. It 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. Many of these hours are spent 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. Each gorilla builds a nest from surrounding vegetation to sleep in, constructing a new one every evening. Only infants sleep in the same nest as their mothers. They leave their sleeping sites when the sun rises at around 6 am, except when it is cold and overcast; then they often stay longer in their nests
Why visit the gorillas here in DRC when you can also do it in Uganda and Rwanda. Don’t do it because of the price it is a little bit cheaper than the other countries, but with transport and visa, it will be the same. But the experience is great, and worth the money. Do see the Virunga movie from 2014 about the park rangers and the gorillas during the M24 period – available on Netflix.its in Virunga National Park Where Gorilla Trekking is done that has some part as the Nyiragongo and Nyamuragira volcanoes.
Gorilla Trekking in Congo
Gorilla Trekking Tours to Virunga National Park are done through out the Year and its why Nyiragongo Volcano mentions that there is no best time to Visit Congo or Virunga for Ultimate Safari Experience. All Gorilla Trekking can be memorable once done by a reliable Tour operator Based in Rwanda or Congo.
All treks are led by park rangers and usually depart from Bukima patrol post. Treks usually require 1-2 hours of hiking in each direction, depending where the mountain gorillas spent the previous night and the difficulty of the terrain. Time with the gorillas is strictly limited to one hour.
Gorillas have died after being exposed to human respiratory viruses and other common ailments. If you don’t feel well at the time of your scheduled trek (i.e. you have a cold, fever, diarrhea, or persistent sore throat) please cancel.
– You need to bring a lunch bag – a little bit strange when you take into account the price you are paying for the tour. Your hotel can help you.
– You leave Goma around 6:30 am.
– You need rain gear. The underground is very wet, so rain trousers and rain jacket is a must.
– Bring walking poles. You are jungle trekking, up and down, mud, vegetation.
– Tips? Difficult. There are many people involved the trackers, rangers and helpers.
Can Mountain Gorilla Trekking Be added with Nyiragongo Climbing
Nyiragongo Volcano brings to you the best travelers facts about Climbing Nyiragongo Mountain and bearing in Mind that it can be joined with Gorilla Trekking in Virunga national Park. Nyiragongo Hiking is done in the oldest National Park in Africa and at the same time Gorilla Trekking Tours are done in Virunga. This makes it possible to Join the Climbing adventure with Gorilla Tours.Dont Mix or get confused about Lowland Gorillas in Congo.
Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Congo
The eastern gorilla is a species of the genus Gorilla and the largest living primate. At present, the species is subdivided into two subspecies. Grauer’s gorilla, formerly known as the eastern lowland gorilla (G. b. graueri) is the most populous, at about 5,000 individuals. The mountain gorilla (G. b. beringei) has only about 880 individuals.
The eastern gorilla are characterized by a large hominid with a large head, broad chest, and long arms. It has a flat nose with large nostrils. The face, hands, feet and breast are bald. The fur is mainly black, but adult males have a silvery “saddle” on their back. When the gorilla gets older, the hair on the saddle of the back becomes white, much like the gray hair of elderly people. This is why the older males are called silver backs. Eastern Lowland gorilla has a shorter, thicker, deep black fur, while the mountain gorilla has a more bluish color. The mountain gorilla is slightly smaller and lighter than Grauer’s gorilla, but still larger and heavier than the western lowland gorilla and the Cross River gorilla.
Males are much larger than females. A full-grown adult male Eastern gorilla typically weighs 140–205.5 kg (309–453 lb) and stands 1.7 m (5.6 ft) upright and a female typically weighs 90–100 kg (200–220 lb) and stands 1.5 m (4.9 ft) tall. The tallest silver back recorded was a 1.94-metre (6.4 ft) individual shot in Alimbongo, northern Kivu in May 1938. The heaviest gorilla recorded was a 1.83-metre (6.0 ft) silver back shot in Ambam, Cameroon which weighed about 266 kilograms (586 lb),although the latter area is within the range of the western gorilla, far outside that of the eastern gorilla. and the Most Accessible national Park for Lowland Gorilla Trekking is kahuzi Biega National Park.Find the Packing List for a Congo Safari
Kahuzi-Biega National Park
The Kahuzi-Biega National Park is a protected area near Bukavu town in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is situated near the western bank of Lake Kivu and the Rwandan border. Set in both mountainous and lowland terrain, it is one of the last refuges of the rare species of Eastern lowland gorilla, an endangered category under the IUCN Red List. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed in 1980 for its unique biodiversity of rain forest habitat and its eastern lowland gorillas.
General Visit Conditions
- Walk in the forest
- Hiking shoes
- Pants and long-sleeved shirts
- Be in generally good health
- Never leave waste materials on your route (cigarette butts, plastic bags, papers, empty bottles.)
- Keep a minimal distance of 8m when visiting the gorillas
- Never be tempted to feed any animal that is encountered (particularly primates)
- Do not smoke in the bush
- Speak quietly in the forest
- Follow every instruction given by the accompaniers of the park (guides and/or guards)