Welcome to Wild Whispers Africa’s gorilla website, Find gorilla trekking packages as well as tours to see the primates of Rwanda in Africa. You will need to book your gorilla tracking permit in time since there are few of these permits that are issued out every day. Our Gorilla trips are arranged from 3 to several days.
About Mountain Gorillas
4 out 5 gorilla species reside on the African Continent within the Congo Basin and in the Albertine Rift. Among them are the Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Baboons and the Lowland Gorillas. Man still remains as the greatest threat to their population due to poaching, human population pressure and diseases. Visiting the chimps and gorillas has been a major fund contributor to the conservation and some community projects likes schools, clinics, communal centers and roads which have helped the natives to understand and appreciated the need of survival of these apes.
Not until lately, it was considered that only one gorilla species existed; the Gorilla gorilla with 3 subspecies that occupy different regions in Africa; the Eastern Lowland Gorilla; Gorilla gorilla graueri, the mountain gorilla; Gorilla gorilla beringei and the Western Lowland Gorilla; Gorilla gorilla gorilla. On the contrary, recent DNA evidence has proved that the western and eastern the gorilla are distinct species and now categorized as Gorilla gorilla and the Gorilla beringei respectively.
The 2 major populations of the Eastern group now classified as the Gorilla Beringei Beringei live in the Virunga Volcanoes region at the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo while the other lives in Bwindi National Park found in Uganda.
Western Lowland Gorillas
The western Lowland Gorillas which can also be seen in zoos has a distinctive brown color and they reside in Congo, Central African Republic, Cameroon and Gabon. Despite their population being estimated to hundreds of thousands, these gorillas are serious threatened by poaching, ebola, bush-meat trade and logging.
Dissimilar to the Mountain gorillas, quite a few families/groups of the western lowland gorillas have been habituated and viewing them is quite challenging as they are so shy. They are occasionally sighted at Bais Saline Swamp clearings in the woodlands like those in the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dzanga Trinational Park and Cameroon. In these isolated locations, other unpopular animals are also seen among which are: forest elephants, forest buffalos and bongos. We shall very soon start offering voyages to the lands of the lowland gorillas although they are only for the strong hearted adventurers though offer a very wonderful experience.
The 2 major populations of the Eastern group now classified as the Gorilla Beringei Beringei live in the Virunga Volcanoes region at the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo while the other lives in Bwindi National Park found in Uganda. Following chimpanzees, the gorillas are the next among the human relatives and they share approximately 97.7% of human DNA. They are the largest existing primates with an adult male weighing close to 180Kg or 400pounds, with arms of 2 meters or 7feet length. Their fur is thicker and longer than that of the lowland gorillas and their nose is slightly dissimilar to theirs in addition to other skeletal features.
Baby Gorilla and the Gorilla Mountain gorillas cannot stay in confinement that explains why they are never found in zoos. Gorilla tracking through the foggy forests necessitates stamina plus patience as it involves trekking for long hours on wet and muddy ground. Coming face to face with the tranquil giants is an exceptionally stunning moment. As they quietly chew their vegetarian foods, they appear as an abandoned human family. Their discipline and grooming of young ones all appears so familiar. The family of gorillas casts a cautious glance at the sudden interference of humans into their private lands, but they are soothed by the clucking the tracker makes. When aggravated, the noisy though harmless silverback bares his fangs, grunts, screeches and beats his large chest before moving away smoothly with its females, males and the young off springs.
Eastern Lowland Gorillas
The Eastern lowlands which are closely related to Mountain Gorillas live in Kahuzi-Biega National Park found in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is in this park that the first gorilla group was habituated.
As security evens out, we plan to provide safaris for tracking giants that you will see elongating their heads in the verdant vegetation of the isolated forests.
But what are mountain gorillas?
The gorillas are in three types for instance the western lowland gorilla, the eastern along with the mountain gorilla. These animals are big in size and weigh up to 200kilos.Unsurprisingly, they are extremely powerful and yet in actual sense calm and gentle. Central Africa has close to 50,000 and 100,000 gorillas that dwell there. The western lowland is a home to the majority of the gorillas. The world is left with only 700 mountain gorillas of which these are seriously endangered and at a threat of extinction. This is caused by the extensive poaching and deforestation of their environment for farming purposes. The decrease of many gorillas currently is attached to economical as well as political issues.
But with all these, you don’t have to panic because if you organize a safari to see the mountain gorillas you will actually catch a glance at them. We truly appreciate the tourism sector and the awareness campaigns that have a slogan befriend a gorilla. However much they are still endangered, there is a bright future for them to be protected.
History has it that before, the mountain gorillas were unheard of to the Europeans until the past century. It was in 1902 when the gorillas were discovered and this was acknowledged through George Schaller’s methodical behavior study that took place in 1950s and Dian Fossey also did his research inn 1960s to 70s.After all these studies, the mountain gorillas become famous across the world. If you want to know so much information about the gorillas, buy a book called Gorillas in the Mist. It’s a journal of Dian Fossey which was later converted into a film in 1980s; it was the best selling film in the world.
Uganda, Congo and Rwanda are well known to be homes to the mountain gorillas. They are identified by the other two types of gorillas with thicker and longer coats. Something important to take note of is that they dwell in families of 7 to 20 gorillas. Don’t get surprised if you meet a group of about 50 individuals, these are quite popular in the parks. They are vegetarians but still eat some insects like ants which provide proteins to your bodies.
Hordes are commonly created around the one powerful silverback and this is a mature male. Their backs get the silver color at close to the age of 15 and this can involve one or two subsidiary silver backs with about four young ones and females. The females are allowed to move freely from one horde to another; however they are usually faithful with the dominant male who is a father to the young ones. They are inactive animals that only walk a distance of 1km per day. They rarely stay in the same location for over two nights. This is the best way to conserve the environment and keep away from predators for instance lions and leopards that attack the youngsters.
Mountain Gorilla Tour : Gorilla Lifestyle
Truth be told, gorillas have no enemies apart from the human race who poach them for food and the skin is used to make art and craft items. As you head out on your gorilla trekking, the familiarized troops can be accessed first. The mountain gorillas have about 15 troops familiarized to human being. Tracking the gorillas is a fairly simple activity and anyone interested must be physically fit to enjoy the best moment. Discovering them in their natural setting will be of great joy to your safari and this take about 30 to almost 6 hours. If you are lucky enough, you may take one or two hours trekking the gorillas.
Keep in mind that gorilla trekking usually begins at exactly 8am; first the ranger talks to the group and tells them the vital rules and procedures to follow. Something important to take note of is that you must keep a distance of about 8meters away from the gorillas, no eating or drinking in their presence and no sneezing while facing them. The rules are put in place to protect the gorillas because they are prone to human diseases. No danger caused by the habituated gorillas has been reported.
Today the gorillas are an important factor to the tourism industry of Uganda.10% of the gorilla permit fee is given to the local communities to as well benefit from this natural beauty. The remaining money is put into constructing hotels and roads for comfort of the tourists that visit the country. Besides the zoo that is under the wildlife authority, gorilla trekking contributes much to their survival along with the local people that are enjoying the free services provided by the government.
There are currently four places where you can trek gorillas:
*Virunga National Park situated in Rwanda.
*Virunga National Park located in Congo
* Mgahinga National Park in Uganda
* Bwindi National Park.
As you plan to go trekking, first thing that you must consider is the gorilla permit. Gorilla permits are expensive and this will cost close to USD $500, this may seem a lot of money but worth the experience. Right after catching a glance of the gorillas, no one thinks on how expensive the permit was. It’s not a guarantee that everyone will get a permit, these must be booked in time because they are always limited in number.
If your plan is to trek the gorillas in Bwindi, you are kindly recommended to book these permits 3 years in advance. This is what governs the Uganda Wildlife Authority. If the assigned permits get finished, account yourself so unlucky and you have to wait for the next season when they will be out.
Mgahinga is situated close to the border of Congo. However it doesn’t have a stable population of gorillas, these keep crossing over to Congo all through the year and when is noticed, no trekking is allowed in the park.
Rwanda is a bit flexible with their gorilla permits, if you want to visit Virunga you must book the permit earlier on and you will enjoy trekking the gorillas. Majority of tourists that fail to get permits in Uganda cross over to Rwanda where rules concerning the permits are so easy.
Lastly, you can book the gorilla permits in Congo and visit Virunga National Park. The park is reachable and takes about 16 kilometers from Kisoro in Uganda. The permits in Congo are easy to get and they are cheap. The park come into existence in 2004 and the need for permits is still minimal.
Something that will actually excite you is that the gorillas are so fascinated with humans. They are so inquisitive and will imitate everything that you do. How strange this is; my friend and I happened to trek the gorillas in Mgahinga and getting closer to them, they gave us a strange eye of what are you people looking for. Not knowing that we had come to visit our brothers although they stay in a different environment compared to ours. Last but not least, trekking gorillas is the best experience that will actually make you love nature. Africa is only continent that have these unique creatures that can’t be found anywhere else.