These rare primates are one of the most attractive mammals is the wild and they have an interesting lifestyle. It is only in Africa where one can find these great apes and they are only found in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. It is not yet clear why mountain gorillas are only found in this part of the world but one of the reason is that these places are mountainous and these primates like living in hilly places near rainforests where they can easily hunt for food from.
Gorilla trekking is the leading tourism activity in Rwanda and many visitors travel from different parts of the world to come and enjoy a thrilling lifetime experience. In Rwanda, these great apes are only found in Volcanoes National Park and spotting them on your trek is as easy as you can imagine. They roam about the whole park in search for food panting and playing with their young ones. Therefore, one does not have to stress while searching for them and perhaps this could be the reason why Rwanda is referred to as the best gorilla trekking destination in Africa
On your gorilla safari to this “country of a thousand hills”, you will have a chance of spending more than an hour with these rare primates in their natural habitats and trust me, your life will never be the same.
However, there is need to know the various characteristics of these mammal so as to equip yourself with all the relevant knowledge. These characteristic include;-
- Gorillas walk by putting weight on their knuckles and arms which are longer than their legs. They also walk upright like humans.
- The male weighs around 600 Ibs and the females weigh about 200-300 Ibs. Their brains weigh only 20 onces.
- These primates live on fruits, vines, leaves, stems and bamboo. They also eat meat but their diet does include insects, snails and slugs.
- They live together in groups also known as families and each family includes about 5-12 members. A gorilla family is headed by a dominant male silverback which protects all the members.
- These great apes are colorblind but their other senses are very highly developed. They use gestures, body language and special vocal skills for communicating with each other.
- They love to explore and prefer to be on the move daily in search for food. They do not sleep in the same nests and rest for several hours in the day.
- These animals eat about 44 Ibs of food per day.
- Even though the offspring are capable of walking when they are 5 months old, a mother gorilla will carry her baby till he/she is about a year and a half.
- The silverback heads the family as the leader. A silver streak of hair is predominantly noticed on their back.
- The mortality rates are 40% in the first two years of their life. These animals are susceptible to illnesses easily and threatened by loss of habitat and poaching.