Uganda Gorilla Tours | Uganda Gorilla Safaris | Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari. Luxury/Budget Uganda Gorilla Tour – Uganda Gorilla Safari Trip
Enjoy a Uganda Gorilla safari / Gorilla safari in Uganda organised by us – the Gorilla safari trip experts as we take you Gorilla trekking in Uganda`s – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Mgahinga Gorilla parks. Uganda Gorilla safaris form the greatest number of Uganda safaris. Book a Gorilla safari in Uganda, go for guaranteed Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable OR Mgahinga Gorilla Parks where Gorillas live in Uganda Africa!
For over 10yrs, we at Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours Ltd. organise amazing customised Uganda Gorilla tours / Uganda Gorilla trek trips tailored according to our clients` gorilla safari needs and budget, hence our Uganda Gorilla trekking safari prices range from budget to luxury catering for Budget Uganda Gorilla safari tours, the midrange group as well as the Luxury Uganda Gorilla safari lovers..
We plan Uganda Gorilla safari trips with you and incorporate ALL possible needs / interests to make your Gorilla tour a lifetime memory as witnessed by many of our satisfied clients on our Tripadvisor Uganda gorilla safari company reviews after their Uganda Gorilla safaris combined with amazing Wildlife Uganda tours that includes, game drives in major Uganda wildlife safari parks, bird watching, mountaineering, fishing, scenery viewing, culture visits, chimpanzee trekking, adventure safaris all that make a Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda memorable.
We provide you with information about gorilla trekking best time to go for your desired Gorilla safari in Uganda, Rwanda & Congo, how difficult is gorilla trekking in Uganda / Rwanda / Congo, where & how to buy Congo / Rwanda / Uganda gorilla permits.
Our team of experts in organising Gorilla tours in Uganda, Rwanda Congo go to an extra mile to explain to you if gorilla trekking is worth, a commonly asked question by our clients.
Prime Safaris & Tours Ltd plans with you the ultimate Uganda Gorilla safari itinerary from Kampala / Entebbe Airport, gorilla safari itineraries from Kigali Rwanda as well as Congo gorilla tours to enable you make an informed decision when choosing which of the African Gorilla safari countries to visit and carry out you dream amazing Africa Gorilla trek safari in Uganda.
Below are our Uganda Gorilla safaris / Rwanda Uganda Gorilla trekking safari itineraries and they can be customised to your needs!
Unique Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safaris & How Much is Uganda Gorilla safari permit.
Once you are set to vist Uganda and you are searching for unique Uganda Gorilla tours, we shall offer you tailored mountain Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda for your choice. How ever one can choose from a variety of our Uganda gorilla safari itinerariy samples or combined Rwanda & Congo, as is OR tailor any of them to your interest.
Gorilla Safaris are currently among the prime Uganda safari products that have taken the world by storm. This is because Gorilla trekking in Uganda is cheap, since a gorilla safari permit is only 700$ compared to Rwanda whose gorilla safari permit is 1500$. You can also go a Uganda Gorilla habituation safari of Bikingi Family in Rushaga region of Bwindi at only 1500$ in Bwindi Impenetrable and stay with their exclussive / private Mountain Gorilla experiences of 3 hours for 3 Pax and 1 Pax for 3 days tracking the same gorilla group in Rwanda can be done at 15000$.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the south west positioned with in the rolling highlands of Kigezi features a minimum population of 400 mountain gorillas and a count of 10 gorilla groups have been habituated for human encounter. These gorilla families are spread in four gorilla trekking regions of Bwindi as follows; Buhoma in the north features four gorilla groups namely Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe, Ruhija in the east features four gorilla groups of Oruzogo, Bitukura, Kyagurilo and Mukiza, Rushaga in the south features eight gorilla families of Mishaya, Nshongi, Bweza, Kahungye, Busingye, Bikingi, Muchunguzi and Rwigi and eventually Nkuringo in the south west with two gorilla families called Nkuringo and Bushaho.
Besides Bwindi, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park to the south western tip of Uganda sheltering the three of the eight Virunga Volcanoes is part of the Virunga massif that supports 604 Mountain Gorillas. One gorilla family called Nyakagyezi is habituated in Mgahinga and can be encountered from both Ntebeko Visitor Center and the Muhabura base.
The 2 Days Uganda Gorilla Safari to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park starts and ends in Kigali. It is an amazing weekend break gorilla trekking safari experience that is cost effective and yet very rewarding. ..Read More
On this 3 days Uganda Gorilla Safari Visit Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and trek Endangered mountain gorillas, Our star attraction…Read More
This 3 Days Uganda Gorilla Tour takes you gorilla trekking in Uganda to Mgahinga Gorilla Park – the second home to the endangered mountain gorillas…Read More
3 Days Gorilla trekking safari in Uganda takes you mountin gorilla trekking in Uganda`s Bwind Impenetrable then relaxation at lake Bunyonyi…Read More
This 3 Days Uganda Gorilla Safari Bwindi Uganda wildlife safari Lake Mburo offers you a rewarding encounter with the endangered Mountain Gorillas in the hilly forested landscapes of Bwindi…Read More
4 Days Uganda Gorilla Trek Safari takes you to trek and see mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest & a Uganda Wildlife Safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park…Read More
4 Days Uganda Gorilla tour to trek and see mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Lake Mburo Park Wildlife Safari in Uganda for game viewing…Read More
This 4 Days Gorilla Safari Uganda tour offers double gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetbale National Park and an evening traditional musical performance of the Batwa / Bakiga…Read More
The 5 Days Uganda Gorilla Safari takes you mountain Gorilla trekking in Uganda `s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Uganda wildlife safari game drives in Lake Mburo Park…Read More
A 5 Days Gorilla Safari in Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable, starts in Queen Elizabeth Park Uganda Wildlife Safari game drives & a boat cruise on Kazinga ChannelRead More
This 5 Days Uganda Safari Gorilla trekking Uganda Adventure Safari offers you a rewarding encounter with the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas in the hilly forested landscapes of Bwindi dubbed the Impenetrable…Read More
The 6 Days Gorilla tracking safari in Uganda wildlife tour features two main activities namely; wildlife viewing and the gorilla trekking. The Queen Elizabeth National Park to the south west of Uganda features great deal of wildlife including elephants, the Buffaloes, the Deffasa WaterbucksRead More
This is a 6 Day Uganda flying safari Tour of Murchison Falls National park and Semuliki National Park. You will Experience the unmatched game viewing in Murchison Falls NP i.e. Rothschild giraffes, elephants, Cape Buffaloes, a wide variety of antelopes .Read More
A camping 9 Days Gorilla tour Uganda taking you Gorilla trekking in Uganda & Rwanda, enjoy wildlife Uganda safari game drives in prominent wildlife Uganda tour parks.Read More
An 8 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla safari taking you Gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable National Park & Volcanoes Park plus Uganda wildlife safari and amazing scenery..Read More
This Uganda Safari takes you to Uganda’s premier safari parks: Lake Mburo National Park, Bwindi Gorilla Impenetrable Forest, Kibale Forest National park and Queen Elizabeth National Park .Read More
This a 9 Days Uganda Gorilla safari offering Gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi Forest & wildlife tour in Murchison Falls, Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth Uganda Safari national parks…Read More
The 9 Days Uganda Safari Encounter in the Albertine rift is a remarkable package that takes you to the Uganda’s tourism hot spot. Read More
This 11 Days Gorilla Safari Uganda Rwanda takes you gorilla trekking in Uganda
s Bwindi & Rwanda`s Volcanoes plus wildlife and culture tours in Uganda Rwanda.Read More
The 12 Days Gorilla, Chimpanzee, Wild game, Culture and Adventure Safari in Uganda is a detailed Uganda safari encounter that brings out the mentioned aspects in detail..Read More
The 5 Days Gorilla tracking tour in Uganda starts in Bwindi then to Queen Elizabeth Park for a wildlife game drives, boat cruise on Kazinga Channel & a optional chimpanzee trek.Read More
This 13 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Safari & Wildlife Tour features top Rwanda Uganda safari destinations, for Gorillas, Chimpanzee trekking, culture & Wildlife trips..Read More
This 14 Days Uganda Birding tour offers bird watching in Uganda in top bird watching destinations in Uganda & Gorilla trekking in Uganda Bwindi Impenetrable.Read More
This 14 days Uganda Gorilla safari takes you through all the major safari destinations in Uganda: Kibale chimpanzee forest, Queen Elizabeth national park, Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi Impenetrable gorilla Forest and Lake Mburo National park.Read More
The 14 Days Fort Night Safari Adventure in Western Uganda safari incorporates the wild game viewing, adventure, culture, primate tracking including gorillas and chimpanzees, culture and recreation.Read More
The 14 Days Uganda Safari Adventure to Rwenzori Mountains & Gorilla trekking is a fort night safari in Uganda that enables you to summit the legendary Rwenzori Mountains that tower to 5,109m above sea level..Read More
The 16 Days Uganda Budget Safari Tour allows one to climb Mount Rwenzori for, climb any of the three Virunga Volcanoes namely Gahinga, Muhabura and Sabyinyo which are part of the greater Virunga chain of eight Mountains, track gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable.Read More
The 16 Days Uganda Safari allows one to climb Mount Rwenzori for three days exploring the magical Mahoma trail, climb any of the three Virunga Volcanoes namely Gahinga, Muhabura and Sabyinyo which are part of the greater Virunga chain of eight Mountains, track gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable..Read More
The 18 Days Safari commences and ends in Entebbe incorporating adventure, culture, wildlife, primates like gorillas and chimpanzees and recreation. The destinations featured include; Jinja, Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary for Rhino tracking, Murchison Falls National Park for sightseeing Murchison Falls, wild game viewing..Read More
The 18 Days Primate, Wildlife & Mountaineering Safari in Uganda features Mount Rwenzori Climbing with Margarita peak as the prime activity supported by gorilla trekking in Bwindi, Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park and Wildlife viewing in Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth and Lake Mburo National Parks..Read More
This 18 Days Rwanda Uganda Gorilla safari Primates & Adventure Safari is an exciting inter-country safari starting in Entebbe Uganda and ending in Kigali Rwanda. The Safari covers two legendary hikes; the 1509m high Rwenzori Mountains and 4507m high Karisimbi Volcano taking the 3rd and 6th tallest Mountains in Africa ..Read More
The 20 Days Grand Safari tour in Uganda is an extensive safari package that features an all-round tour of Uganda. Commencing and ending at Entebbe International Airport, safari takes you to Kidepo Valley National Park, Jinja, Sipi falls, Mount Elgon, Murchison Falls, the Kibale, Semliki , Rwenzori Mountain, the Queen Elizabeth , Bwindi Impenetrable..Read More
OVERVIEW – GORILLA TOURS UGANDA – GORILLA SAFARI UGANDA.
A tailor made Uganda gorilla safari allows you to select the places from a vast pool of Uganda safari attraction sites that you feel like exploring with minimal guidance by our reservations team at Prime Uganda Safaris & Tours Ltd. The tailor made Gorilla safari Uganda tour involves you selecting the preferable travel time and the travel pace that suites your interests.
Our tailor made Gorilla tour Uganda safaris are entirely private where you get to travel solo or in the company of your travel companions and your local professional safari driver guide who has expert knowledge about Uganda and it’s numerous sites of your choice on a safari Visit to Uganda not forgetting the extension to Rwanda where we also do amazing Rwanda Gorilla safari tours can be added to your Uganda Gorilla Safari trip.
Your Tailor made Gorilla trekking Uganda tour itinerary is further enhanced by the highly knowledgeable Prime Uganda safaris reservations expert who will give you in depth details of this Uganda safari Uganda trip adventure you are about to undertake and possibly suggest littler further additions and subtractions that are deemed necessary in order to give you an amazing Uganda Gorilla Safari itinerary for the Ultimate Africa Gorilla Safari in Uganda experience which is also pocket friendly to your wallet. Mostly they can help you incorporate the touch of the local people and cultures not forgetting the other amazing local sites that would be far beyond the knowledge of the average traveller. Whatever micro destinations and activities that you opt to encounter, Prime Uganda Safaris is always dedicated to offering you ultimate safari memories of a lifetime with great authenticity and style.
UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI PARKS – WHERE TO GO FOR A UGANDA GORILLA TOUR / UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda a home to the rare endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda, is strategically located at the edge of the western rift valley (Albertine rift valley), in South Western Uganda where Uganda Gorilla safari trips are majorly done. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda is shared amongst Rukungiri, Kisoro and Kabale Districts of Uganda. Read More about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Mgahinga National Park, Uganda Gorilla trekking, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park[/caption]
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda only 33 sq km of size, is located in the far southwestern corner of Uganda bordering Rwanda and Congo,14 km from kisoro town in Bufumbira County about 540 km from Kampala-the capital. Mgahinga National Park was gazetted in 1991.
This Park covers the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes namely; the 3,474 m high Mt. Gahinga , Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m). The park is bordered to the south by the Republic of Rwanda and to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC). Each of these surrounding countries protects its own share of the Virungas. The three parks together form the ‘Virunga Conservation Area’ ( VCA) totaling to 434-sq. km of which Mgahinga is 33.7 sq. km, just 8% of the VCA. Read More about Mgahinga National Park
Where do Gorillas live in Uganda & where gorilla trekking Uganda is done ON A Uganda Gorilla Safari?
Mountain gorillas are known to be living in the Africa’s tropical rain forests distributed into two sects with about 900km in between the eastern and western lowland gorillas. Initially, this was a single uniform habitat before it was separated by the ice age that created patches of forests and dry lands in the middle. The dry land eventually grew Savannah vegetation that did not favor the existence of apes and even when the rain forests regenerated, the gorillas could not re-unite again.
This kind of separation led to distinct development paths including gorilla exterior and the genetic factor explaining the difference between the eastern and western gorillas. The western gorillas are known to be thriving in the countries of Cameroon, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Angola and extreme west of Democratic Republic of Congo. The Eastern gorillas which include the eastern lowland and mountain Gorillas are located in Uganda where they are encountered on Uganda Gorilla safaris, Rwanda as viewed on Rwanda Gorilla safari, and Democratic Republic of Congo in a geographical spread of about 112,000km2. However, it can be noted that mountain gorillas are limited in range to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the Virunga massif which comprise of Mgahinga National Park in Uganda, Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Read More/ Read Less ABOUT UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI FACTS.
The following information is very important for those who intend to have a Ugandan Gorilla safari in Bwindi Impenetrable / Mgahinga Gorilla Park,
EVOLUTION OF MOUNTAIN GORILLAS IN UGANDA
On your Uganda Gorilla safari / Uganda Gorilla tour, you will discover that in science, the mountain gorillas are known as Gorilla beringei beringei and are noted to be the descendants of the ancestral monkeys which are known to have lived in Africa and Arabia at the beginning of the Oligocene epoch about 34 – 24 million years ago. Despite the poor record of their evolutionary history, it is believed that the primate group which evolved into gorillas separated from the common ancestor along with the chimpanzees and humans about nine (9) million years ago and the initial relative of mountain gorillas is known as Proconsul Africanus. The mountain gorillas are known to have separated from the Eastern lowland gorillas about 400,000 years ago while the two are believed to have separated from the western lowland gorillas about 2 million years ago.
Gorillas are among the Great apes – Gorilla Trekking Uganda safari facts
Have you ever heard of a group of animals called the Great apes? If you haven’t let’s try to have this changed. Great apes is a group of primates that have a highly developed and complex brain and lack an external tail as some of their many unique characteristics that differentiate them from other mammals in the apes category. Great apes are further classified into 4 smaller clusters which include Orang-utans- this comprises of the 2 species, the Bornean Orangutan and the Sumatran Orangutan. Chimpanzees- this group also has two species- the eastern/ common chimpanzees and the Bonobo or Pygmy chimpanzees, the third group has man or humans alone, yes man isn’t supernatural but rather a mammal that is closely tied with these other wild dwellers. The final sub category in the apes group has the gorillas- the gorilla sub group has 2 sub-groups- western gorillas and the eastern gorillas
The western gorillas group also known as Gorilla gorilla that you can see on Congo gorilla safari in Kahuzi Biega park has 2 species- the western lowland gorillas and the cross river gorillas.
The eastern gorillas also called Gorilla beringei. Eastern gorillas are also divided into 2 sub species- the mountain gorillas also known as Gorilla beringei beringei and the eastern lowland gorillas also called gorilla beringei graueri.
MOUNTAIN GORILLA CONSERVATION IN UGANDA RWANDA CONGO
Mountain Gorilla Conservation: The Continuity of mountain gorillas and gorilla safaris in Uganda Population size and growth rates
The conservation of mountain Gorillas has contributed to their increasing numbers in the two of their habitats namely the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda and Virunga Volcanoes national Park Rwanda this has boosted Uganda Gorilla safaris, Rwanda Gorilla tours as well as Congo gorilla safari tours. Apparently the mountain Gorilla population is given at 880 individuals. There are also three young gorillas that were affected by trauma as a result of poaching, snare injuries and the loss of the mother as a result of brutal killing thrive at in the DR Congo’s Senkwekwe Centre orphanage in at Mikeno Lodge in the Virunga National park Congo.
Virunga National Park official website announced in December 2010 an increment in the mountain gorilla populations thriving in the Virunga massif by 26.3% for the seven years past with an estimated mean growth rate of 3.7% per year. The census that was conducted in the same year gave the figure of the mountain gorillas at 480 in the massif which is shared by nations of Uganda, Congo and Rwanda rising from 380 mountain gorillas that were ascertained in 2003 and the 320 members in 1989 not forgetting the 254 gorillas in 1981.
In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the south west of Uganda, the 2011 study gave the gorilla population at a minimum of 400 individuals showing a steady increase from the 340 in 2006 and the 320 in 1997. It can be noted that these numbers were ascertained using traditional methods of gorilla counting including collecting dung samples from the night nests of gorillas. In contrast, the genetic analysis indicated that there were 300 gorillas in Bwindi by 2006.
It can be noted that either in Bwindi or the Virunga massif, the gorilla groups which are habituated for Gorilla trekking safaris in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo have a considerable growth rate compared to those groups that are not habituated as given by computer modeling of dynamics of their populations. The Habituation can be interpreted as the repeated and neutral contact of gorillas with humans resulting into the gorillas getting used with people and would depict normal behavior even when people are around. The habituated gorillas have opportunities of being guarded by park rangers, receiving veterinary treatment in case of Habituated gorillas are snares or other diseases unlike the un habituated. However, gorilla researchers still recommend that a section of gorillas should remain wild (un habituated) to avoid gorilla extinction in case the dangerous human pathogens are transmitted to the habituated ones.
It should be noted that regardless of increasing numbers, the mountain gorillas are still threatened and the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists them as critically endangered.
How much space do gorillas need? More about gorillas encountered on a Uganda gorilla safari
The gorilla families do not actually need independent territories nor do they position themselves to defend their territory from the rest. It can be noted that gorillas roam in the home ranges of which the size is dependent on the availability of food.
The home ranges are noted to be extended in areas where food is spread widely but in case of abundant availability of food the range tend to be limited. The space also depends on the family members possessed by a given gorilla group. The more the members, the wider space it would require thriving. This at times explains the difference in duration for gorilla trekking activity between different gorilla families.
The gorilla home range contain differing vegetation zones which are utilized seasonally stretching between 4 & 8km2 and even to 30km2 in the areas that are less fertile. It can be noted that home ranges at times overlap and it no surprising to find one gorilla groups entirely with in the home range of another gorilla group.
The gorilla groups tend to move an average distance of 0.5 – 1km to do foraging per day depending on the availability of food. At times, gorillas move to far distances targeting the trees of their loved food. This also affects the duration Gorilla trekking tour in Uganda and Rwanda.
What to know about Gorillas, on Uganda Gorilla safari;-
Are Gorillas Related to Humans in Uganda?
Initially, the humans belonged to their Hominidae taxonomy family while the apes were put in another taxonomic family named Pongidae. The separation between the two was brought about by specialization in anatomy, the human brain which is highly developed along with distinct locomotion. However, this has been declared outdated overtime putting the gorillas close relatives to humans second to Chimpanzees and coming before Orangutans. It can be noted that the genetic composition of the apes matches that of humans to a considerable degree with a small distinction in DNA. The gene analysis indicates that man and gorillas differ by 1.6% while man with chimpanzees differs by 1.2%. For gorillas and Chimps, the difference is 1.8% The DNA mitochondrial which is recorded to change faster, the geneticists identified a gap of 8.8% between chimps and humans, 10.3% between gorillas and humans. It should be noted that despite the closeness of the chimpanzees and bonobos to humans, the gorillas resemble humans in a range of aspects. For example, the hands and feet of gorilla resemble those of man than other apes while their feet is more suited for walking just like humans since they spend most of the time on ground unlike other apes. This is common in mountain gorillas that are encountered on gorilla trekking Uganda safaris.
On your Uganda gorilla safari, you’re in for an encounter with the mountain gorillas, the second largest of the 4 gorilla species with the eastern lowland gorillas being the biggest of all the gorillas in the wild. On seeing the gorillas on your Uganda gorilla safari tour you will be mesmerized by the human like wild giants who have a jet black fur coat on their body and stocky limbs with a protruding muzzle face. The gorillas exhibit sexual dimorphism with males being heavier than females. Adult males can weigh as much as 195 kg with a standing height of 168cm or 66 inches while their female counterparts can weigh 100kg with a height of 140 cm or 55inches. Mature male gorillas usually have a silver lining along their backs which comes along with age and this gave rise to the name the silverback. The adult male gorillas feature more notable bony crests which appear on top and the at the back of their skulls presenting their heads with a more conical shape. The crests get hold of the strong temporalis muscles that are attached to the lower jaw. The mature females also feature crests but are less prominent. The Mountain gorillas like other gorillas feature dark brown eyes that are framed by a black ring surrounding the iris. The hair on the backs of the mountain gorillas is noted to be shorter unlike on other parts of the body while the long hair is on their arms. The mountain gorillas are recorded to be terrestrial (land dwelling) and quadrupedal (walking on four legs). It can also be noted that the mountain gorillas will climb the trees to extract fruits provided the branches can contain their weight and the mountain gorillas can run bipedally up to 6m. Just like in most of the apes unlike humans, the mountain gorilla arms are noted to be longer in length than the legs and it applies knuckle-walking to support the weight on the backs of curved fingers other than the palms.
When Are Mountain Gorillas in Uganda Active?
Mountain gorillas are noted to be diurnal and are active between 6am and 6pm and considerable hours of this period is spent foraging lots of food (vegetation mostly) that is needed to fill its gigantic bulk. The mountain gorillas forage in the morning, rest around midday, forages again in the afternoon and then retire for overnight. Every gorilla puts up a nest from the available vegetation and it does this every evening and cannot sleep in the previous nest even if it is at a very close distance. However, the infants tend to share with their mothers. The mountain gorillas depart their nests at dawn 6am unless it very cold and overcast which forces that forces them to delay in their nest a bit.
On a Uganda Gorilla Safari / gorilla trekking Uganda tours, Gorillas are noted to be thriving in the cloud montane forests in the Albertine rift that stand at an altitude of 2,200–4,300 m above sea level. These are distributed into two separate but close ranges with the Virunga Volcanoes which is a chain of eight volcanic mountain stretching from Congo through Rwanda to Uganda and the detached Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the south west of Uganda. It can be noted that the vegetation on these raised altitudinal landscapes is very dense and it definitely gets scarce when approaching the higher elevations of the Mountains. The mountain gorilla forests are noted to be misty, cloudy with cold conditions.
How Do Mountain Gorillas in Uganda Feed?
Mountain gorillas are recorded to be herbivore Species and the majority of its diet is comprised of leaves, stems and shoots (85.8%) from the 142 Species of plants. The gorillas also feed on the tree bark (6.9%), fruit (1.7%) and flowers (2.3%) along with minor invertebrates (0.1%). The mature male gorillas are noted to consume up to 34 kgs everyday whereas a female can consume up to 18kgs. Mountain gorillas in Uganda are known to be vegetarian animals that on rare occasions enjoy the supplement from the insects. They are shy and less offensive creatures though with frightening eyes and body features. The mountain gorillas are the most powerful of all the apes and an adult gorilla can weigh up to 275kg with a height of 1.7m (6ft).
The Mountain gorilla home range is determined by the availability of food sources and the home range normally features a range of vegetation zones. Some of the vegetation zones frequented by mountain gorillas include the lower Bamboo standing at 2,200–2,800m, the Hagenia forests standing at 2,800–3,400 m and the giant senecio zone standing at 3,400–4,300m. It should be noted that the mountain gorillas spend much of its time in the Hagenia forests where their preferred gallium vines exist throughout the year. The parts of the gallium vine are eaten all including the stems, leaves, berries and flowers. The mountain gorillas tend to dwell in the bamboo forests in the few months when the fresh Bamboo shoots exist. The mountain gorillas would then climb to the subalpine regions to have a taste of giant senecio trees soft centres.
REQUIRMENTS FOR ONE TO DO GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA ON A UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI & UGANDA GORILLA FAMILIES
REQUIREMENTS FOR ONE TO DO GORILLA TREKKING IN UGANDA ON A UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI / UGANDA GORILLA TOUR.
Uganda Gorilla Safari Age Limit for trekking Gorillas.
The first requirement for one to track Gorillas in Uganda on a Uganda Gorilla safari is that you must be 16year and above. Children below this age will not track gorillas but do other activities on their Uganda Gorilla tour as their adults enjoy the trekking.
For one to undertake a magical Uganda gorilla safari tour, you are required to purchase a Uganda gorilla permit which is acquired in advance (six months preferably) . This permit gives you a one in a lifetime opportunity to have a memorable encounter with any of the 19 gorilla families which are open to tourists that are found in Bwindi impenetrable national park Uganda and also Mgahinga Gorilla National Park Uganda. With your gorilla trekking permit in hand out of the 144 gorilla permits available for those who visit Uganda for a Uganda Gorilla safari, you’re assured of an exhilarating moment as you get to be part of a group of 8 people who get to track any of the 19 gorilla families on this memorable thrilling Uganda gorilla tour expedition to Bwindi or Mgahinga to get to spend a full hour while observing these magical mountain giants from close range as thy go about their daily routines. . Read more about Uganda gorilla tracking Premits
Another Uganda Gorilla safari requirement to trek Gorillas is good health.
For any one one no matter if you have a gorilla permit, you must not be sick to go gorilla trekkng in Uganda in order to avoid transmission of any disease to Mountain Gorillas.
UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI FAMILIES.
Here is a quick wrap up of all gorilla families that are available for an epic Uganda Gorilla safari tour in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, there are 18 gorilla families that are found in 4 different sectors of the park.
Buhoma sector which is located in the north of the park has four (4) families which include Mubare, Habinyanja, Rushegura and Katwe and this the oldest Uganda gorilla safari region where gorilla trekking Uganda safari experiences were first experiences were first enjoyed.
Ruhiija sector in the east has four (4) gorilla families which include Oruzogo, Bitukura, Kyaguriro, Muzika.
Nkuringo sector is located in the southern sector of Bwindi and it has only 2 gorilla families remaining namely Bushaho and Nkuringo after the disintegration of the Christmas family which had come on board in 2018. This region is usually for the relatively fit Uganda gorilla safari visitors that due to its hight above sea level and the versility of the gorilla families.
In the southern sector still is Rushaga which has eight (8) gorilla families ;- Nshongi, Kahungye, Bweza, Busingye, Mishaya, Bushaho, Rwigi & Bikiyingi for gorilla habituation in Uganda.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has only one (1) group Nyakagezi, making a total of 19 gorilla groups in total that some undertaking a Uganda Gorilla safari can trek. New Gorilla Families in Uganda are soon to be officially opened for Gorilla trekking Uganda safari tours.
Here is detailed information about gorilla families in Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla Park for you to trek on a Uganda Gorilla safari
This region has 8 gorilla families as detailed below.
This is the largest gorilla family with 25 members, this group was named after river that flows in the area of Rushaga called river Nshongi. Nshongi family comprises of 2 silverbacks and it is led by a silverback named Nshongi and his second in command Kakono. The group has 7 blackbacks namely Bweza, Matama, Busasa, Bwire, Munnywa, Kutu, and Tinfayo, 5 adult females namely Munini, Shida, Bukojo, Nyampundu and Bwiruka, there are also 5 jujuveniles namely Tindatine, Mahoro, Rurehuka, Mucunguzi and Mureba and finally 6 infants namely Kazani, Katoono, Mukiza, Ninsiima, Bwiruka baby, Rotary.
This family consists of 9 members. It is led by a silver back called Bweza. This family was previously part of the Nshongi family but due to misunderstandings Bweza broke away from the Nshongi family to form his own family which is named after him. This family has one silverback, 2 infants
This family has 17 members. It is led by a silverback called Rumanzi. This family was named after Kahugye hill in Rushaga sector where this family was first discovered. This family includes 3 silverbacks 3 blackbacks, 3 female aduilts, 3juveniles and 2 infants.
This group is named after a Runyakitara word Busingye which means peace. This family has 9 members led by Busingye.
This group has 12 members led by a silverback called Mishaya. It has 2 adult females namely Bakunzi and Mwiza, 2 juveniles namely Rutaro, Mize, 5 infants but only 3 infants have names Mwiza baby 1, Mwiza baby 2 and Bakunzi. the two remaining infants are unknown.
The Bikiyingi family was discovered in Bikyingi area in the Rushaga sector hence having its name derived from the area where it was discovered. This family is only open for habituation experience. The Bikiyingi family is led by 1 dominant silver buck called Bikiyingi. Other members in this group include 5 adult females, 2 sub adults, 2 juveniles and 1 infant.
Mucunguzi family was formed after Mucunguzi silverback that belonged to the bweza family in which it was 3rd in command fought with Bweza and after the fight, Mucunguzi was banished from the group and became alone for some time. Mucunguzi later attacked Bikiyingi family and managed to grab some of its members hence it started its own family which now has 8 members led by Mucunguzi. The name Mucunguzi means Saviour.
This is a relatively new gorilla family here that was formed after a split from the Kahunje family. Rwigi gorilla family has 6 gorillas which are likely to increase in number in coming years as the family produces new babies and attract new members to join it.
Gorilla families in Ruhija sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
In this sector, there are 4 gorilla families namely
This family was initially led by Rukina but he was stuck by lightening to death in 2015. This resulted into a junior and inexperienced silver back Mukiza to take leadership of the group, after a short period of time mukiza was attacked by another silver back called Rukara. This led to the emergency of two families –kyaguliro A&B one led by Mukiza and another led by Rukara.. On the other hand, the Rukara family has 1 silver back Rukara, 2 blackbucks, 3 aduilt females 2 juveniles and 2 infants.
This family is a split group from kyaguliro that was formed after a bitter fight between Mukiza silverback and Rukara silverback the leader of Kyaguliro famly. Mukiza family has 13 members which include 1 silverback Mukiza, 6 adult females, 3 infants and 1 juvenile.
This family is named after a plant commonly called “Oruzogoto” has 17 members. It is led by a silverback called Bakwate his name means “an intelligent being and learns quickly”. There are 2 silverbacks in this family, the other silver buck is called Busungu which means “hot tempered”, 3 black bucks one of them is called Kaganga another one is called Bwoba which means “coward” and final blackbuck is called Otaka, 5 adult females, one is called Birungi which means “pretty”, Nyakiina is another one and she named after the depression on her nose ridge, Kashudwe which also has a mole on her nose, Kakobe is another adult female who was named after resemblance to the baboon called “Nkobe” in local dialect, the final adult female is Mutesi and her name means “calm or relaxed” , 3 juveniles which include Karimi named after her act of sticking her tongue out when playing Kashura named after her protruding hairless eyebrow and finally Kiromba and 4 infants which include Kanywani, Katoto, and Buchura which means the ‘youngest”.
This is the last family in the Ruhija family, it consists of 13 members. This family is led by a younger silverbuck called Ndahura regardless of his age he is the dominant male in this group. There are 3 other silverbucks in this family namely Karamuzi, Rukumu, and Rukara, 3 adult females namely Betina, Ruhara, and Kamuga, 2 black bucks namely Obia and Mugisha 2 juveniles namely Twakire and Kabandize- this broke off the Kyaguliro family, 2 infants namely Kadogo and Mubwindi.
Buhoma gorilla families
As of august 2018, Buhoma sector has 4 gorilla families with katwe gorilla family being the latest addition here which was officially declared available for tracking on 20th august 2018. The gorilla families here include
This family is named after a local word “Nyanja” which means lake or water. This family consists of 19 members and it is led by Makara as the dominant silver buck. 2 black bucks namely Maraya, and mizano who was killed by a poacher. 6 adult females namely Binyonko, Nyabuche, Nyamuhango, Rukundo, Kisho and Rugyendo. 2 sub adult males namely Kavuyo and Ruyombo, 3 juveniles namely Malaika, Hamusini, Elisa, 5 infants namely Rugyendo baby infant, Binyonko baby infant, Kisho baby infant, Rukundo baby infant, Nyabuche the new born.
The Rushegura family consists of 19 members led by Mwirima a dominant silver buck. This family is named after a tree species called “Ebishegura” that’s abundant in the area where it was discovered. Other members include 1 black buck called Kabukojo, 5 adult females namely Kyirinvi, Kibande, Buzinza, Nyamunwa, Karungyi, Kalembezi a sub adult male, Ruterana a sub adult female, 5 juveniles namely Nyampazi, Kafuruka, Kibande, Karungyi, Kanywanyi, 5 infants namely Kirinvi, Bunzinza, Nyamunwa, Kibande baby infant and Katabazi.
The family was named after Mubare hills in Buhoma where this group was first seen in 1998. This family suffered loss of its first silver buck leader called Ruhondeza and this led to some of its members breaking away from the group leaving it with only 5 members. However, recently the group has grown in numbers to 11 members and it is now under the leadership of a dominant silver buck called Kanyonyi. Other members of this group include 6 adult females, 1 sub adult and 3 teenagers.
This is the most recent gorilla family that has taken shape in the buhoma sector. This family is comprised of 10 members which include 1 dominant silverbuck called katwe, 3 black bucks, 4 adult females and 2 infants. The member composition of this are really still taking shape as some members keep joining and leaving the group.
Gorilla families in Nkuringo sector of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
As of today, this sector has 2 gorilla families after the distengration of Christmas gorilla family that had earlier been added to the families in this region.
This family has 19 members and it is named after the sector in which it is found Nkuringo. Nkuringo family is led by a dominant silver buck called Safari. Other members in this family include 3 other silver bucks namely Rafiki, Bahati, and Kirungi, 4 adult females namely mama Christmas, kwitonda, Samehe and Kasotora, 3 black bucks namely Karibu, Posho and Christmas, 3 juveniles namely Kwesima, Magara, Kuhirwa, 5 infants namely Rwamutwe , Muhozi Tabu, Furaha and Kiiza.
This family has 8 members. This was also named after the area it was first met. The Bushaho family is considered a breakaway group from Nkuringo family. The family is led by Bahati a dominant silver buck. Other members of the family include 1 black buck, 3 adult females, 1 sub adult, 1 juvenile and 2 infants.
Finally there is 1 gorilla family in Mgahingaa gorilla National Park that’s available for gorilla tours Uganda tracking and that’s the Nyakagezi gorilla family.
Nyakagezi gorilla family.
This family is located in the Mghinga gorilla National Park
The Nyakagezi gorilla has 9 members with 4 silverbacks 2 adults, 2 infants and 1 juvenile. This gorilla family is under the leadership of a silverback named Mark who took leadership from his father Bugingo who by the time of takeover was aged about 53 years, other silverbacks here include Mafia, Ndungutse and Bugingo. The adult females are called Nshuti and Nyiramwiza the infants are Nkanda, Mutagamba and Rukundo. The habituation of this family wasn’t really an easy task as it used to be immobile always crossing the borders into Congo and Rwanda however after the beginning of Mark’s regime as a dominant silverback , the group has fully settled down in Mgahinga and now its one of the easiest groups to track in Uganda as it likes staying on the lower ranges of Mgahinga.Read More about Uganda Gorilla Trekking Families
PLANNING YOUR UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI
When to go Gorilla trekking in Uganda? – Where can I get Uganda gorilla safari permits in Uganda?
Uganda Gorilla trekking permits in Uganda are only accessed through Uganda Wildlife Authority. Uganda Wildlife Authority is the only mandated agency to issue out gorilla trekking permits in Uganda. In order for you to enjoy a free hustle gorilla permit purchase process by contact any of the numerous Uganda Gorilla safari companies who will only charge you a small commission on top of your gorilla permit cost in case you aren’t interested in all inclusive gorilla safari packages. In Kampala, UWA offices are located along Plot 7 Kira Road, Kamwokya. Prime Uganda Safaris can help you to book a gorilla permit on your preferred date. Kindly note that the criteria for booking the gorilla permit is first come and first serve and you need to submit the passport details for gorilla permit printing.
When Should I Book A Uganda Gorilla Trekking Permit for my Uganda Gorilla Safari?
Uganda gorilla tours being a choice to many travelers for their Africa safari, Gorilla trekking in Uganda is one of the most sought after activity to a very big margin by tourists who engage in Uganda safari tours. It is therefore safe for you to plan your upcoming Uganda gorilla trek safari trip in advance.
In order for you to enjoy a hustle free booking process, you need to make bookings for your Uganda gorilla safari permits about 6 months ahead of time of your scheduled visit to Uganda for a gorilla safari. As earlier stated, Uganda is a preferred gorilla destination given the relatively affordable price of the gorilla trekking permits here hence many people opt for a Uganda gorilla safari. This in turn makes gorilla permits in quite a rare commodity which need prior booking
The best time when to go Gorilla trekking in Uganda – Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda?
Many travelers who have undertaken a Uganda gorilla tour have noticed that its relatively easier to enjoy Uganda’s gorilla experience during the dry season which happens to come around between the months of late December through February and sometime early March and also in from June to early September. This is mainly due to the fact that all the roads that lead to the gorilla destinations in Uganda- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Park and Mgahinga Gorilla Park are dry and also the trails within these two tropical jungles are dry hence easily navigable. It is also equally important to note that is not all dark and gloomy for those who would wish engage in a gorilla trekking safari Uganda experience during the rainy season because during the wet season, these gorillas tend to stay nearer hence gorilla families are easily located.
Uganda being a destination of choice to many travelers on their Africa safari, gorilla trekking is one of the most sought after activity by a very big margin of tourists who are engaging in a Uganda safari. It is therefore safe for you to plan your upcoming Uganda gorilla safari trip to Uganda far ahead of the scheduled time. gorilla safari destination of choice to many Africa safari goers, its highly
Cost of Gorilla Trekking permit in Uganda to enable you have a Uganda Gorilla safari. How much does a Uganda Gorilla trekking permit cost?
Gorilla tours Uganda are conducted in the two protected parks of Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. In Uganda, as of today until July 2020, each and every gorilla permit is sold at US$600 for foreign non residents and 500$ for foreign residents but beginning July next year (2020), Uganda has made a slight increment in its gorilla permit price of only 100$ to make it 700$ for foreign non residents, 600$ for foreign residents and 250,000/= for the citizens of the East African Community (EAC).
Even with this increment, Uganda still remains quite affordable gorilla destination given that a Uganda gorilla trekking permit is 800$ cheaper than that of Rwanda. However, it’s equally important to note that Uganda no longer has discounted gorilla permits hence the standard price of 700USD will be charged on each gorilla trekking permit throughout the year in Uganda. As of today, In Uganda, there are always one hundred thirty six (136) gorilla permits available per day to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and eight (8) more gorilla permits present in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park taking the tally to 144 gorilla permits in a single day.
What Is Included in A Gorilla Trekking Permit in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park?
A Uganda gorilla safari permit in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga gorilla Park gives you numerous privileges such as entrance to the park, an hour with the gorillas and services of the park ranger who will be your guide as you track down these elusive giants in the tropical jungles of Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla national park.
How many people can track a gorilla family during a Uganda Gorilla Safari?
Each gorilla family in Bwindi impenetrable National Park can be tracked by a group of people between 1-8 individuals. This means that if you come in a group of more than 8 people for your Uganda gorilla tour, you will be divided in groups of not more than 8 individuals and each group will track a different gorilla family at the same time. In case you have a group of more than 8 individuals, it’s alright you are still welcome to visit Uganda and engage in a gorilla trekking thriller because the park warden will simply divide you into 2 smaller groups of less than 8 people so that you qualify to track and each of these 2 smaller sub groups will track a different family. In case you don’t have high energy levels, you can ask the warden of the park allocate you to a gorilla family that is known to habituate nearer the park center so that you don’t walk for longer distances
How Long is Gorilla Trekking in Uganda during a Uganda Gorilla Safari?
A Uganda Gorilla safari / gorilla trekking Uganda safari is an unforgettable life-time memory experience that can only be experienced in Bwindi Impenetrable forest and Mgahinga Gorilla Parks. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is an amazing captivating search involving long walks following gorilla trails in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park majorly or Mgahinga National Park.
An African safari in Uganda to trek mountain gorillas deep in the heart of Africa’s most spectacular rainforests is life memory for every traveller who undertakes it.
A Uganda gorilla trek safari trip in Bwindi forest can take anything from 15 minutes to 8 hours, depending on where the Uganda mountain Gorillas are slept the previous night. At the end of each Gorilla trek in Uganda`s thick forested mountains, you will stay for only one hour photographing, admiring, learning and interacting with these great mountains Gorillas or apes.
On average gorilla trekking in Uganda takes between 3-6 hours to end. The time spent during gorilla trekking in Uganda majorly depends on a number of facts and these include
The location of the gorilla family: When you track a gorilla family which is known to habituate in areas nearer the park center, you are likely to spend less time out in the open wilderness tracking gorillas and when you track for a family that stays far away from the reverse is very true.
Moods of the tracked gorilla family: When you track a gorilla family that has been agitated, your ranger guide might be forced to cut short your time with the gorillas because your safety is his primary concern because these gorillas are wild animals which have the ability to charge to anyone they think is posing a threat to their family.
The onsite weather conditions: Weather conditions greatly influence the time duration spent while tracking gorillas. In case the heavens decide to open up and let it rain prior or during your gorilla trekking experience. You are bound to spend more time in the wilderness because the trails become quite muddy.
What Are the Chances of Seeing a Gorillas on a Uganda gorilla safari?
Your chances of seeing a gorilla family in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park are high definitely over 95% because before you track a gorilla family, an advance team of rangers is dispatched into the forest and track the current locations of the gorilla families and after establishing their location, the remaining guides at the park center are informed of this information and it acts as a rough guide to you as track these gorillas. Although all this has been done with a single aim of giving you a higher possibility of encountering these wild primates, it’s not a 100% guarantee that every time you go out into the jungle to search for these wild dwellers you will see them because they normally move from place to place looking for what to feed on and also the dominant silverback may move its family far away from your reach in an attempt to protect it from possible annexation attacks launched by other silverbacks who would try to annex new members to add to their own groups.
MOUNTAIN GORILLA FAQ`S
Do Gorillas fear Water: Questions on Gorilla safari in Uganda
Just like the humans and other apes, the gorillas are not able to swim naturally and as a result tend to avoid expanse water bodies. However, it can be noted that gorillas including the young and adult like playing with water and during their quest for food, the gorillas move through swamps walking on two legs with the water reaching up to their waist.
When the rain shower is heavy enough to their surprise, the gorillas tend to stay motionless waiting for the rain to end. They will sit under the cave or any shelter of a similar sort if it is within the reach. The gorillas never utilize branches or leaves to cover themselves from rain something that is occasionally done by the Orangutans and the Bonobos.
How Mountain gorillas spend their day: Day moments with gorillas on a Uganda gorilla safari.
According to the study conducted in Virunga Volcanoes, the mountain gorillas embark on foraging escapade early in the morning, rest in the late morning and around midday. They do forage again in the afternoon before retiring for overnight. The mountain gorillas depart their nests about 6am except for the cases of forecast and coldness where they are compelled to stay longer in their nests.
It can be noted that mountain gorillas spend close to half day foraging while the resting times take about 1/3 of the day. The mountain gorillas spend around 6.5% of their day time moving from one point to the other while engaging in social behavior for around 3.6% of the gorilla day time. This tends to happen during the resting periods and as a result mid-day becomes a significant period regarding the social life of the gorillas since it is the period when the animals interact with their mates and when the baby gorillas play with no interruptions.
Can Gorillas climb trees: Exploring more on a Gorilla safari in Uganda
Can Gorillas climb trees exploring more on gorilla safari in Uganda!
It can be noted that gorillas primarily thrive on the ground and spend around 5 – 20% of their day time in trees which is lesser than the chimpanzees that spend 5 – 20% along with the orangutans that spend close to 100%.
Gorillas climb to extract fruit or play and they usually climb quadruped-ally and on rare occasions, they jump from one branch to another. The Silver-back gorillas hardly move off the ground as result of their enormous size and would climb into fruiting trees provided the branch can contain their weight.
Besides Humans, do Gorillas have enemies? a common Uganda gorilla safari question.
Besides the humans, the gorillas have a few predators. The Leopard is noted to be the only one preying on gorillas. In the Virunga Volcanoes, the remains of a range of gorillas were found by Walter Baumgärtel after being killed by leopard. A similar case was confirmed in Gabon when a sick young gorilla was noticed to have been killed by leopard.
The gorilla group would behave in a certain (special) way when threatened. The Silver backs send off an intensive smell and produce characteristic sounds while other members congregate together, hug one another or surround the Silverback. The adult males are charged with the responsibility of defending the group positioning themselves amidst the group and the attacker. At times, this duty is taken over by the young males who take the group away from the danger source.
Behavior of Mountain Gorillas – How do Mountain Gorillas behave while on Uganda Gorilla Safari?
Mountain gorillas are social animals and thrive in stable and cohesive groups which are kept together by long term bonds among the mature males and females. It can be noted that female relationships are averagely weak. The mountain gorillas are non-territorial Species and the silver-back gorilla would aim at defending the family other than the territory.
It can be noted that 61% of the gorilla groups feature one mature male and a count of females while the 36% has features more than one mature male. The remaining gorillas either live alone like male or form exclusive male groups which feature one mature male and a range of younger males. The mountain gorilla group sizes range from five (5) to thirty (30) with the common average being ten (10) members. Atypical group features one main silver-back whose leadership is unquestionable followed by another subordinate silver-back who is commonly the half-brother, younger brother or even an adult son of the reigning silver-back. From this position, there follows the one (1) or two (2) black backs that act as watchmen, three (3) or four (4) that are sexually mature and more bonded to the main silver-back for life and these are followed by a range of Juveniles ranging from three (3) to six (6) and the infants.
It can be noted that a considerable number of males and around 60% of the females depart their natal group. The males tend to leave the group when they are around 11 years old and process of separation takes time with them starting to forage on the group edge up to when they depart altogether. They can leave alone or with an entire male group of 2 – 5 years before attracting females to join them and put up a new group. The females are known to leave the group when they are eight (8) years and they either transfer direct to an already established group or forming up a new one with a lone male. It is noted that female tend to transfer to many gorilla groups before settling in one.
Dominant Silver back decides on the group movements leading them to the ideal feeding areas all year round. The Silver back settles conflicts within the group and ensures that the group is protected from the external threats. In case of any attack from predators like leopard, other threats like humans or attacks for other gorillas, the Silverback is dedicated to fight beyond self. The Silver back is the center of focus during the resting periods and the young gorillas always stay close to him and engage him in their playful games. When a mother dies or happens to evacuate the group, the Silver-back tends to take care of the abandoned baby even sharing his nest with the young. This alloparental care is also encountered in a range of other animals including the wolf and the elephants. The silver-backs which are experienced can even remove the poacher’s snares from the feet or hand of any group member.
It can be noted that in cases where the Silverback passes away succumbing to a disease, poaching or accident, there happens a family disruption unless when he has left a capable successor behind. The group splits up or can be taken over by a foreign male. At times, the new Silverback can kill all the infants left by the deceased in order to enable the female conceive its young ones. However, this infanticide has never been encountered in stable gorilla groups.
How do Gorillas in Uganda sleep?
Gorillas have been observed to sleep in nests which are built either in trees or on ground considering various aspects including the vegetation along with security situation
It can be noted that new nests are constructed per evening by the gorillas even if the previous nest is within the close reach. Every gorilla puts up his / her nest except for the infants who sleep with the mothers in the same nest. The gorillas settle in their respective nests about half an hour to the dark. It is on rare occasions that gorillas out up nests for midday use.
Regarding the construction of a ground nest, the gorillas pulls the branches of plants to the center, layer and anchor them on each other while other plants are also bent in to form the rim of the nest.
For the tree nests, they are put up in forks of branches or related structures and they are built to strength in order to contain the weight of the gorillas. The young ones and females prefer to sleep in trees but the silver-backs rarely do because of their enormous weight.
Evolution, Taxonomy and Classification: Exploring the background of gorillas on Uganda gorilla safaris
Mountain Gorillas are noted to be the descendants of old world monkey and the apes that are known to have thrived in Africa and Arabia at the onset of the Oligocene epoch about (34-24 million years ago). The evidence gathered from fossil records indicates the existence of hominoid primates (apes) in the region of East Africa approximately 18–22 million years past. However, it should be noted that the fossil record in the area where the mountain gorillas are known to thrive is poor which gives unclear history of evolution.
It can be noted that around nine (9) million years ago, the primate group that was to evolve into gorillas disintegrated from the common ancestor along with humans and chimps resulting into the formation of the genus gorilla. Though it is not certain who the earliest gorilla relative was, it’s believed that Proconsul Africanus the early ape could be the one.
Mountain gorillas are noted to have disintegrated from the eastern lowland gorillas about 400,000 years past and the two are believed to have disintegrated from their western counter parts about 2 million years. About the classification, one can note that there has been considerable debate and this can be described here; the genus was initially given as Troglodytes in the year 1947 but in the year 1952, it was reverted back to the gorilla naming. After a couple of years, the taxonomist in the names of Colin Gloves suggested that all gorillas should be referred to as one Species Gorilla gorilla in the year 1967 distributed in three sub species namely; the western lowland gorilla scientifically Gorilla gorilla gorilla, the eastern lowland gorillas scientifically Gorilla gorilla graueri and then mountain gorillas scientifically Gorilla berengei beringei which are mostly encountered on Gorilla safaris in Uganda and Rwanda. The argument continued until the year 2003 when International Union for the Conservation of Nature reviewed the classification and divided the genus into two (2) species namely; the Gorilla berengei and Gorilla gorilla
Aggression of Mountain Gorillas in Uganda.
Despite the fact that mountain gorillas are powerful and strong, it can be acknowledged that they are gentle and shy. In the same group, aggression is limited but when the two gorilla groups meet, the two silverbacks can even fight to death using their sharp canines to impose deep injuries. The sequence of aggression follows nine (9) steps and these include;
- Progressive quick hooting
Chest beating using cupped hands
One leg kick
Vegetation slapping and tearing
Ground thumping with palms ending the display
Uganda Gorilla affiliations.
Mountain gorillas use the midday rest as a significant time to establish and reinforce relations with in the group. The mutual grooming aims at reinforcing social bonds and keeping the hair free from parasites and dust. However, this is not very common in gorillas compared to other primates though the females do the young one grooming regularly. The young gorillas tend to play often and like playing trees more than the adults. The playing elements enables them learn how they can communicate and behave in their respective groups. The playful activities that young gorillas engage in include; chasing, wrestling not forgetting somersaults. It can be noted that the silverback along with the mature females do tolerate the games and can even engage in them once encouraged
There are twenty five (25) vocalizations recognized among the mountain gorillas most of which are applied within the group to communicate while foraging in the dense vegetation that they inhabit. The Sounds that are categorized as barks and grunts are made when the gorillas are on the move and help to locate the whereabouts of various group members. These sounds can also be used in the social interaction when there is call for discipline. The warning or alarm is done by screaming or roaring and are mostly released by the silverbacks. In times of contentment especially during periods of feeding and resting, the deep, rumbling belches can be heard. They are also commonly used in the intra group communication.
Mountain gorillas are reportedly naturally afraid of the given reptiles due to unclear reasons. The infants which are noted to have habit of chasing anything that might present itself in moving motion would dive way for caterpillars and Reptiles. The Mountain gorillas are noted to fear water and would do stream crossing if they can do so without becoming wet such crossing on the fallen logs. However in situations where they do not have option, they cross the water bipedally. It can be noted that Mountain gorillas also dislike rain and in situations of heavy down pour they can stand still or sit below a cave or a similar structure.
Are Gorillas Stronger than Humans:
The issue of whether gorillas are stronger than humans is still a matter of debate world wide and many times during Uganda gorilla safari trips. It can be noted that gorillas can up root small trees while others have been encountered shaking even the mature well-grounded trees. The fight between two silverbacks can lure a person into remarkable trembling. These are yardsticks to ascertain the strength of a gorilla but there not the exact gorilla strength. Various people argue that a male gorilla is stronger than a man 10 times though others claim 27 times but none of these have been proved.
Other arguments indicate that a group of 8 strong men are required to hold down a silverback gorilla. Other groups argue that a gorilla can crush the limbs of 10 heavy weight boxers even when they are using drugs.
As a result, it is noted that man should desist from angering gorillas even when the gorillas are habituated. Even a female gorilla can beat a human being to death. Even the young gorillas are strong enough not to be contained by humans because a single person cannot contain 4 year old gorilla.
It can be noted that Gorillas still do swinging and walk on four legs which makes its arms more engaged and thus stronger than those of human beings.
What illnesses do Uganda Gorillas suffer from?
Gorillas in Uganda are prone to most of the human diseases and as a result it is very significant to note that travelers on gorilla safaris in Uganda keep a considerable distance (7m as recommended) to stop the transmission of these diseases.
Besides the human diseases, the mountain gorilla habitats feature cold and wet climate which makes to gorillas to contract develop diseases like respiratory tract diseases especially Pneumonia resulting in to their death.
Gorillas occasionally develop teeth cavities while for the mountain gorillas they hardly suffer from it since they consume little fruit and thus less sugar. However, the bad tartar in mountain gorillas causes periodontitis that dissolve the jaw bone eventually leading to loss of teeth.
It can be noted that most of the free range mountain gorillas feature intestinal parasites (worms) and these affect both man and gorillas though others only capitalize on gorillas. The malaria parasites also have got an effect on gorillas however they are different species than those that cause sickness in humans.
Snares usually set by poachers targeting other wildlife accidentally tend to grab the foot of the hand of the gorillas causing wounds that might result into death. The case like Ebora is a big threat to gorillas as it can be transferred from Humans to gorillas and vice versa.
What threats do Gorillas in Uganda face?
It is noted that Mountain gorillas are critically endangered which is even highlighted during your Uganda Gorilla safari. The gorillas are sensitive to environmental alterations especially their habitats. In the Virunga Volcanoes, gorillas are disturbed by loggers, cattle herds, honey and grass collectors, poachers and smugglers not forgetting the visitors on gorilla safaris themselves. Mining is also a point of disturbance to gorillas in some parts.
In most of the aspects, the poachers tend to set wire snares to catch the duiker but unfortunately the gorillas become victims losing their hands or feet resulting into death. The vets tend to remove such snares in the habituated gorilla groups.
For the western and Grauer’s gorilla are hunted for their meat by the local people despite its illegality. The gorillas also raid on people’s gardens and are killed since it is noted that one gorilla group can put down the entire harvest.
The increasing gorilla habitat loss arising from rain forest deforestation creates small patches of isolated forests which are inadequate for the gorillas to forage. The Ebola virus is also a main threat to western low land gorillas.
The Habitat and ecology of Mountain gorillas – where to find mountain gorillas on Uganda Gorilla safari / Uganda Gorilla tour.
Uganda Mountain gorillas are noted to be thriving in the cloud montane forests in the Albertine rift that stand at an altitude of 2,200–4,300 m above sea level. These are distributed into two separate but close ranges with the Virunga Volcanoes which is a chain of eight volcanic mountain stretching from Congo through Rwanda to Uganda and the detached Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in the south west of Uganda. It can be noted that the vegetation on these raised altitudinal landscapes is very dense and it definitely gets scarce when approaching the higher elevations of the Mountains. The mountain gorilla forests are noted to be misty, cloudy with cold conditions.
Mountain gorillas are recorded to be herbivore Species and the majority of its diet is comprised of leaves, stems and shoots (85.8%) from the 142 Species of plants. The gorillas also feed on the tree bark (6.9%), fruit (1.7%) and flowers (2.3%) along with minor invertebrates (0.1%). The mature male gorillas are noted to consume up to 34 kgs everyday whereas a female can consume up to 18kgs.
The Mountain gorilla home range is determined by the availability of food sources and the home range normally features a range of vegetation zones. Some of the vegetation zones frequented by mountain gorillas include the lower Bamboo standing at 2,200–2,800m, the Hagenia forests standing at 2,800–3,400 m and the giant senecio zone standing at 3,400–4,300m. It should be noted that the mountain gorillas spend much of its time in the Hagenia forests where their preferred gallium vines exist throughout the year. The parts of the gallium vine are eaten all including the stems, leaves, berries and flowers. The mountain gorillas tend to dwell in the bamboo forests in the few months when the fresh Bamboo shoots exist. The mountain gorillas would then climb to the subalpine regions to have a taste of giant senecio trees soft centers.
UGANDA GORILLA SAFARI RULES / UGANDA GORILLA TREKKING RULES & REGULATIONS.
For travelers who are planning to have a memorable gorilla trekking safari in Uganda, there are number of etiquettes one is supposed to follow when starting to trek, when spending the one magical hour with the stunning mountain gorillas in the ancient forest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
Rules Observed Before Starting Gorilla Trekking in Uganda:
- Always wash your hands before you head out to the gorillas on the way to the gorillas:
- Please always keep your voices low. You will also be able to observe the great bird life and other wildlife in the forest.
- In case, you have flue or cold or any other contagious infection, save yourself from tracking gorillas that day
- Do not leave rubbish in the park. Whatever you bring into the forest should be carried back out with you.
- You will be taken to where the guides observed the gorillas the day before. From there you will follow the gorilla’s trail to find them. Look out for the gorilla’s nesting sites along the way!
- When you approach the mountain gorillas, the guides will inform you to get ready.
- A tourist group of eight (8) people can be allowed to track one gorilla family.
Uganda Gorilla Safari Etiquette after finding Gorillas
It can be noted that Mountain gorillas comprise 98% of man’s DNA and as a result they are prone to disease contraction. The human infections especially the respiratory ones are dangerous to gorillas because the gorillas do not feature the immune system to neutralize such diseases like that of humans. In fact, a common cold to a gorilla can be threatening.
It can be noted that Mountain gorillas comprise 98% of man’s DNA and as a result they are prone to disease contraction. The human infections especially the respiratory ones are dangerous to gorillas because the gorillas do not feature the immune system to neutralize such diseases like that of humans. In fact, a common cold to a gorilla can be life threatening.
There are various rules that have been put in place to ensure proper conduct of gorilla trekking in Uganda. These include;
- Upon reaching them, one hour is availed to you to maximize your experience
- A minimum distance of 7m should be observed between the gorillas and the gorilla trekkers. Since gorillas are unaware of this and attempt to draw closer to you, kindly try to take steps away to maintain the distance.
- On the moments with the gorilla group, the voices should be kept low and the sudden unnecessary movements avoided ensuring that mountain gorillas are relaxed.
- Even though the mountain gorillas are habituated, the fact remains that they are wild animals and thus can react if they feel not safe. Always follow the rangers instructions; including desisting from running, crouch down and allow them to pass avoid looking straight in their eyes.
- Do not attempt to smoke, eat or drink when you are closer to gorillas
- It is not permitted to use flash photography
- After the tracking, keep your voices down the until you reach 200m away
- In case you want to use a bush toilet, let the range know such that he can dig for you a hole using his Panga and has to be 30cm deep and then you close it after use.
Photography during a Uganda Gorilla Safari
Taking photos with mountain gorillas during Uganda Gorilla tours is a living testimony of your encounter with them and there is no limit to the number of pictures one should take during his / her one hour with gorillas. However, it can be noted that light or flash photography is prohibited as it is too sharp in the rain forests and not good for the gorillas especially when the all eight people take flash photos at a minute interval for one hour. Thus, photos have to be taken without flash. A camera gear is also required to save your camera from rain.
Uganda Gorilla Safari National Parks | Uganda Gorilla Trekking Safari Destinations
Uganda is a member of East African Federation a nd is one of the countries on the African continent that are gifted by nature which prompted the British premier to declare it the pearl of Africa in 1908. It contains ten Uganda national parks that are well set to be encountered on Uganda safari.
The amazing Uganda Gorilla experience starts with Lake Mburo National Park – the smallest savannah park in Uganda located along Masaka- Mbarara road in the south west of the country well known for its populations of Impala, Zebra and Eland more than any other park. Proceed to gorilla safari destination of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the home of the endangered Mountain gorillas well known for gorilla tracking.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda a home to the rare endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda, is strategically located at the edge of the western rift valley (Albertine rift valley), in South Western Uganda. Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda is shared amoungest Rukungiri, Kisoro and Kabale Districts of Uganda. Read More about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda only 33 sq km of size, is located in the far southwestern corner of Uganda bordering Rwanda and Congo,14 km from kisoro town in Bufumbira County about 540 km from Kampala-the capital. Mgahinga National Park was gazetted in 1991.
This Park covers the northern slopes of the three northernmost Virunga Volcanoes namely; the 3,474 m high Mt. Gahinga , Mt. Muhavura (4,127 m), and Mt. Sabinyo (3,645 m). The park is bordered to the south by the Republic of Rwanda and to the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC). Each of these surrounding countries protects its own share of the Virungas. The three parks together form the ‘Virunga Conservation Area’ ( VCA) totaling to 434-sq. km of which Mgahinga is 33.7 sq. km, just 8% of the VCA. Read More about Mgahinga National Park.
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