Gorilla Trekking in Virunga National Park

Where to see Gorillas in Congo?

Where to see Gorillas in Congo? Gorillas are undoubtedly the most fascinating of all wild primates. They are the bigger, more powerful, yet gentler creatures. Gorillas are unique in that they behave similarly to humans and share more than 97% of our genetic makeup.

Chimpanzees are more intellectual and sophisticated than gorillas, yet they are more violent and disorganized. Gorillas are often seen to be wiser, more charming, and kinder. Gorillas are exclusively found in Africa, and there are two primary species: western and eastern gorillas. Western gorillas are divided into two subspecies: cross-river gorillas and western lowland gorillas.

Mountain gorillas and Eastern lowland gorillas (Grauer’s gorilla) are the two types of Eastern gorillas. The western lowland gorilla is the most prevalent, with a population of approximately 250,000 individuals.

Eastern gorillas are bigger than western gorillas, and their fur is darker and longer. A male gorilla may weigh up to 200 kilograms as an adult. Gorillas are generally vegetarians, eating bamboo shoots, tree stems/bark, fruits, and very infrequently termites.

Gorillas live in groups that are very stable, led by a dominant Silverback. Gorilla groups can include anywhere from two to fifty individuals. The dominant male decides where the animals will graze and rest. He maintains a close eye on everyone in the group and will defend his family from other silverback gorillas, other animals, or people.

The dominant male dominates until he dies or is replaced by a stronger male from the same or another group. Males reach sexual maturity at around 15 years of age, and the dominant silverback has complete mating rights in a gorilla community.

When females attain adulthood, they usually leave their group to join a single male or other groups. Although females reach sexual maturity at the age of eight, they begin breeding later. Females reproducing within their own group are uncommon, particularly among cross-river gorillas. A female will have four offspring during her lifetime. Gorillas may live up to 40 years in the wild and 50 years in captivity.

Western lowland gorillas are the most numerous and distributed, with a population of approximately 250,000 individuals. Because of their continuous contacts with people, they experience the most persecution.

Where to see Gorillas in Congo?

Following them are the eastern lowland gorillas, which number around 7,000 individuals.  Mountain gorillas may have had the biggest % rise in population, but their overall population is one of the smallest, at around 1,000 individuals. The Cross River gorillas of Nigeria and Cameroon are at the bottom of the curve. Only around 250 Cross River gorillas remain in the wild.

Where to see Gorillas in Congo?

Civil conflict and political turmoil have frequently denied the world access to a nation with possibly Africa’s greatest tourist potential. The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the only country where three gorilla subspecies may be found. The Virunga National Park is home to mountain gorillas. Eastern lowland gorillas may be found in Kahuzi Biega National Park, and western lowland gorillas can be found in the country’s extreme west, along the Madiakoko Mountains.

Due to instability in the country’s east, travelers may now only visit the Virunga and Kahuzi Biega National Parks to see gorillas. There is a good probability of spotting eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega and mountain gorillas in Virunga. Western lowland gorillas are rarely seen since they migrate to Angola and return. Congolese gorilla permits cost $400.

Where else can I see Gorillas?

Seeing Gorillas in Uganda.

Uganda is a great destination to watch mountain gorillas. Half of the world’s mountain gorilla population lives in Uganda, namely in two national parks: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park. Mgahinga Gorilla National Park has only one habituated gorilla group, whereas Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has over 19 gorilla families.

Mountain gorillas in Mgahinga prefer higher elevations, whilst those in Bwindi prefer lower terrain. Many of Uganda’s gorilla tribes are still wild due to their enormous population. Uganda is also the only place where one may participate in a gorilla habituation experience.

This one-of-a-kind experience entails studying the primates for around four hours, as opposed to traditional gorilla trekking, which allows tourists only one hour with a gorilla troop. Uganda also has a broader range of animals and activities that visitors may participate in after visiting the gorillas.

Uganda is undoubtedly the superior gorilla trekking location, although the government is not as zealous in marketing the pastime as Rwanda. The driving distance from Kampala or Entebbe to Bwindi or Mgahinga is rather long, which deters some tourists.

If you prefer to enter into Uganda from Rwanda to skip the long drive, then you can do so via Cyanika or Katuna borders. Mountain gorillas are quite likely to be seen in Uganda (almost 99% of the time). Uganda’s gorilla permits cost $700, making it an attractive site for low-cost gorilla trekking.

Seeing Gorillas in Rwanda.

Rwanda is one of the greatest gorilla destinations in the world to see mountain gorillas in the wild. Rwanda is home to around 30% of the surviving mountain gorilla population. Rwanda’s gorillas can all be located in the Volcanoes National Park. Dian Fossey, the famed primatologist, built a base here in the 1960s to study the behavior of these amazing creatures.

Gorilla trekking at Volcanoes National Park is quite popular, attracting thousands of people each year. Rwanda now has eleven habituated mountain gorilla populations. Rwanda is believed to be the best destination in the world to see mountain gorillas.

Rwanda is ideal for gorilla viewing because to its well-developed tourism infrastructure and more professional services. The likelihood of spotting gorillas in Rwanda is more than 99%. Rwanda has the costliest gorilla permits, at $1500 per person.

In summary; Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda are home to wild gorillas. Although most people visit Uganda and Rwanda to follow gorillas, West African nations offer even more incredible primate excursions. If you can put up with the inconvenience, uncertainty, and vast travel distances in several West African nations, you will be rewarded with incredible biodiversity.

book a gorilla safari