A 2024 Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Congo: There are quite few experiences with wildlife that compare to sitting with endangered gorillas in their native environment and seeing their intriguing family dynamics. Gorilla trekking in the Congo will take you into a lush rainforest environment inhabited by gorillas, forest elephants, buffalos, and hundreds of bird species.
Conflict and illness have significantly decreased gorilla numbers in the Congo, and tourism is an essential component of massive conservation efforts to safeguard those that remain while also benefiting nearby people. A gorilla walk is a powerful and humbling experience that is enhanced by the knowledge that your efforts directly contribute to their survival.
Which Gorilla Species can you find in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Western lowland gorillas are smaller relatives of mountain gorillas, distinguished by heart-shaped noses, shorter hair, and broader skulls. Silverback males have exaggerated silver on their backs, and silverback gorillas weigh nearly twice as much as females.
They are the smallest gorilla subspecies, yet they are no less lovely. They may reach a height of 5 foot 6 inches while standing. These skilled tree climbers live in tiny family groups of up to 10 individuals and are critically endangered due to hunting, habitat degradation, and illness.
Western lowland gorilla families have sought safety deep within the Congo’s jungles and marshes, and tracking them down is quite an adventure because they are known to move long miles during the day before settling down to feed. Encounters with western lowland gorillas are a sought-after experience, where you will be amazed by the parallels between human and ape – they share over 90% of our genetic code.
What to expect during Gorilla Trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
In order for you to encounter the western lowland gorillas in their natural habitats, you must go through rivers, tall grasses, rainforest, and marshy terrain, making it one of the most adventurous treks on the African continent. You are no longer a spectator of nature, but rather a part of it. Attentive to the crunching noises of your exploring feet, the seductive fragrance of the forest, and the wonderful vistas.
A decent trip may last anywhere from one to five hours, depending on where the families are located, and it’s ideal to wear the most comfortable shoes. You’ll be escorted by a professional guide and skilled tracker who will keep you enthralled with their enthusiasm and knowledge the whole time.
You’ll gain intriguing insights into the lives of these wonderful species, as well as more intricate data about the terrain, its vegetation, insect life, and unique fruits. Other animals you may encounter are forest elephants, chimps, and mangabeys (forest monkeys).
What to expect when you encounter Gorillas during Gorilla Trekking in Congo?
After hiking over the landscape and seeing a family of gorillas, you will don a mask to reduce the danger of transferring infections. Gorillas lack protection to many human diseases, yet they are just as prone to being ill as we are, and it may be fatal for them. This is also why, whenever you come into contact with them, you must maintain a respectful distance of seven metres or 23 feet.
You will spend up to an hour with the western lowland gorillas, and in order to make them feel comfortable, your movements will be deliberate, slow, and quiet, with no flash photography and your hands kept to yourself.
While interacting with wild animals entails some risk, your guide and tracker will never put you in danger, and they will advise you on how to make the experience as gratifying as possible. It will be a soul-stirring hour of observation in which the spirit of Africa will run through your blood.
Why you should book a Gorilla Trekking Safari in Congo?
A Congo safari allows you to experience the mosaic of virgin forests, savannahs, marshy bas (mineral-rich wetlands), and rivers at the heart of what is perhaps safari’s final frontier. Safaris in Congo are immersive experiences that allow you to learn more about the country’s biodiversity, animals, culture, history, and conservation in some of the most isolated parts of the world.
Congo gorilla trekking safaris are unique in that you and your guide may walk right into the jungle from camp and begin following gorillas; occasionally they can be found within an hour. This differs from other gorilla trekking sites such as Rwanda and Uganda, where you must first take a road transfer into the national parks before hiking for two to five hours into the mountains.
Congo gorilla safaris also allow you to track these monkeys for three consecutive days, whilst other nations limit you to only one day. This gives you more opportunity to interact with the different gorilla families and compare the intriguing variances in personalities and group dynamics.
In conclusion; Aside from gorilla trekking safaris in the Democratic Republic of Congo, you may also walk through the world’s second-largest tropical rainforest in search of shy forest elephants and buffalo, chimpanzees and over 400 bird species. You may also go on guided night treks to see nocturnal primates like the Central Potto.