Lowland Gorilla Trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Eastern Lowland Gorilla Trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo brings you to some of Africa’s most isolated locations in pursuit of the world’s largest primate. Gorillas are giant forest apes that inhabit in East, West, and Central Africa’s forests, marshes, and lowland regions.
Gorillas are classified into two species: western and eastern gorillas. Each specie is further subdivided into two subspecies. Cross River gorillas and Western lowland gorillas are the two types of Western gorillas. Eastern gorillas are classified into two subspecies: mountain gorillas and Eastern lowland gorillas, which can only be found in Kahuzi Biega National Park.
Mountain gorillas are found exclusively in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The biggest known number and density of western lowland gorillas is found in Congo Brazzaville’s Odzala National Park. Researchers are unable to quantify their actual population because the majority of them dwell in exceedingly distant settings.
Based on 1980s estimates, it was expected that around 100,000 western lowland gorillas remained in the wild. However, the recent finding of an estimated 125,000 individuals in a secluded marshy area in the northwestern part of Congo Brazzaville has piqued the interest of both researchers and conservationists.
Facts about Eastern Lowland Gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Eastern lowland gorillas, like mountain gorillas, are gentle and quiet apes that can bark, growl, or scream when necessary. Gorillas never attack or become hostile unless provoked. Males may fight over females on occasion, although only on rare occasions. Gorillas communicate using various noises and body language. They spend the day grooming, climbing, dangling on tree tops, and chasing each other about. They feed on leaves, stems, fruit, and bushes.
Mountain gorilla groups often have 20 to 30 members or more compared to Eastern lowland groups. Both subspecies live in herds led by a dominant silverback. The other males in the group can opt to stay in the group as bachelors until eventually taking over from the dominant silverback, or they can depart to find mates. When females reach a certain age, they generally join a lone male or another group of their choice.
Females are known to switch groups frequently during their lives. Gorillas spend the most of their time on the ground due to their large size and weight. Both species use leaves, bushes, and tree branches to construct ground nests where they may rest in the middle and end of the day. Females and juveniles may make their nests on the tops of trees.
Eastern lowland gorillas are distinct from mountain gorillas in several respects. They have darker coats, and the silver on the male’s back may extend to the lower body, including the thighs. Despite its tiny stature, the Eastern lowland gorilla has a broader and wider cranium than the mountain gorilla. Because their habitats are spread out, eastern lowland gorillas are more mobile than mountain gorillas.
Males of both subspecies are often much bigger than females. Eastern Lowland Gorillas are extremely intelligent and have been observed in the wild utilizing a range of tools. Researchers have seen them examine the depth of wetlands and rivers before determining whether or not to cross to the opposite side. Eastern lowland gorillas in captivity have demonstrated a remarkable capacity to acquire sign language. They may acquire habits and behaviors that are not found in the wild.
About Lowland Gorilla Trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Trekking eastern lowland gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Kahuzi Biega national park is accessible all year. This excursion costs $400 USD per person and offers visitors to spend time with lowland gorillas in their natural habitat.
The trekking begins with a briefing at the Tshivenda Visitor Center just outside the park, where guests are equipped with the knowledge they will need while in the park, and you can also hire any equipment you may need for this Congo gorilla safari, such as porters and hiking sticks, before following the ranger guides into the forest.
Because lowland gorillas prefer the lowlands, trekking eastern lowland gorillas in Congo’s Kahuzi Biega National Park is less physically demanding than trekking mountain gorillas. Before reaching the day’s lowland gorilla family, you may have to do longer excursions with fewer hikes.
After visiting the lowland gorilla family, you may spend an enjoyable hour viewing them go about their daily activities. The grey hair on his lower back and the respect offered by the other members of the group distinguish the dominant silverback male gorilla. Enjoy seeing the female gorillas look after their young.
What you can expect during lowland gorilla trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
In general, monitoring lowland gorillas is reserved for people with a strong interest in primates or who want to have an out-of-the-ordinary experience – something genuinely unique. Aside from witnessing gorillas, the benefit is visiting locations that have never been seen by many people before and marveling at the incredible biodiversity.
The first step in tracking Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega is a briefing at the Tshivanga Visitor Centre, which is located outside the park’s entrance. The park guide will go through the rules and procedures for lowland gorilla trekking while presenting details about the gorilla families and the landscape they live in with tourists. Following the briefing, tourists are escorted down well-marked trails in search of the gorilla troop. Eastern Lowland gorillas are constantly on the move, so tracking them down may take an hour or two.
Visitors will most likely notice the children playing before the dominant silverback emerges to see if there is any possible threat to the family. If everything is OK, he will let Trekker watch after the family. You will only get one hour with the gorilla troop, which will be ideal for observing their behavior and photographing them.
Comparing Lowland Gorilla Trekking and Mountain Gorilla Trekking.
It should be noted that mountain gorillas can only be monitored in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mountain gorillas have a population of around 1000 individuals. The population of Eastern lowland gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) has plummeted to less than 5000 individuals. The western lowland subspecies account for the high numbers stated. Mountain gorilla tracking is more structured in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo since the gorillas are situated in generally tranquil and accessible places.
Mountain gorilla families are more accustomed than lowland gorilla families. Uganda alone has 14 habituated mountain gorilla families, which is greater than the total number of lowland habituated groups.
When compared to mountain gorillas, the success rate of discovering eastern lowland gorillas is minimal. This is due to the fact that lowland gorillas leave in large regions, causing them to travel huge distances in search of food. They move faster, and keeping up with them is a little more difficult.
Mountain gorilla tracking is a costlier endeavor. In Rwanda, a mountain gorilla permit may cost up to $1500. Permits for Eastern Lowland gorillas are less expensive, costing $400.
The procedures and requirements for tracking both gorilla species are comparable. When seeing lowland gorillas, visitors must stay a distance of roughly 8 meters to avoid the spread of human diseases that might kill the entire family. The number of individuals authorized to follow groups of Eastern lowland gorillas is limited to four each session. In the case of mountain gorillas, just 8 individuals are permitted each day. It is constructed in this manner to minimize straining the gorilla family with a huge disorderly crowd and to reduce the possibility of illness spread.
Visitors must bring appropriate gear (rain coats, long pants) and sturdy shoes for going through mud, jungle, and challenging terrain for both gorilla trekking trips. A tourist would need to bring water, food, and a camera.
Where to stay during lowland gorilla trekking in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
When visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo for lowland gorilla trekking, visitors have several options for lodging. The Kahuzi Biega is in the Bukavu area, which is developing and may have a hotel within your budget.
Consider the Hotel Elizabeth or the Exodus hotel Bukavu for a low-cost alternative; the Panorama hotel, the Hotel Begonias Bukavu, or the Lake Side hotel Bukavu for a mid-range option; and the Orchid Safari lodge for a luxury option.
In summary; If you want to follow Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega National Park, organize your journey well in advance. The security situation in Congo is fragile, therefore you should seek the advice of a reputable tour provider. If you choose to go with Explore Rwanda Tours, we will assist you in planning your complete itinerary, including lodging, transportation, guiding, and permit acquisition.