Gorillas in Uganda, Gorilla Adventures in Africa

Young Gorilla

Gorillas are the largest of the living primates. They are ground-dwelling and predominantly herbivorous. They inhabit the forests of central Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and (still under debate as of 2008) either four or five subspecies. The DNA of gorillas is 98%–99% identical to that of a human, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species.

Gorillas live in tropical or subtropical forests. Although their range covers a small percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The Mountain gorillas popularly referred to as the giant apes are the largest primates and living in the Africa rainforests of Africa. The mountain gorilla, or called gorilla berengei berengei is found in Bwindi impenetrable forest and the Virunga mountain ranges in Rwanda/Uganda border.

The gorilla ape specie has 3 races, the western lowland gorilla, the eastern low land gorilla and, gorilla graueri and the mountain gorilla.

Gorilla Trekking in East Africa

Gorilla Trekking in East Africa is done mainly in two countries:-
• Uganda
• Rwanda

a) Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Gorilla Trekking in Uganda is done in two places

• Bwindi impenetrable Forest.
• Mount Mgahinga which is part of the Virunga Mountains.

Bwindi Gorilla

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
Bwindi's Impenetrable Forest is a true equatorial jungle; inhabited by four Gorilla groups each led by a silverback male. It is the richest, most species-diverse forest in Uganda, as the area is one of the few large expanses of forest in East Africa where lowland and montane communities merge. Massive trees are entangled with creepers and parasitic plants such as mistletoe and orchids. Giant thickets of bamboo thrive in the humid atmosphere and where sunlight breaks through the elegant heliconia, or lobster claw, spreads its colorful petals. Amongst the dense vegetation the Colobus Monkey can be spotted jumping from one branch to another. Chimpanzees, in families of 20 or 30, make the rounds searching for fruit and edible plants.

Bwindi National Park

The park is located in south western Uganda, covering parts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, and Kibale Districts. It was gazzeted in 1991 with an area of 331 sq.km. It is situated in a hilly countryside that, together with some remnant lowland forest outside the boundary, constitute an important water catchments area for many rivers; supplying the agricultural land of the surrounding region.

At least 120 species of mammal are recorded in one of the richest ecosystems in Africa including Gorilla, Chimpanzee, and 8 other species of primate, also Elephant, Bush Pig, Giant Forest Hog, many species of bats and rodents. No less than 346 species of birds are listed including rare forest birds, at least 14 species of snakes, 27 species of frogs and toads, 6 chameleons, 14 lizards, skinks or geckos, and at least 202 species of butterfly. There are also several endangered species of birds with limited ranges. This forest is a sanctuary for almost half the world's population of mountain gorillas; the rarest race of gorilla. Established as a safe habitat for several families of mountain gorillas it is now the location of an important scientific conservation program.

All clients wanting to go Gorilla trekking must obtain a permit, and the days of just turning up at the Park Office at Buhoma and hoping there are permits still available are long gone; the popularity of Gorilla trekking has seen to that. This is not an issue for Gorilla Trails, as all our clients would have their permits purchased in advance to ensure no problems with availability. By booking in advance your itinerary can be structured to work most effectively around available dates.

Sample itineraries to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest