September 8

Gorilla Trekking in Pictures


By Marlin Clark on
September 8, 2023

Are you fascinated by the mysterious yet familiar nature of gorillas? We most definitely are. And if you’ve been thinking of witnessing these precious creatures up close, get a glimpse of what you can expect in this guide on gorilla trekking in pictures.


Silverback mountain Gorilla

The silverback is a mature male mountain gorilla

Silverbacks are aptly named for the silver hairs on their back. The strongest of all apes, these giants can throw objects of up to 815kg! Although generally peaceful, they can get aggressive if their family appears threatened. 


Venturing into the Virunga Mountains.

Venturing into the Virunga Mountains

Home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the lush Virunga Mountains are actually a chain of volcanoes, two of which are still active! It’s also the only place on earth where you’ll get a glimpse of three different great ape species – the mountain gorilla, eastern lowland gorilla, and eastern chimpanzee.


The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's best-kept secrets

The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's best-kept secrets

Boasting the world’s second largest tropical rainforest, the Republic of Congo is home to the critically endangered western lowland gorilla. The best place to spot these special creatures? The Odzala-Kokoua National Park – the perfect place to go gorilla trekking if you’d like an easier hike.


Gorilla chilling in the forest of Rwanda.

Gorilla chilling in the forest of Rwanda, Image Credit: Singita Kwitonda Lodge

Threatened by poaching, there are tragically only around 1,000 mountain gorillas left on the planet. Owing to significant conservation efforts, many of them find their refuge on the mountain slopes of Rwanda’s heavily protected Volcanoes National Park


Foot of a baby mountain gorilla

Foot of a baby mountain gorilla, Image Credit: Singita Kwitonda Lodge

At birth, gorillas are smaller than a human infant, weighing only about 1.4-1.8 kg. However, even as newborns, their tiny hands and feet are strong enough for them to cling to their mothers.


You'll feel moved by these incredible gorillas

You'll feel moved by these incredible gorillas, Image Credit: Odzala Discovery Camps

There’s nothing like a gorilla mother’s love! Gorilla moms nurse their infants for three years, and during the first six months they’re practically inseparable. Witnessing the deep love and bond between gorilla moms and their babies is a moving experience.  


Guides are present throughout providing insights and ensuring the gorillas are protected.

Guides are present throughout, providing insights and ensuring the gorillas are protected

Rangers are well-trained and have intimate knowledge of the area you’ll be trekking. They’ll be able to share with you each gorilla's name and personality, talk about the other wildlife, and keep you safe. Be sure to ask them all your questions! 


The western lowland gorillas are quite active

The western lowland gorillas are quite active

Western lowland gorillas spend most of their day in the trees in search of food. In fact, they only take one break from eating all day. Around midday, the adults will take a much-needed nap, leaving their offspring free to romp and play.


Observe the gorillas up close.

Observe the gorillas up close

Seeing these majestic giants up close is a transformative experience that will make you forget about the sweat on your face or the hike you took to find them. After spending only one hour with gorillas, your life is forever changed.


Venture into the dense rainforest.

Venture into the dense rainforest

Inside the equatorial rainforest of the Congo Basin, there are over 10,000 species of plants, many of which are found nowhere else. This makes for uniquely gorgeous scenery which forms part of the overall trekking experience.


Watching family interactions between gorillas is enthralling.

Watching family interactions between gorillas is enthralling, Image Credit: Wilderness Sabyinyo

When it comes to gorillas, family is everything! While gorilla moms devote their lives to caring for their offspring, dad’s role is just as important. As the head of the family, silverbacks are responsible for keeping everyone safe, but they also serve as important role models for the youngsters. 


Observing young gorillas in their natural habitat is a treat like no other.

Observing young gorillas in their natural habitat is a treat like no other

Young gorillas are especially playful and active. Watching the intelligent and energetic youngsters wrestle, play games and somersault away, you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face.

Come Face-to-Face with Africa’s Gorillas

Gorilla trekking not only provides a thrilling encounter with these magnificent creatures but also contributes to the ongoing conservation efforts aimed at ensuring the survival of these incredible animals for future generations.

If the thought of observing these precious creatures in their natural habitat makes your heart leap, going gorilla trekking is without a doubt one of the best decisions you’ll make. Reach out to our African Travel Experts today, and let's start planning! 

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About the author 

Marlin Clark

Marlin was born in Johannesburg, but moved to Cape Town at the age of five. Growing up, he's always been fascinated with colours and shapes - the Lego blocks he was obsessed with as a kid are now repurposed as stationary holders on his desk. Marlin is inspired by all things beautiful, has a positive outlook on life, and is driven by a desire to make things that matter. In his spare time he enjoys expanding his knowledge on all things design-related, loves to travel, and find opportunities to improve his outdoor photography. He'll never pass up a good cup of coffee.

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