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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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