Gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo

Gorillas are vegetarian apes that are situated in various countries around Africa despite the prominent ones being around the Central and Eastern part of Africa i.e Rwanda, Uganda and large greenery Democratic Republic of Congo. They are famously known for being aggressive and dangerous which is not true because they are shy, quiet, peaceful and gentle Primates that live in the green forest jungle. These are threatened due to the consistent encroachment done by the humans who have expanded their territories into the forest.

Way of Life

  • Gorillas are vegetarians and usually feed on various food plants eating the leaves, stems and barks. Sometimes, they tend to feed on soil, nails, insects and dead small plants. The plants they feed on include bamboo shoots, vast thistles, lobelias.
  • They drink from streams during the dry seasons and lick water from heavy rain storms.
  • They have a single stomach with longer intestines just like the humans.
  • They spend 30% of their time feeding, hunting and the remaining 40% resting.
  • They are 90% terrestrial of all apes due to the fact that they spend most of this time on ground.
  • They can move on all fours although can stand upright for short periods to reach food plants and to chest beat while displaying power.
  • They rise very early in the morning so as to travel looking for food in the morning.
  • They eat as they hunt despite the fact that they are fond of finding an open space to settle so as to eat till satisfaction.
  • They are led by a dominant silverback who makes decisions on where they should go and feed.
  • They tend to wander around in the afternoon before going to rest and make their nests to rest and sleep in the night.
  • Each Gorilla in the group makes their own nest to spend the night as well as make it safe for the infants who sleep with their mothers until the period of weaning which take places from 3-4 years.
  • The nests are built around a dominant silverback male who ensures protection for all his members.
  • They defecate in their nests and the freshness of the dung is proof to the age of the nest.
  • They tend to over sleep on rainy days/ in the mornings after a long trek.
  • They move less than 1 km every day.
  • They live in vast groups of about 12 members with a dominant male silverback as the leader.
  • They are social with great bonds that enable them to stay together peacefully especially between females and the dominant silverback.
  • Males in multi male groups tend to have weak relationships for they are always fighting for power. Although they try to live in harmony with each other.
  • The females’ relationships depend on kinship with stronger bonds amongst themselves.
  • Their social behavior is calm, peaceful and conflict amongst the members is rare. However, they usually have confrontation about right of way and where to feed from.
  • Transfer of power in the groups depends on how strong the dominant silverback. When provoked into battle with a young powerful black back then looses the fight, he is forced to leave the group into exile so that the victorious black back male takes over as the leader.
  • In cases where the silver back also loses his life naturally/ old age, the black back takes over.

Gorilla Group Types

Mountain Gorillas

Eastern Lowland Gorillas

Western Lowland Gorillas

Gorilla Trekking Destinations

Bwindi Forest National Park

Mgahinga National Park

Volcanoes National Park

Virunga National Park