There are roughly 1,000 mountain gorillas remaining on Earth, and nearly half live in the forests of the Virunga mountains in central Africa. These gorillas live on the green, volcanic slopes of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo—areas that have seen much human violence from which the gorillas have not escaped unscathed.
Many conservation initiatives are meant to aid mountain gorillas, and it is believed that their numbers may be steady or slowly increasing. Still they continue to face major threats from habitat loss and poaching. Mountain gorillas have longer hair and shorter arms than their lowland cousins. They also tend to be a bit larger than other gorillas.
Gorillas can climb trees, but are usually found on the ground in communities of up to 30 individuals. These troops are organized according to fascinating social structures. Troops are led by one dominant, older adult male, often called a silverback because of the swath of silver hair that adorns his otherwise dark fur. Troops also include several other young males, some females, and their offspring.
The leader organizes troop activities like eating, nesting in leaves, and moving about the group's 0.75-to-16-square-mile (2-to-40-square-kilometer) home range.
Those who challenge this alpha male are apt to be cowed by impressive shows of physical power. He may stand upright, throw things, make aggressive charges, and pound his huge chest while barking out powerful hoots or unleashing a frightening roar. Despite these displays and the animals' obvious physical power, gorillas are generally calm and nonaggressive unless they are disturbed.
In the thick forests of central and west Africa, troops find plentiful food for their vegetarian diet. They eat roots, shoots, fruit, wild celery, and tree bark and pulp.
Day 1 Travel to Bwindi forest national park
Set off early in the morning for Bwindi Forest National park- south west of Uganda, travelling for up to 8 hours (530km from Kampala
). With stops along the way, pictures and refreshments from the equator before you go to Mbarara where you’ll have lunch at the Igongo Cultural Center. South western Uganda is famously referred to as the Switzerland of Africa and this shows through the winding terraced hills, the lush green rain forests, glaciated mountains and streams.
Bwindi impenetrable forestthat covers the large part of the park is famous for some families of mountain gorillas, a few of the 1000 primates surviving across the world. It is for this reason that it was declared a world heritage site in 1994. The park’s terrain is however hard to climb but is abundantly gifted with the gorillas, chimpanzees, butterflies, lush rainforest vegetation and different species of Albertine rift endemic birds such as the Green Broadbill, Bar Tailed Trogon and other gorgeous forest species.
There are plenty of Overnight Uganda hotels & Lodges options, all offering you excellent dining and typical African nights, characterized by the crocks and several sounds from the forests. Check out;
luxury package Uganda hotels & Lodges from Gorilla Forest Camp, Clouds Lodge, Gahinga Volcanoes Lodge and/or Volcanoes Bwindi safari Lodge.
Exclusive/ mid range Uganda hotels & Lodges is also offered from Engagi lodge, Buhoma Loage, Traveller’s rest camp, Silverback Safari lodge and cheaper options at Wag tail Eco lodge or Lake kitandara camp.
Budget package options include Virunga Hotel, Nkuringo Safari centre, Buhoma Community bandas or Bwindi View bandas.
Day 2 Trekk the gorillas from and spend 1 hour with the gorillas.
This day’s experience starts with breakfast and then set off with your ranger guide to the forest for the gorilla tracking experience. There is short briefing session at the ranger stations before you head for the adventure.
Good tracking efforts begin during the mid morning as the trackers/ rangers flow the trails left by the gorilla family from the previous day. Tracking experience is sometimes between 2 and 6 hours. Once you meet the family, you spend one hour watching the primates as they feed and play in the forest canopy. It is advisable to pack your lunch as it sometimes a long strenuous trekking experience.
The guides normally identify different unique traits about this park like its flora and fauna, the gorilla trails, chatters and sounds from the wild and others.
The day ends with beautiful memories of these animals and watch documentaries at your lodge with more information about them. Take the rest of the evening at leisure, interacting with local people and meeting other guests on the same trip. Overnight and Uganda hotels & Lodges is per your standards and budget
Day 3 Drive back to Kampala from bwindi
After breakfast, pack your luggage, ready for the return trip to Kampala. Pass by the magnificent grasslands grazing the famous long horned Ankole cattle and also stop by visit the different curio and gift villages. Take your lunch from a hotel in Mbarara or another town along the way