A line of fur rumbles about the rainforest, the world’s largest primate on the move. You’re close enough to hear the thud of the silverback’s knuckles, close enough for the troop to return your gaze. Gorilla trekking is one of the world’s most exclusive and unique wildlife experiences and we would do it every day of every week if we could.
Where to See Wild Mountain Gorillas in Africa
Only around 1000 mountain gorillas remain in the wild. Over half of these occupy the thick and misty Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, in Uganda. The rest are found in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, with a few across the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Shy and reclusive, the family troops occupy the thickest realm of these remote rainforests. The only way to see them is on a dedicated gorilla trek and this page has more information about gorilla trekking in East Africa - permits are deliberately limited and it’s absolutely worth the money.
A Misunderstood Wonder of Africa
While they live in the forest, gorillas are land dwellers and will only climb trees to get food. Go gorilla trekking and you’ll discover that they’re the not the greatest climbers, especially not the infants that crash from the trees with a baffled grin. Family troops deliberately keep to themselves and avoid contact with others. The usual scenario is a dominant silverback male, a few females, plus a few younger blackback males and infants. However, some troops grow to number 20 or more before they split, with rival silverbacks taking their share of the females.
Each troop spends the day foraging and eating, then returns to one of its permanent bases and retires for the evening. Although they’re very territorial, gorillas will seek a non-violent solution to another troop entering their area. Films like King Kong have given an erroneous impression that mountain gorillas are aggressive and frightening. Which they’re not. If you hear the thrilling rumble of a silverback beating his chest then it’s usually a warning rather than a war cry.
Africa’s Most Charming Wildlife Encounter
Males are muscled, broad-chested, and tearing down branches with relentless abandon. Females and blackbacks will wave their arms in displays of power. But these are not belligerent animals. The main memory you take away from a gorilla trekking experience is their charisma and magnetism. These are truly delightful animals and their shows of power are just a reminder for everyone to respect who is king of the rainforest.
Few animals ignite the imagination like these giants and we can assist you in planning the dream gorilla safari.