The Only Places to Find the World’s Unequaled Species; the Mountain Gorillas– Uganda Gorilla Safari News
Over the years, we have come to agree that the world’s most famous but rarely seen species are the mountain gorillas; a nonpareil species that inhabits just a few tropical and subtropical forests of Africa.
A lot is written about gorillas in general, making them seem like any other species that you would easily run into; but the mountain gorillas (the gorilla beringei beringei subspecies) are no ordinary species.
Some their lowland counterparts the lowland gorillas of West Africa have been translocated to zoos where they have surprisingly been able to survive, but mountain gorillas would not make a long life in captivity.
According to census, there are more lowland gorillas in captivity than there are living freely in their natural habitat. Conversely, mountain gorillas can only be found in their natural habitats because of their endangered nature, and according to a 2012 census there are only 880 of them in the world.
Mountain gorillas can only be seen during gorilla tracking safaris to three countries located in east and central Africa (Rwanda Uganda and Congo DR).
All these three countries have both wild and habituated mountain gorilla families and it is only the habituated families which can be visited by tourists. Congo has six (6) mountain gorilla families; Rwanda has ten (10) while Uganda has twelve (13).
Safaris to track mountain gorillas in Congo DR are only conducted in Virunga National Park (7,800 km²) which is part of the larger Virunga Conservation Area that is shared among the three countries (Uganda Rwanda and Congo).
Congo has six habituated gorilla families which include Munyaga (7 individuals); Lulengo (6 members); Mapuwa (15 members); Humba (16 individuals); Rugendo (8 members) and Kabirirzi which is the largest of Congo’s habituated gorilla families with forty (40) individuals.
Tourists on Rwanda Gorilla safaris are able to track the invaluable mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park; also called “Parc National des Volcans”.
The habituated gorillas include Umubano (11 members); Kwitonda (18 members); Karisimbi (15 individuals); Sabinyo (8 mountain gorillas); Amahoro (17 members); Bwenge (11 members); Agasha (which is also called “The Group of Thirteen” is a family of 13); Ugyenda (11 members) and Susa which includes two subgroups (one with 28 members while the other has 15 individuals) has forty (40) members making it the largest habituated mountain gorilla family in the world.
Uganda’s mountain gorillas can be found in two (2) National Parks in the southwestern part of the country.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has almost half of the world’s population of mountain gorillas and some of these gorillas live in Bwindi’s twelve (12) habituated mountain gorilla families.
Eleven of these mountain gorilla families are open to Uganda gorilla tracking safari guests while the twelfth group called Kyaguriro is reserved for research by the Max Plank Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
The other families include Bweza, Mishaya, Rushegura, Habinyanja, Nshongi, Nkuringo, Oruogo, Mubare, Bitukura, Kahungye and Busingye.
Gorilla trekking safaris to Uganda can also lead to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park which has a single itinerant mountain gorilla family called Nyakagyezi led by an adventurous silverback called Mark. Despite its journeys to Congo DR and Rwanda, this family has been observed to settle more on the Ugandan side since 2012.
The blessed spotlight of mountain gorillas is only shone on these three countries (Congo, Rwanda and Uganda) but fortunately none of these countries is selfish about these treasures.
Their doors are open to tourists from all countries who can spend a full hour with one of the habituated mountain gorilla groups.
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