What is the difference between a gorilla and a mountain gorilla? The second species is much bigger, and rare. They are, somehow, more beautiful and mysterious and this is why it is very interesting to go admiring them, mainly in Eastern Africa. Tour operators have recently found many ways to let tourists go and meet these animals in their proper habitat. And tourists love these special “safaris” which are almost always on foot. Because to observe gorillas you must get very close, but in a slow and silent movement. It is very exciting, an experience to do, if you have the possibility.
About mountain gorillas
Beringei Beringei Gorillas are the species also known as “mountain gorillas”. Compared to normal African gorillas, these animals are larger, have darker fur, do not love trees and mainly live on the ground. Males eat up to 34 kg of food every single day, females just a little less. Their diet consists of plants, leaves, flowers, insects and snails.
Mountain gorillas have been at risk of extinction for large part of the 20th century, but in 2018 they were declared out of danger, as a species. They reproduced and repopulated especially east Africa (Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo). Today they live in the volcanic area of the Virunga Range. These animals attracted the attention and study of scientist Dian Fossey, who lived in Rwanda in order to get to know better the gorillas. After her tragic killing, a museum reminds of her and her work, now, on the road between volcanoes Krisimbi and Bisoke.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
There is a large choice of walking safaris, if you want to meet mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Tour operators propose many ideas, depending on where you are going to stay and how many days. A 3-day trekking, for example, will include a short visit to Kigali, a transfer to the Volcanoes National Park and a visit to both the natural habitat of gorillas and Dian Fossey’s center. You will stop at the Genocide Memorial on the way.
In a 5-day trip you will visit both Uganda and Rwanda. You will walk from Ugandese border to the Volcanoes National Park and to Nyungwe so to admire mountain gorillas but also chimpanzees and other monkeys. Longer trips will include the possibility of visiting both Nyungwe, the Volcanoes National Park and other gorilla groups in Uganda and Tanzania. These special safaris are quite expensive, and if you do them in Rwanda you must also pay in order to get a permission (1500 Dollars) for approaching gorillas.
What do you need for gorilla trekking?
Before you go on gorilla trekking in Rwanda, you will certainly need to pay for the permission. You must hire a guide, or a tour operator. You must be prepared for the environment: wear hiking boots, long trousers, long sleeves shirts, hats, gardener gloves. Remember to respect very strict rules.
You shall keep 7 meter distance from the gorillas, always stay with your group, never try to touch gorillas, never use flash light for your photos. Do not look at the animals in the eyes, because this can cause their reaction. Always speak at very low tone. For more information about these trekkings, please contact the proper page.