6 Unknown Facts About the Mountain Gorilla
If you love observing and learning about primates, Africa is a perfect destination. Africa shelters thousands of endangered species of birds, wild animals and primates. Tourists visit Africa from across the globe to spend time in the wild and nature. You will get umpteen places in Africa that take you for gorilla trekking. These treks are peaceful, exciting, informative and scary at the same time. Before you meet this giant yet gentle primate, learn more about what to expect when you get there. Here are some unknown facts about mountain gorillas:
1) They have Two Isolated Groups
You will find gorillas in two isolated groups, which live in two different areas of east-central Africa. One group comes from the Virunga Volcanoes that cover Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Another group lives in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park that connects with Sarambwe Nature Reserve. You will find them at higher altitudes amidst montane and bamboo forests. You will also get to meet locals around since gorillas prefer areas surrounded by agriculture and settlements.
2) Humans Share 98% DNA with Gorillas
Don’t be surprised if you find a gorilla behaving exactly like you! We share 98% DNA with gorillas, which is surprising yet dangerous. How is that? Since our DNA matches, they are prone to human illnesses, which can negatively impact them because their immune system is not as evolved and developed as a human’s. Therefore, take all necessary precautions and vaccines before visiting the forest, as our ignorance can harm them.
3) They are One of the Most Powerful Primates
Mountain gorillas are one of the biggest, strongest and most powerful primates alive. The male mountain gorilla weighs 180 kg and its height is up to 170 cm. They might look gigantic and scary but are actually very gentle and friendly animals. If they are well trained, they can get close to humans and develop a strong bond.
4) They Can Eat the Whole Day
If you think you are the biggest foodie, you haven’t seen mountain gorillas yet! They spend a quarter of their day munching. Gorillas mostly prefer leaves, shoots, ants, snails and barks, which is a good source of sodium.
5) They Sleep Together at Night
Once you see a mountain gorilla’s nest, you will want to give away your bed. They generally build their nests on the ground, where the family sleeps together at night. You will see infants prefer their mothers’ nests as it makes them feel warm and safe.
6) They Have 16 Different Types of Calls
Gorillas communicate with each other through calls. They have 16 different types of calls used for different situations. For instance, their short barks indicate that they are cautious and when they have to intimidate their rivals, they roar, hoot and beat their chests, indicating anger. Your guide will acquaint you with the calls.
The kind of connection you will make with primates during your trek is undefinable. Obviously, you won’t have conversations with them, but their expressions, reactions and passive observations will set some equations between you and the gorillas. For amazing gorilla treks in Africa, contact Bushman Safari – we have interesting itineraries and even a customized option for your convenience, making your trip special and memorable.