Mapuwa Gorilla Group
Mapuwa Gorilla Group- Virunga national park situated in DR Congo covers an area of 7,769 sq. km, this UNESCO world heritage site is home to endangered mountain gorillas. The Park was gazetted in 1925 to protect the endangered mountain gorillas.
Gorillas are divided into two species of western gorillas and eastern gorillas; the western gorillas are further subdivided into western low land gorillas and cross river gorillas while the eastern gorillas are subdivided into eastern low land gorillas and mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorillas can only be found in three African countries in the whole world and are in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park in southwestern Uganda, volcanoes national park in northwestern Rwanda, and Virunga national park in the eastern part of DR Congo.
Mapuwa gorilla group was begun and is still dominated by a silverback Mapuwa of Rugendo mountain gorilla family. Mapuwa left the Rugendo gorilla family as a solitary male in the year 1995, after three years passed, he fought with a silverback at Lulengo mountain gorilla family grabbing 2 adult females that are Kanepo and Kagofero. Mapuwa was well known for fighting other groups in the border to grab females to add to his own family.
Mapuwa managed to expand his gorilla family in recent years to 22 individuals with 3 silverbacks, 6 adult females, 3 black backs, 4 juveniles, 2 sub-adult females, and 5 infants. The numbers of the gorilla family change at any time due to new births, deaths, fights leading to separation of group members, and addition of new members, the gorilla family is now dominated by Muyekure.
Allocation of gorilla permits is always done in the park according to strength, age, and many more things, young energetic travelers always trek for gorilla families while old people trek nearby gorilla families.
Gorilla permits for Mapuwa Gorilla Group
For one to trek mountain gorillas in Virunga national park, they should have a valid gorilla trekking permit which costs $450 in the peak season and $200 in the low season. Permits to Virunga national park are sold to persons above the age of 15. If you are planning to visit the country in the peak season you are advised to book your gorilla permit in advance of 3-4 months to avoid disappointments
Best time to visit Mapuwa Gorilla Group?
DR Congo can be visited at any time of the year although some months are better than the rest. The best time to visit Virunga national park is the dry season which happens to be from June to September and December to February and it’s during these months that the trails are also not muddy and slippery during this period.
What to carry for gorilla trekking?
Those intending to travel for gorilla trekking in DR Congo should pack good waterproof hiking shoes, a hat, garden gloves, enough drinking water, rain jackets, warm long-sleeved clothes, energy-giving snacks, incest repellents, sunscreen and much more.