Mountain Gorilla Diet
Mountain Gorilla Diet- Mountain gorillas are endangered species of primates that inhabit tropical forests of Virunga national park in DR Congo, volcanoes national park in Rwanda, Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, and Mgahinga gorilla national park mountain gorillas are subspecies of eastern gorillas together with eastern lowland gorillas. Another species of gorillas is the western gorilla which is divided into cross river gorillas and western lowland gorillas. Al gorillas look the same just that they have a slight difference in body shape and where they stay.
What do mountain gorillas eat?
Mountain gorillas are herbivores eating mainly vegetation such as stems, bamboo shoots, pith, leaves, fruits, roots and sometimes supplement their diet with ants, insects, and termites. They eat termite nests and eat the larva.
Fruits make about 25% of the gorilla diet, the move in a range of 3-6 kilometers squared each day looking for food. Gorillas eat more tough foods than other primates most of the times rely on diet availability than diet assortment.
Mountain gorillas are found of eating high sugar foods and low fiber foods containing tannin ratios, sugar, and high protein. Occasionally gorillas also eat some soil and this helps them in regulating their digestive system.
An adult male mountain gorilla can consume up to 30kgs of vegetation in a single day while an adult female gorilla can consume about 18kgs of vegetation in a day, mountain gorillas eat more than 200 species of plants.
Mountain gorillas rarely drink water because most of the diet they consume has got a big percentage of water, they have a set of 32 teeth just like human beings which helps them to chew the vegetation they consume tough adult males develop canines when they mature which they use for fighting.
Where to find mountain gorillas
Mountain gorillas can be seen in tropical forest of East and Central African countries such as Rwanda in volcanoes national park, DR Congo in Virunga national park and Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park as well as Mgahinga national park both located in the southwestern part of Uganda,
Mountain gorilla families in Uganda
Uganda has over 21 mountain gorilla families habituated for trekking and others for research. Uganda gorilla families include Nyakagezi gorilla family in Mgahinga, Mubare gorilla family, Habinyanja gorilla family, Muyambi gorilla family, Rushengura gorilla family, Katwe gorilla family, Bitukura gorilla family, Oruzogo gorilla family, Kyaguriro gorilla family, Mukiza gorilla families, Nshongi gorilla family, Kahungye gorilla family, Mishaya gorilla family, Bweza gorilla family, Kutu gorilla family, Busingye gorilla family, Bikingi gorilla family, Mucunguzi gorilla family, Nkuringo gorilla family, Bikingi gorilla family, and Bushasho gorilla family.
Mountain gorilla families in volcanoes national park Rwanda
Rwanda has 20 habituated gorilla families with only 10 open for trekking and the rest for research. The habituated gorilla families in Rwanda open for trekking include the Susa gorilla family with 33 members, Sabyinyo gorilla family with 13 members, Amahoro gorilla family with 18 members, Agashya gorilla family with 13 members, Umubano gorilla family with 13 members, Hirwa gorilla family with 16 members, Kwitonda gorilla family with 23 members, Ugenda gorilla family with 11 members, Hirwa gorilla family with 16 members, Bwenge gorilla family with 11 members, and lastly Titus gorilla family with 8 members.
Mountain gorilla families in Virunga national park Congo
DR Congo is one of the three countries blessed with mountain gorillas and it has 8 habituated gorilla families which include Bageni gorilla family with 26 members, Nyakamwe gorilla family with 11 members, Lulengo gorilla family with 9 members, Munyangwa gorilla family with 7 members, Mapuwa gorilla family, Humba gorilla family with 10 members, Rugendo gorilla family with 18 members and Kabirizi gorilla family.
What is the price of mountain gorilla permits?
Each country with mountain gorillas charge their own money for permits with Rwanda charging $1500 for every category, DR Congo $450 in the dry season and $200 in the low season, and lastly Uganda charges her gorilla permits $700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 foreign residents and shs250,000 for East African citizens. Gorilla permits are sold to persons above the age of 15 years while those with infectious diseases such as flu, cough, and diarrhea are not allowed to trek mountain gorillas on the day of trekking.
Best time to go gorilla trekking in Africa
Gorilla trekking safaris in African can be one throughout the year. Bwindi, Mgahinga, Virunga, and volcanoes national park are categorized by the tropical climate, however; the best time to visit these national parks is during the dry season which happens in June, July, August, September, December, January, and February when there is little or no rainfall, roads leading to the park are accessible and the trekking trails are not muddy or slippery.
The rainy season which happens in the months of October, November, April, and May might not be the best for trekking but it favors budget travelers since most of the lodges offer discounts for accommodation. The hiking trails are slippery therefore you are advised to come along with good waterproof hiking shoes, rain jackets, long-sleeved warm clothes, and a walking stick.
Packing for gorilla trekking
You will be required to have a valid gorilla trekking permit on the day of trekking. Some of the most important things you need to pack for gorilla trekking include waterproof hiking shoes, a rain jacket, long-sleeved clothes, gloves, insect repellents, a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, energy-giving snacks, packed lunch, enough drinking water, a walking stick, binoculars, a pair of gaiters, good quality camera, face mask, and sanitizer.