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Natural Mountain Gorilla Predators

Natural Mountain Gorilla Predators

Natural Mountain Gorilla Predators

Natural Mountain Gorilla Predators – Mountain gorillas are subspecies of eastern lowland gorillas and they are the largest primates in the whole world inhabiting in the tropical forests of southwestern Uganda in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and Mgahinga national park, volcanoes national park Rwanda, and Virunga national park DR Congo. There are about 1070 mountain gorillas left in the world. Mountain gorillas stay in social groups of 5-30 individuals and each group is dominated by a silverback which dictates the day-to-day activities and provides security to the group members. Mountain gorillas are herbivores animals feeding on leaves, roots, stems, bamboo shoots, bark, fruits, and sometimes supplement their diet with insects, termites, and ants.

Mountain gorillas have a very low birth rate with females having only 1-2 fertile days in a month and after the first birth, they produce again in a period of 4-6 years. They have a gestation period of 8-9 months. A silverback is the only one allowed to mate with all the females in the group and it’s the female which follows the male when it’s ready.

Natural Predators of mountain gorilla

Leopards

Leopards are the biggest predators to mountain gorillas with the ability to kill an adult gorilla. They have big and smart felines that feed on meat from multiple animals. It’s rare for leopards to prey on adult male gorillas but they do it mostly on western lowland gorillas. normally they don’t attack silverback gorillas because they are stronger and focus on young ones.

Crocodiles

Crocodiles are other possible predators of mountain gorillas and can attack them when they come to drink water or when they move in the swamps. However, incidents, where you find mountain gorillas being eaten by crocodiles, are rare since gorillas rarely take water from rivers or swamps. Mountain gorillas might not die at that time of the attack but after some days because of several wounds.

Human beings

Human beings are the biggest predators to mountain gorillas apart from leopards, human beings normally poach mountain gorillas for illegal pet trade to rich people with private animal zoos not forgetting that these apes can’t survive in captivity, they also hunt mountain gorillas for bushmeat to rich folks who enjoy it, mountain gorillas have also been hunted for traditional beliefs by traditional healers who believe that some parts of gorillas can be used as charms. Mountain gorillas have also fallen victims to traps that are set for other park animals such as antelopes, waterbucks, and bushbucks.

Where to trek mountain gorillas

In the whole world, there are 4 national parks where you can have an opportunity to trek mountain gorillas. The national parks are in three countries of Central and East Africa. there is Bwindi impenetrable forest national park with more than a half of the total population and it’s located in southwestern Uganda alongside Mgahinga national park with only one habituated gorilla family called Nyakagezi, volcanoes national park in the northwestern part of Rwanda, and Virunga national park in the eastern part of DR Congo.

The best time to trek mountain gorillas

Mountain gorillas can be trekked at any time of the year but the best time to trek these gentle apes is the dry season which occurs in the months of June, July, August, December, January, and February. The dry season is good for trekking because there is less or no rainfall, roads leading to the park are accessible and the park trails are not slippery.

Trekking in the rainy season which happens from March to May and October to November is also good for budget travelers since the hotels in the park are giving discounts but there is always heavy rainfall and the trails are muddy as well as slippery.

Cost of mountain gorilla trekking

Every national park or country has its own prices for gorilla permits. these permits can be bought from any trusted tour operator or from the Rwanda development board if you want to trek in volcanoes national park, Uganda wildlife authority if you want to trek from Bwindi impenetrable forest national park or Mgahinga gorilla park and lastly Virunga national park website if you want to trek from Virunga national park.

The gorilla permits for Rwanda cost $1500 per person per trek, Uganda sells hers at $700 for foreign nonresidents, $600 for foreign residents, and shs250,000 for residents of East Africa.

What to pack for gorilla trekking? 

It’s great to go gorilla trekking when you have everything necessary for the best trekking experience. What to go trekking with include hiking boots, a pair of gaiters, hiking gloves, a waterproof jacket, long-sleeved clothes, pair of binoculars, hiking gloves, a light backpack, face mask and sanitizer, a hat, a sunscreen, camera, and extra batteries, insect repellents, drinking water and energy snacks.