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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Mountain Gorilla Sightseeing in Rwanda and Uganda

Mountain Gorilla Sightseeing in Rwanda and Uganda

Endangered mountain gorillas are threatened by habitat loss, poaching, disease, and war in forested volcanoes that straddle the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and The Democratic Republic of Congo.



Bradford Duplisea Baby Mountain Gorilla, Virunga National Park, Rwanda. Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where the critically endangered mountain gorillas live in the wild.
Endangered mountain gorillas are herbivores


Mountain Gorilla Sightseeing in Rwanda and Uganda



Rwanda is one of only three countries in the world where the critically endangered mountain gorillas live in the wild. There are only around 1,000-700 mountain gorillas remaining on earth. In 1967, there were only around 240 mountain gorillas in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park, however, today due to conservation efforts, the population of mountain gorillas has doubled.

The endangered mountain gorilla is an herbivore living in the Virungas, a cluster of forested volcanoes that straddle the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and spans four national parks, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park.

The mountain gorilla is a high-altitude race of the eastern gorilla, the larger of Africa’s two gorilla species, and distinguished by its dense fur, which protects it from the colder highlands climate. It lives in troops of 10-30 creatures, over which a silverback male, named for his cape of white hair reigns. Silverback males can sometimes weigh up to 400 pounds and stand 6 feet tall, females, 215 pounds and 5 feet tall.

If you want to experience gorilla trekking in Rwanda your first requirement is a permit, which will cost around $350- $750 in Rwanda or Uganda. The gorilla permit will get you one hour with the gorillas in their natural high-altitude surroundings. Rwanda’s Volcanoes national park is home to 10 mountain gorilla families who can be visited by one group of eight visiting a day.


Mountain gorilla speech vocalizations


Mountain gorillas screams, hoots, roars, and growls are all part of their repertoire but so too are smaller, subtler sounds and gestures that are just as important for being understood in their social groups. These vocalizations, or verbal communications, can be associated with different behaviors including play, feeding, anger, and alarm, and can also be used alongside specific gestures and expressions.

About 17 distinct vocalizations are recognized, many of which are used primarily for group communication within dense vegetation. Sounds classified as grunts and barks are heard most frequently while traveling, and indicate the whereabouts of individual group members. They may also be used during social interactions when discipline is required. Screams and roars signal alarm or warning and are produced most often by silverbacks.

Deep, rumbling belches suggest contentment and are heard frequently during feeding and resting periods. They are the most common form of intragroup communication. The fur of the mountain gorilla, often thicker and longer than that of other gorilla species, enables them to live in colder temperatures. Gorillas can be identified by nose prints unique to each individual.

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