The Habitat of the Rwanda Gorillas
The dense jungle slopes of the Virunga volcanic mountains that lie on the north east border of Rwanda are home to the magnificent Rwanda gorilla. The area is famous for the opportunity to embark on Rwanda gorilla tours to view them in close proximity, but it certainly isn’t a glamorous feat to get to where these mighty apes live.
A Rwanda gorilla excursion entails trekking through the misty depths of the damp undergrowth of the rainforest. Whilst making your way past low slung branches covered in lichen and dense forest vegetation, you will come across some magical species of animals, insects and birds that thrive in this region. Soaking up your environment of the rugged terrain and all the inhabitants of the Virunga Mountains is all part of the adventure of Rwanda gorilla tours.
The Rwanda Gorilla Tour Experience
Once you have travelled through the jungle and come across a family of gorillas – you will understand why Diane Fossey dedicated 18 years of her life to protecting this incredible species. You will have time to observe the Rwanda gorillas as they go about their daily life by foraging for food, looking after their young as they jostle playfully and resting in their home environment.
When embarking on a gorilla tour, you will learn that there are strict protocols in place to ensure the safety and preservation of their species. The habituated Rwanda gorilla groups receive a maximum of 8 visitors per day. The trip through the forest can entail anything from a 1 hour to a 4 hour walk and you will always be accompanied by trackers who have years of experience and knowledge from living next to the forest and having spent much of their time with the gorillas.
Spending time in the company of these animals is a heart-warming and magical experience and it’s a true privilege to be in such close proximity of these distant relatives of ours. A Rwanda gorilla tour will stay etched into your memory bank forever.
Interesting Facts about Rwanda Gorillas
In Uganda and Rwanda, the gorillas have adapted specifically to their living environment. Before you embark on a Rwanda gorilla tour, be sure to do a bit of research into their species so that you enhance your experience by possessing knowledge prior to coming into contact with them.
o In both Rwanda and Uganda, gorillas can be identified by their nose prints, which are unique to each individual.
o The adult male Rwanda gorillas have more pronounced bony crests on their skulls, giving them a more conical shape in comparison to the females.
o Adult male gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda are referred to as “silverbacks”, this is because of a saddle of grey or silver-coloured hair that develops on their backs as they age.
o Rwanda and Uganda gorillas that live in the Virunga Mountains have longer and darker hair than other gorilla species. This allows them to live in hot or cold weather, even in areas where the temperature drops below 0 (32 degrees Fahrenheit).
o Mountain gorillas are diurnal and active during the hours between 6am and 6pm.
o Every evening, the mountain gorillas build a new nest to sleep in for the night using surrounding vegetation.
Tips For Your Rwanda Gorilla Tour
Remember that when you enter the mountain gorillas’ terrain, you need to show the utmost respect for their habitat. This means that you will have to keep in mind to preserve the environment and leave it just as you found it. Littering is strictly prohibited, along with spitting (which can cause contamination and introduce disease).
When you come across the gentle mountain gorillas, your guide will remind you to keep your voices low and cough with your hand over your mouth, turned away from the gorillas. You should also avoid rapid movements that may frighten or disturb them and at all times, follow your guide’s directions. Your viewing time is limited to 1 hour, so make sure you make the most of it by taking time to observe and pay respect to these gentle giants as they go about their daily business.