With Gorilla permits in Uganda being reduced for the low season (October, November, March & April) to $350 per permit rather than the usual $500 per permit, l thought I would tell you a bit about these wonderful animals and what it is actually like to see them, in the wild within touching distance! One of my colleagues has recently done this trip and guarentees it is one of the most awesome experiences of his life!
There are 3 countries where you can find the Mountain Gorilla. Uganda and Rwanda are the most popular for visitors, but they are also found in the DRC. Permits for Gorilla’s have to be bought in advance, there are only a certain number issued each day, and often in peak season they’re sold out well in advance.
There are 5 Great Ape species in the world and 4 out of 5 of them live on the African continent. These 4 are the Mountain Gorilla, Lowland Gorilla, Chimpanzee and Bonobos.
In 2010 it was estimated that there are only 790 Gorilla’s left worldwide. They are on the critically endangered list and conservation efforts to keep them in existence are massive. The Mountain Gorilla does not survive in captivity which is why you will never see them in a zoo. After the Chimpanzee, Gorilla’s are our closest relatives sharing about 97.7% of our DNA. Adult males weigh up to 180kg or 400 pounds and can have an arm span of up to 2 meters or 7 feet.
The most serious threat to these animals is man – through poaching, disease and population pressures. By visiting and enjoying Gorilla Trekking you are helping fund conservation and community projects – all this aides local communities in understanding the value of the survival of these Great Apes.
For Neil’s visit to the Mountain Gorilla’s of Rwanda be sure to read our blog on Monday 30th of May.