In Luganda language, gorillas are called “Bisodde” in Lunyankole-Lukiga, its “Engagi” and other names depending on the tribe. Gorillas are found in forested areas, mountainous areas and so on. Those which prefer staying in low lands are called Lowland Gorillas while those staying in highlands are called mountain gorillas.
Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are the only homes to the mountain gorillas. These countries host the mountain gorillas in four gazetted national parks of Bwindi National park and Mgahinga National Park of Uganda, the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Gorillas are found in ten countries in Africa. Other African countries hosting the endangered gorillas include Central African Republic, Nigeria, Democratic republic of Congo (DRC), Congo Brazzaville, Angola, Cameroon and Gabon.
Meeting the gorillas eye to eye in the wild is one of the most thrilling wildlife encounters you can enjoy in Africa. Within several countries, gorilla tourism has been developed and tourists can visit the natural habitats where these great apes live and watch them from the wild. This experience commonly referred to as gorilla trekking is a moving experience. Don’t expect a zoo experience given that you will be within the natural home of the great apes without any barrier protecting you.
Looking into the pensive eyes of the gentle giants is such a heart pounding experience. It should be noted that gorillas are more loved for trekking which is evidenced by the large number of tourists yearning to meet them in their natural habitat. Most gorilla watching trips are taken in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic. Within these countries, gorilla trekking is the top tourist activity in each country. Other destinations where you can go for gorilla watching are Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Nigeria.
Of all these destinations, Rwanda is the favorite destination for luxury gorilla treks. For budget and midrange travel, Uganda is the ultimate destination to visit. There are also opportunities to experience a luxury gorilla safari in Uganda.
Gorillas are much loved due to the following reasons:
Gorillas are human like, they are intelligent and somehow similar DNA after chimpanzees. Gorillas exhibits unique characters which are similar to those of human being like formulating organized families, building shelters, feeding together, hunting together and so on.
Gorillas trekking offers amazing experience – it involves climbing uphill and sloping down the valleys, crossing rivers and so on when trying to look for them in their natural habitat. The exercise in done in groups under the guidance of rangers who ensures that the trek is enjoyable and informative. In Uganda and Rwanda, each Gorilla group is visited by the maximum of eight people who trek while sharing ideas among others.
Gorilla trekking enable visitors to exercise their bodies- the process of climbing, sloping, jumping over rivers and so on. In other words, the exercise improves human health just like a person from Jim.
Tropical forest in Uganda including Bwindi Forest and Mgahinga National Park offers pure breathing air which is rarely found in urban areas. The forest also offer other tourist attractions like unique tree species, hills and valleys, insects, reptiles and water bodies among others.
Gorillas earn a lot of foreign exchange in countries like Uganda, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo among others. Currently, Rwanda charges US$ 1500 per Gorilla permits, Uganda charges US$ 600, DR. Congo charges US$ 400 which widens the government tax base of such countries hosting Gorillas.
Gorillas defend themselves in times of danger making them easy to host. Gorillas have predators because they are strong enough to defeat their enemies without the help of human being- in other words, Gorillas are stronger than human beings – it’s estimated that, one Gorilla is equivalent to the strength of ten strong men.
Gorillas are calm if not disturbed – they can only charge when they detected danger. That is why trekkers are argued to follow the rules and regulations governing Gorillas trekking exercise. It should be noted that, human should leave a reasonable distance in between with Gorillas; Flash cameras should be avoided, when Gorillas charge, better leave.
Gorillas in natural habitat are easy to host because they feed on vegetation, defend themselves in time of attack and look for their young ones among others.