The world’s largest living primates are the gorillas, they share more than 98% of the human genetic code, making them our closest relatives in the forest. These beautiful apes exhibit common behavior to and live in families just like humans. Gorillas are one of the most pushing factor for Africa’s tourism, thousands of tourists flop into the continent just searching out for the real up close encounters with these endangered species that are so like humans.
There are two species of gorillas in the world, the eastern and western gorillas. However these species have several types that lie under. And regardless of the species, all these gorillas are beautiful to the eyes. Though if you want to be more specific on the type to trek, here is the list of all the gorilla types in Africa.
These almost became extinct in the beginning of 19th century that made them critically endangered species, however with the improved conservation practices and policies, their population surpassed 1000 in the last gorilla census. Mountain gorillas are under the eastern gorillas species and are also known as Gorilla Beringe Beringei, a name that was derived from Captain Robert Von Beringe Fredrick who shot two unknown animals in 1902 but later known as mountain gorillas.
They are only found in the Virunga mountain ranges that are shared by three African countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Only Four national parks of bwindi impenetrable forest and Mgahinga national parks in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in Congo offer mountain gorilla trekking experiences.
Western lowland gorillas
The western lowland gorillas are in the family group of the western gorillas. They are the smallest gorilla species weighing up to 270 kilograms or even more when in zoos. These beautiful apes of the forest are found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Cameroon, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. The western lowlands are also common is several zoos the fact that they can even survive in captivity. Just like all other gorillas, they live in groups dominated by an adult male called a Silverback.
Eastern lowland gorillas
These are also under the eastern gorilla species. They are the largest group and are also known as Gorilla Berengei Graueri, named after a scientist called Rudolf Grauer the first person to identify the species in the 19th century. These impressive apes mainly occupy the lowland and mountain tropical forests. In Africa, they can only be trekked in their natural habitats in Kahuzi-Biega national park, Maiko national park, Itombwe mountains region and Tayna gorilla reserve. Unlike the mountain gorillas, the eastern lowlands can survive in zoos and other man-made sanctuaries.
Cross River gorillas
These are also known as Gorilla Gorilla Dielhi, a new species that was discovered in 1904, but less was known about them, until the recent research in 1980s. These gentle apes don’t grow so huge, males grow up to 1.75 meters tall and 200 kilograms whereas females grow up to 1.40 meters and weigh up to 100 kilometers.
The cross river gorillas are some of the few endangered ape species with almost only 200 individuals remaining in the world. They live in groups that are led by an alpha silverback that is responsible for the safety and security of other family members as well as proving optimum leadership and guidance.
Join the million travelers who have had lifetime encounters with these impressive giants of the forest in their natural habitats.
A gorilla trekking safari is surely one dream trip that all world travelers are looking for. It’s high time you booked a safari in Africa and have a chance to meet some of these amazing species of gorillas.