Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is home to half of the world’s mountain gorillas. Mountain gorillas are an endangered species, with only around 700 remaining in the wild. This has improved since Bwindi Impenetrable Forest became a National park, and the Bwindi gorilla population has increased from around 300 to around 440 since 1991.
Gorilla tracking permits are needed if you wish to see the gorillas and visitor numbers are strictly controlled. Visitors are escorted by guides and may have to walk several hours to see one of the habituated mountain gorilla groups. Four groups have been habituated to people – three ‘tourist’ groups and a ‘research’ group. The region is important for primate research as it is the only place where mountain gorillas and chimpanzees co-exist.
Read More on Mountain Gorillas:
- Bwindi mountain gorilla research
- Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Forest
- Gorilla Tracking Rules
About Bwindi Gorillas
Sharing over 98% of their DNA with humans, gorillas display uncanny human characteristics. Gorilla families are headed by a silverback – a mature male who select places for the group to eat and sleep. The silverback has many privileges – including the right to feed first. This previlege pays off for the rest of the family, as if the group is threatened, the silveback weighing up to 120kg (260lbs) will defend them to the death if necessary.
Generally though most people think that gorillas are scaring, they are indeed gentle and peaceful animals. These great apes are highly intelligent and have been observed using tools and communicate using a variety of vocal sounds.