Western Lowland Gorillas are another species of the gorillas that have contributed highly to the growth of tourism in Africa because of their amazing features.
Mountain gorillas are one of the world’s endangered species. They are found on land as their habitat. They either live in the mountainous areas or the lowland places. It is estimated to be about 250,000 left in the whole world with only 1,000 being the mountain gorillas and the remaining to be the lowland gorillas however there has not been a recorded census for these gorillas to give an exact estimate on how many are left in the world.
The mountain gorillas are only found in 3 countries the world that is Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo. Lowland gorillas are found in West Africa that is in Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, and the Central African Republic. The lowland gorillas live in forested areas and lowland swamps as well as some montane areas. The scientific name of these lowland gorillas is gorilla gorilla gorilla under the “Hominidae” family kingdom Animalia. These great apes in the Democratic Republic of Congo can be found further south of the country in the Bukavu region on Lake Kivu in Kahuzi Biega National Park.
The lowland gorillas differ from the mountain gorillas in so many ways that helps one tell them apart. The lowland gorilla adult male is estimated to weigh about 180kilogrammes and the female is much lighter weighing 84 kilogrammes. The fur of the two gorilla species differs in a way that the fur of the lowland gorillas is much shorter and softer as compared to that of the mountain gorillas that is longer and shabbier.
The lowland gorillas are smaller in size in appearance as compared to the mountain gorillas. Both live in families of about 4 to 100 with one dominant silverback. Adult male children of families tend to detach from their family to go start a new life on their own and start one of their own. They, both the lowland and the mountain gorillas stay in nests that they make on a daily as the move to different places every day.
These nests are made of leaves and tree branches. The mountain gorillas live in higher altitudes that are cold thus the darker fur as compared to the light fur of the lowland gorillas. The mountain gorillas are still known as the world’s largest living primate. The dominant males in both species differ as the elderly mountain gorillas tend to maintain their grey hair on their backs while the lowland gorillas end up losing the greying around the back and hips as they age. To get a clearer difference between the 2 species book our trip to both parks and get to see both species in about 5 days.
Lowland gorillas are strictly herbivore that is: they feed on leaves, tree shoots and branches as well as small insects like ants and small reptiles. They are also fond of moving in smaller groups of about 4 to 8 members but also don’t live single lives or move solo. Lowland gorillas also have a life span of around 35 years in the wild and 50 in captivity.
The lowland gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo are best visited in the dry months of January to February then June to September which make gorilla trekking or rather making your way through the forest much simpler. The trek lasts about 2 hours and is organized by the Kahuzi Biega National Park. This permit can be purchased at just 400 USD for this amazing opportunity of an hour in the wild with the gorillas. This region is faced with political insecurities so be sure to get in touch with a local operator so as to get a forecast on the region.
Explore Rwanda tours is the local operator you can get in touch for your ideal gorilla safari to Kahuzi Biega to visit the lowland gorillas. This experience can be topped up with a visit to the Tshibati waterfalls, also is an opportunity to visit Lwiro Chimpanzee Sanctuary.