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Thursday
Nov212013

Mountain gorillas

The total number of mountain gorillas in the world, as of 2012, is 700. An incredibly low number, they are the subspecies of eastern Gorilla’s, only found in Uganda, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo; they’re virtually scattered throughout the Virunga mountainous regions of central Africa. The gorilla is the largest primate in the world and most resembles humans; and as a result, we are fascinated by them.

Image courtesy of Puddlepuff.

Mountain gorillas are an endangered species, who are still threatened today by poaching and loss of land, but with conservational help and aid the numbers are expected to rise. They are one of the world’s most beautiful and rare animals, catching a glimpse of these captivating creatures in their wild habitat is a truly compelling experience, which should be a valued and cherished moment.

Poaching reasons are usually for animal meat, but it has been known for entire families to be wiped out, apart from the infants because poachers have the intent of selling them to zoos. The areas have seen much human violence which the gorillas have unfortunately not been able to hide from. However, some of the mountainous areas are now heavily guarded by park rangers, although most of the gorillas live way out of human reach, a handful are close-by, therefore, the rangers limit the amount of visitors to the mountain. A visitor pass is now needed to enter the nature reserve.

Mountain gorillas are about 6ft tall when not on all fours and for this reason their only predators are cheetahs and humans. They are incredibly passive animals unless provoked where they are known to turn aggressive. It’s very rare for gorillas to attack humans, but if you do find yourself close to them then you need to try not to stare or point.

Frontier has recently opened its first Ugandan mountain gorilla project. This 11 day expedition will take you from Kampala to the National Park and will allow you to explore the Ugandan territory.  Sticking to a strict itinerary, the project will take all willing explorers by boat, bus and jeep across Uganda and up into the mountainous areas where the rare species will be found. This truly explorative expedition is one which will stay with you for life. It will take you to meet the local communities, enveloping you into a deep cultural experience, as well as an adventure where you’re searching for some of the world’s most endangered animals. 

By Ed Hawes

If you want to search for this endangered speices then find out more on Frontier's Uganda Mountain Gorilla Adventure project page.

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