Visiting DR Congo Mountain Gorillas
DRC was shockingly primitive after traveling through Kenya and Uganda. We barely saw a vehicle on the way to Virunga National Park, a 3, 000 sq mile (7, 800 sq kms) wildlife reserve stretching from the Virunga Mountains to Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth Park. Virunga is a World Heritage Site for wildlife but suffered great losses during the Congo Civil War and recently by continual poaching.
Virunga National Park
The Virunga Mountain check-in hut, below the range that is home to mountain gorillas.
Virunga NP is home to about 200 of the world’s remaining 790 Mountain Gorillas. A gorilla family can number from four to fifty individuals headed by a single dominant adult male known as the ‘Silverback’, a name derived from the grey hair that develops on a male’s back as it reaches adulthood.
The Silverback is responsible for protecting the family from predators or other threats, including solitary Silverbacks intent on claiming females as their own.
Some families contain more than one Silverback, but only one is dominant and that male alone is responsible for mating with the adult females of the group.
A long, wet, hike up the lower hills and through damp vegetation.