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Exploring The Eastern Lowland Gorillas of Kahuzi Beiga National Park

Eastern Lowland Gorillas in Kahuzi Beiga NP DRC
Eastern Lowland Gorilla in Kahuzi Beiga NP. Photo by Shannon

Eastern Lowland gorillas are endemic to the forested mountains of DRC and live in Kahuzi Beiga national park. The Park is located in Eastern DRC near Lake Kivu and can be accessed through Rwanda.

The Eastern lowland gorillas are the largest in size compared to the other four gorilla subspecies counterparts. Just like mountain gorillas, they are covered with black fur but their hair is shorter on the head and body.

Diet

The diet of Eastern lowland gorillas often comprises of wild fruits, leaves, tree stems, soft barks and small insects.

They are vegetarian and mostly feed on plant vegetation just like any other gorilla species. They spend most of the day feeding growing in big sizes with a fully grown male weighing about 210 Kilograms.

Gorilla Family Setup

Lowland gorillas live in families that are headed by the dominant male called Silver-back that dictates the daily routine. The gorilla families usually range from three to over 20 gorillas including females plus off-springs

The silver-back gorilla is in charge of protecting the family from external invasions and to keep the family together. Young male gorillas grow into silver-backs, leave their families attracting females to start new families where they can be head.

Female Eastern lowland gorillas have a gestation period of 8 and half weeks or 9 months just like human beings. After birth, they breast feed young ones for 3 years as they slowly introduce them to their usual vegetarian diet.

Gorilla Tours

DRC has struggled with security issues with many rebel activities in a number of protected areas thus threatening gorilla population. Eastern lowland gorillas are also endangered as many been hunted down for meat and their habitat destroyed in deforestation.

Tourists interested in visiting this gorilla specie can visit Kahuzi Biega National park in and meet them in the wild. Gorilla tracking starts with briefing at the park head quarters and then tourists are led to the forested mountains.

The Eastern lowland gorilla trek takes a 1 to 6 hours depending on the movement of the gorillas. Once you get to the gorillas a distance of 7 meters is required away from them. This is to avoid invasion as they could easily charge much as they are social animals.

You can have a lowland gorilla tour to Congo anytime of the year.

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