What to Know About Eastern Lowland Gorillas

Eastern lowland gorillas also known as Grauer gorillas inhabit and are endemic to the tropical rain forests of Democratic Republic of Congo. They are the largest of the four gorilla sub species and are unique primates species to explore on a primate safari.

Gorillas are great apes that and the largest living primates species that live in the tropical forests of Equatorial Africa. The gorilla species we are discussing today live in Kahuzi Biega National Park. The park is situated in Eastern DRC and can be easily accessed through Rwanda via cyangungu border.

Lowland Gorilla in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Congo Safari Adventures
Juveline Lowland Gorilla in Kahuzi Biega National Park. Photo by Shannon

Lowland Gorillas Diet

Just like other gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas are also vegetarian. They spend most of their day feeding on plants, leaves, stems and tree barks. Eastern lowland gorillas also feed on shoots and often the vegetation in the reach of their arms.

Social Behaviour

They live in groups or families headed by a dominant male known as a silverback. A lowland gorilla family can have 2 to 20 gorillas or more. The dominant Silverback gorillas often determine the daily routine of the gorillas and is also in charge of protecting its family members against any attack.

As the young males (Juveniles) grow, they tend to move away from their original families. They do this to establish themselves and often times try attracting females in their new families.

Lowland gorillas are also very sociable animals and only charge if they detect danger. This is why while on a lowland gorilla trek one is advised to keep 7 meters away from the gorillas. Its intended to avoid confrontation.

Lowland Gorilla Trekking

Kahuzi Biega National park in eastern DRC is the only place where you can see Eastern lowland gorillas. If you are interested in trekking the forests to these rare and endemic apes then a visit to the park is highly recommended.

You will be required to report to the park headquarters for a briefing about the gorilla trek. Later be led to the forest as you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Hike in the forest and once you get to the lowland gorillas stay in their presence for an hour. Here you will get a chance to take photographs and get to know more about the gorillas. After this experience, you will be brought back to the park or proceed to your hotel depending on Schedule

The National park can be easily accessed through Rwanda via the Cyangugu border. Those in southwestern Rwanda in National Parks like Nyungwe Forest National Park can easily add lowland gorilla treks on their primate safari packages.

The dry season from June to August and January to February are the best times of trekking lowland gorillas as there are usually minimal rainfall disturbances. The wet season is also a great time to visit through there are high chances of rainfall. The country is also home to Mountain gorillas that live in Virunga National Park in the north Kivu area.

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