At what age do mountain gorillas give birth
Mountain gorillas are the largest species of primates in the whole world. These primates do live in Bwindi impenetrable forest national park and the Virunga conservation area which comprises Mgahinga national park, Virunga national park, and volcanoes national park. The mountain gorilla population keeps on increasing day by day and we believe with time, they won’t be endangered animals.
Bwindi gorilla park has over 700 mountain gorilla families and the rest are shared in other parks. The mountain gorillas are the main attractions of these parks and travelers can always encounter them at any time of the year. Travelers do love to encounter these mountain gorillas and this is because they are said to be close relatives to human beings with 98% DNA.
Wondering how the mountain gorilla population keeps on increasing? Well, female mountain gorillas do give birth when they reach a certain age. The female mountain gorillas become sexually active at the age of 10 years to 12 years and when it’s time they want sex, they are the ones that move to the male gorillas. The dominant silverback is always responsible for mating all females in the group but there are times when the other male gorilla mate with females.
The female mountain gorilla which wants to mate will move to the male gorilla first and touch his back. The male mountain gorilla gets sexually active at 12 years to 15 years. The female mountain gorilla takes 8.5 months to give birth and they normally give birth to only one infant except in some rare cases when they can give birth to twins. When a mountain gorilla is pregnant, it’s very hard to notice because their stomachs are always big since they eat a lot during the day.
Surprisingly a young mountain gorilla is smaller than a newborn human being but at the age of about 12 years, their weight is more than the average human being’s weight. Mountain gorillas do give birth once in four years and they only give birth to about 4 babies in their whole lifetime. When they give birth, they breastfeed the infant until 4 years, and when are done they stay with the babies and teach them how to make their nests and search for food.
Where to encounter mountain gorillas?
If you want to trek mountain gorillas, you can visit Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo. The mountain gorillas in Uganda live in Mgahinga national park, and Bwindi impenetrable forest national park, in Rwanda they are found in volcanoes national park and in DR Congo, they are found in Virunga national park. All these national parks harbor a certain population of mountain gorillas but Bwindi has got the highest number.
The chances of seeing mountain gorillas in all these parks are 98% but each park has an advantage over the other for example gorilla trekking in Virunga national park is cheaper compared to other national parks and this is because of insecurity. Gorilla trekking in Uganda is cheaper than that in Rwanda because Volcanoes is marketed as luxury tourism destination.
How to see mountain gorillas.
Seeing mountain gorillas in Africa is very simple, all you have to do is choose the destination where you want to trek these mountain gorillas and then get a local tour operator to book for you gorilla permits and organize for you a safari. A gorilla permit is the only password to seeing mountain gorillas in any of the gorilla parks in Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
Assuming that you have a gorilla park and you are in the destination where you will encounter mountain gorillas. You will wake up early in the morning and get transferred to the briefing point where you will meet other trekkers, you will first go through a briefing where you will get to learn the rules and regulations of the gorilla trekking activity.
Park wardens do group trekkers not exceeding 8 people and then armed ranger guides lead them in the jungle. It takes 30 minutes to 7 hours to locate these mountain gorillas but as you are searching, you will fall into different park mammals, primates, and birds. The moment you meet the mountain gorilla family, you will be given 1 hour to be around the members and watch them do daily activities, take photos and learn about their habits.
How much are gorilla permits in Uganda, Rwanda, and DR Congo
Starting with the cheapest, DR Congo permits go for $450 in the dry season and $200 in the low season, Rwanda gorilla permits are $1500 for foreign non-residents and $600 for foreign residents and lastly Uganda sells gorilla permits at $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 foreign residents and UGX250,000 citizens of East Africa. Travelers that want to encounter mountain gorillas should book early because there are parks where the permits sell out especially in the dry season.