Mountain Gorilla Habitat. 4 places you’ll see gorillas in Africa

The mountain gorilla habitat is a delicate ecosystem whose balance can’t be recreated in the captive environment of a zoo or sanctaury.

Have you ever wondered about the mountain gorillas habitat? – and what makes it so special, so delicate an ecosystem for them to only exist in one area on earth.

Mountain gorillas are one of the most endangered animal species in the world. This brings to mind the questions of where mountain gorillas live and what climate they live in.

Mountain gorilla habitat

Mountain gorillas cannot survive in the captivity of a zoo. The gorillas in zoos are the western lowland gorillas. Why one subspecies would survive and another can not is hard to say. This is why all the mountain gorillas live in the Wild and nowhere else.

Mountain Gorilla Habitat

The mountain gorillas habitat is high altitude rain forests with a rich ecosystem of plants and animals. These are found in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo.

The world’s last remaining mountain gorillas live in three countries and span four national parks of  Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, Volcanoes National Park, and Virunga National Park. The parks are found in Uganda, Rwanda and D.R.Congo respectively.

These are the only places where you may see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

1. Mountain Gorillas in Uganda

In Uganda, you can see mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The presence of these two locations is why Uganda has the biggest population of gorillas in the world. This is also why Uganda is greatly regarded for gorilla trekking safaris and gorilla conservation efforts.

Uganda Gorilla Tracking Safari

To reach where mountain gorillas are found, you visit the respective national parks.

To track gorillas, you have to buy a gorilla permit that allows you to go into the thick forests where they live. A gorilla tracking permit can only be bought from the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). As your safari company, Exclusive African Safaris will purchase the permit on your behalf so that you don’t have to worry about any such logistics, but just anticipate your time with gorillas.

2. Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda

In Rwanda, you can be able to see Mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. The Park is in the Northwestern part of the country and is neighbours to Uganda’s Mgahinga and DRC’s Virunga National Park.

It is in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park that Dian Fossey undertook her groundbreaking gorilla research, which has helped in the conservation of gorillas and other primates.

2 Days Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

Gorilla permits in Rwanda can also be obtained via the RDB (Rwanda Development Board) which is the government body in charge of issuing the permits to see the gorillas of Rwanda.

3. Mountain Gorillas in D.R. Congo

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, you can see gorillas in Virunga National Park. The park neighbors both Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park.

While DRC has been disturbed by internal conflicts for many years, the good collaboration with Uganda and Rwanda, plus other conservation partners has enabled the continued study and preservation of the mountain gorilla habitat in the country.

Going to See Gorillas

Given that they cannot survive in the zoo, the conservation of mountain gorillas relies heavily on maintaining the health of the mountain gorilla habitat. Visiting these places for gorilla trekking or gorilla habituation plays a major role in supporting such conservation efforts.

From directly benefiting the nearby communities to supporting ongoing research and monitoring, your gorilla trekking money is well used to ensure that gorillas have a future.

Much as mountain gorillas are an endangered species, conservation efforts have paid off very well and their population is increasing indeed. This is incredible work and the organizations and institutions involved have proved that something can be done for all the other endangered and at-risk species of plants or animals.

gorilla safaris

Recent statistics indicate that more than 1000 mountain gorillas are living in the wild. This is good news because the 2003 census estimated a population of 380 individuals. This means that the population has more than doubled in 15 years.

This, however, does not mean that the threats to their livelihood are eliminated.

Local communities can benefit a great deal from gorilla tourism, and this has kept them from encroaching on their habitat for agricultural land, timber and poaching (of other animals, which at times kills gorillas in the traps). Read more on this in our article about why gorillas are endangered and what factors threaten their survival.

One way of contributing to the conservation of mountain gorillas is by supporting gorilla tourism. Money from such tourism activities directly benefits the neighboring communities, as well as supports further conservation and protection of the mountain gorilla habitat.

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