If you are interested in discovering where gorillas live, more likely you haven’t seen one live outside of your TV frame. Or, maybe you are wanting to go to Gorilla trekking as much as I am.
In fact, I myself have not seen one either but still dreaming. I have done some research and learned where they live. Now, just looking at a right time to pack my bags and leave for a great adventure, hoping to see a family of those endangered apes.
Gorillas live only in Africa. More specifically, the African countries that I am listing below are the main habitat for gorillas.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo
The Virunga National Park is the place to spend a time with a family of mountain Gorillas. Group of less than ten people is allowed per one-hour tours. Such rules are enforced not to disturb natural environment of gorillas.
Although tracking permits in DRC are considered to be the cheapest among other African countries, a tourist still has to pay about $400 dollars just to observe Gorillas for an hour. Also, tourists should take their travel and accommodation costs into account as well.
Bwindi National Park and Mgahinga National Parks are two places in Uganda where Gorillas live. Between the two, tourists mostly choose to Bwindi park because Gorillas in Mgahinga is sparsely populated. Tour prices, however, cost about $ 600 which is significantly higher than the cost in DRC.
There are two types of Gorillas. Lowland Gorillas which’s number is well over 100,000. The other one is the mountain gorillas which’s number is estimated to be around 786. Due to the low number of population, the mountain gorillas are in the IUCN’s Red List as the critically endangered animals. About half of those mountain Gorillas are living in the Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks in Uganda.
Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park is another great destination in Africa to observe mountain Gorillas. Five volcanoes also lay in the depth of Virunga mountains with some number of endangered golden monkeys. So, it sounds like someone visiting the park would have some great time.
Something that is not that great about Volcanoes National Park is the price of the Gorilla trekking permit. Starting from May 2017, the permit prices doubled, going from $750 per permit to $1500. The increase in price puts Rwanda as the most expensive place to observe endangered mountain Gorillas.
The permit costs a lot higher for a photography and filming crew. According to the park’s official website, they should pay $12,000 per three consecutive day permit for a team of 8 people.
Where do Gorillas live? The Lowland Gorillas.
As we mentioned above, the numbers of Lowland Gorillas are a lot higher than the numbers of Mountain Gorillas. As result, they spread wider areas in Africa. Lowland gorillas are roaming the lands of following countries
- Equatorial Guinea
Monte Allen National Park is the largest park in Equatorial Guinea. It doesn’t only stand out with its large size, but it is also home for the Lowland Gorillas and for the largest frogs called the Goliath Frogs.
The estimated number of gorillas living there is close to 3800.
Gabon has 13 National Parks and almost all of them has the lowland gorilla population. The most troops of gorillas, however, live in Moukalaba-Doudou National Park. The park is characterized by tropical forests, swamps, and grassy savannas.
Gorilla trekking in Moukalaba-Doudou National Park comes with some requirements. Firstly, a tourist must be at least 15 years old. Secondly, a person should be physically fit to walk a long distance in rugged terrains. There are estimated 5000 Chimpanzees and Gorillas there. (Source)
- The Central African Republic
In the Central African Republic, a reserve called Dzanga Sangha stands in the center of the Lowland Gorilla trekking. This dense rainforest is one of the unique places where you can also experience the lives of Ba’Aka people and observe their herb gathering practices.
Dzanga Sangha Gorilla Trekking tours last 8 days. The price, however, comes with a hefty $6000 price tag.
- Nigeria and Cameroon
I listed Nigeria and Cameroon together because Gorillas are densely populated in transboundary areas of these two African countries. The Cross River National Park in Nigeria and Takamanda National Park in Cameroon are the two havens for the Cross River Gorillas. Those gorillas are considered Africa’s most threatened apes with only 300 of them remaining in the world.
I hope this post was a good answer to your “Where do gorillas live” question. If you know any other places where the gorillas are common, please share them in the comments section.