Mountain gorillas (eastern gorillas) are found in two isolated groups. One group is the Virunga region which is mark a border of three countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. The second group is found in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is located in the south western part of Uganda. The world population of mountain gorillas has increased to 880 individuals according to the census data released by the Uganda wildlife authority in 2010.
A mountain gorilla has thick and longer fur and shorter arms than other gorilla species which enables them to live in high altitude areas. Mountain gorillas have long silky black coats with hairless face, palms, soles and chest. They are remarkably strong with a broad chest and shoulders. They are also bigger than other species. Males weigh around 195kg and females weigh around 100kg. Females have a gestation period of 8.5months.
They live in highland tropical forests of Africa and stay in altitudes ranging between 8000 and 1000 feet.
Mountain gorillas live in groups of up to 30 individuals. The group, or troop, is led by a single alpha male, an older silverback. These males are called silverbacks because of the silver stripe they develop on their backs when they mature. The oldest males of the group are at least 12 years old. These troops also include several younger males, adult and juvenile females, and infants.
In addition to providing protection to group members, silverbacks maintain order and decide all activities within their troop. They schedule feeding trips, resting time, and travel. They also father the majority of the young in the group.
The biggest threats to these great apes come from deforestation and the growing human population around the area, diseases, and wars and civil unrest. Gorillas are not commonly poached but they always fall in traps meant for other animals.
Mountain gorillas are omnivores. They are able to survive on vegetation such as leaves, stems, roots, vines, tress, herds, but such vegetation has low nutritional levels. So they consume a lot of it to get more nutrients. They also eat some insects.
An adult male gorilla can consume more than 18kgs per day. They rarely drink water because most of the foods they eat contain water in them.
Gorillas are so selective I what they eat, they usually eat part of the vegetation. They may only eat the leaves, stalk or roots of a particular plant.
When travelling, you will come across many people along the way and you may want to offer a lift. This is not a good idea because you do not know the person you are helping, he might be a thief. To avoid such things, avoid picking strangers along the day, be it doing the day or a night for your own safety.
Best travellers travel light. There is no need to carry a lot of things which may end up stressing you for nothing. Carry things that you will only need so as to avoid worrying yourself over unnecessary things
Take your car to the auto shop before you drive it so as to ensure that it’s ready for the trip and that your oil is changed, tires are in good shape, and make sure that there’s less junk in the trunk.
As you move, you may feel like helping a stranded person let’s say a stranded driver. Do not stop to help unless in you are sure it’s safe. Some people pretend to be in need for help yet they are actually thieves most especially along high ways.
Proper feeling and having enough sleep will help you focus while on the road. You can easily be distracted or impatient on the road if you are not taking good care of yourself.
Choosing a hotel greatly depends on your budget, luxury lodges are always the best. There are budget hotels that offer good services, safe and at a good price for you. Your safety will also contribute a lot to having a good trip.
Only carry the amount of cash that you may need for the trip and do not expose the amount of money you have to anyone. The best deals on currency exchange are using the ATM, so there is no need for big bills that might get stolen.
Make research about the culture of the destinations you are visiting before you go there such that you know how to treat yourself while there. Dress code is one of the most important things to be keen about. Most places upcountry in Uganda are so much against indecency, so dressing decently will help you to easily blend in because you will not look strange before them. Wear simple clothes to avoid bringing unnecessary attention to yourself.
Different countries have different driving sides, so it’s good to be sure of the side before you hit the road. In Uganda you have to keep left in all areas, this will help avoid colliding with other cars on the road.
Don’t stop if someone who doesn’t look like a police officer waves at you
When hiring a car for your safari in Uganda, you should a 4×4 is best for you. Some roads become so hard to pass through most especially when it rain. With a 4WD, it becomes easier for you to pass through.
It is much better to travel during the day than in the night because when you get a problem with the car in the night, it’s so hard to get help. When you travel during the day, you will be able to see the attractions along your way of which you may branch or stop to see them.
You should always travel with the map such that it can always guide you to where to go. A map is more reliable than a GPS so, try hard to learn map reading if you don’t know.