WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLAS
Western lowland gorillas are among the gorilla types that have gained popularity in the world second to the mountain gorillas that are the most famous gorillas that can be seen in Mgahinga national park, Bwindi impenetrable national park and in volcanoes national park Rwanda where the gorillas can be accessed when you hike the Virunga mountains in Rwanda, namely mount gahinga, mount muhabura, mount sabyinyo, mount karisimbi and mount bisoke and Virunga national park in Congo. The western lowland gorillas to differ from the mountain gorillas whose numbers are few, the western lowland gorillas can be found in high number as compared to other gorilla types however because they can be found in in thick and dense forests, swampy areas, the exact numbers are not known but they are higher than that of the mountain gorillas, cross river gorillas and the eastern lowland gorillas that can be seen when you participate in gorilla trekking in Kahuzi Biega national park and more about the gorillas in Congo can be seen in the interesting facts about Congo where you will see the different gorilla types you can see in Congo.
The western lowland gorillas on the other hand can be seen in the protected areas of Dzanga sangha in the Central African Republic where you will get to observe a number of rewarding features of the primates in the wild including their interesting facts about the gorillas, you will get to understand important questions like are gorillas friendly, what is stronger a gorilla or chimpanzee, the best places to visit the gorillas in Africa, the best time to visit the different habituated families for an amazing experience during gorilla trekking in Africa during covid-19.
About the western lowland gorillas
Some of the most interesting observations you will get to see when you take part in gorilla trekking in Africa, notably western lowland gorillas. Once you get in contact with the habituated gorilla families, you will be able to distinguish these gorillas from other gorilla types for instance you will get to see that the western lowland gorillas are slightly smaller in in size compared to the mountain gorillas however the western lowland gorillas have wider skulls with noticeable brow ridges and smaller ears. The mountain gorillas have black fur but the western lowland gorillas have reddish brown chest, with grey brownish fur, a small white streak of hair on their lump can be seen on infants at about the age of four years. You will also get to see their diet which consists of green edible leaves like celery, tree shoots, fruit and in rare occasions you will get to see them and many other interesting features of the primates in the park.
Threats to the western lowland gorillas
- Diseases are among the different threats to the gorilla numbers which has led to their declines. It is believed that diseases like Ebola has contributed to over 70% of gorilla deaths in the wild therefore before tourists participate in gorilla trekking, they will first undergo a briefing session which will help in understand the do’s and don’ts when you get to the gorilla families like feeding them your food to avoid accidents in the park like spreading diseases to the highly vulnerable species.
- Poachers have increased the loss of gorilla numbers in the wild due to their need to gain income from selling gorilla products like hands, feet, skulls, skins among other gorilla products.
- Pet trade has also decreased the numbers of gorillas in the wild, there is a high demand of gorilla infants by rich pet owners in western countries which has led to looting a number of gorilla families in order to capture the infants and because the adult females and males are violent when they are disrupted they are usually killed.
- Mining has also led to the increased gorilla loss in the wild whereby gorillas have lost their food habitats and territories which has made them to migrate to areas with predators like leopards that have contributed to gorilla deaths.
Best time to visit the lowland
Gorilla trekking in Africa is an all year round activity however the best time to visit the habituated western lowland gorillas is during the dry months of January and February and the months of June and September for an amazing gorilla trekking experience. The trek will take you about 2 hours to access the gorillas and you will have the chance to spend one hour observing their behavior in the wild where you will find out and also get to take pictures of the different features of the primates.