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- Added Thursday, 08 March 2012 11:33
- by Super User
The mountain gorilla is critically endangered: there are only around 782 surviving in the wild and a handful in captivity, making them one of world’s most endangered species.
Due to a combination of poaching, regional conflict, destruction of its forest habitat, and capture for the illegal pet trade there has been a dramatic decline in mountain gorilla numbers, although efforts by government, conservation organisations and local people are now leading to a gradual increase in numbers. Revenues from gorilla tracking fees are playing a vital part in this conservation process, offering the mountain gorilla at least a chance of survival in the wild.
Tracking Mountain Gorillas
Seeing a mountain gorilla in its natural habitat is a thrilling and unforgettable experience. You can join us in either Uganda or Rwanda, where most of the world’s surviving population of mountain gorillas live.
Gorillas are shy, gentle and highly intelligent. They form strong social bonds within family groups, each of which is led by a dominant male, called a silverback because of the saddle of silver hair it develops on its back as it matures. All other members of the family group defer to the silverback.
Mountain Gorillas live in dense forest at altitudes above 1500 metres. The humidity and terrain can make tracking the groups quite challenging, especially in Uganda. You should be prepared for steep climbs through dense undergrowth.
We have been organising gorilla safaris for more than twenty years in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and the more accessible Parc National de Volcano in Rwanda. In both Uganda and Rwanda the gorillas are tracked daily, so our guides find it reasonably easy to locate the family groups. The probability of seeing gorillas on both tours is very high: all Explore groups in recent years have successfully located and observed gorillas.
The Gorilla Organization
Explore has supported the Gorilla Organization for many years. It is a charity dedicated to saving gorillas from extinction. The organisation has adopted a community-based approach to conservation, setting up a variety of projects that enable local people and gorillas to live alongside each other.
For more information visit http://www.gorillas.org/