Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes Park Mountain Gorilla Habitat and Ecology, Mountain Gorilla Evolution, Taxonomy and Classification. Majorly, Volcanoes National Park is notably known for Mountain Gorillas scientifically known as Gorilla beringei beringei. Noted to be descendants of Old World Monkey, the Mountain gorillas are among the two sub species of the eastern gorilla. They occur in two populations with one thriving in the Virunga massif where Volcanoes National Park is a member along with Uganda’s Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and Congo’s Virunga National Park while another thrives in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda.
Mountain Gorillas are rare animals living in fragile habitats and with low birth rates which explains their listing as critically endangered on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Apparently, the global population of Mountain Gorillas is estimated at 880 individuals.
Some of the Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park have been habituated for human visitation and research. Dian Fossey started the Mountain Gorilla habituation initiative and apparently Volcanoes National Park feature two (2) research groups Beetsme and Pablo’s Shida and ten (10) groups for exploration by travellers on Gorilla safaris in Rwanda. These include;
Mountain Gorilla Evolution, Taxonomy and Classification
Noted to be descendants of ancestral apes and monkeys that thrived in the parts of Arabia and Africa at the beginning of the Oligocene epoch about 34 – 24 million years ago, the fossils evidence indicate the existence of Apes in the region of East Africa at approximately 22 – 32 million years ago.
It is believed that at around nine (9) million years ago, the Primate group that would evolve into Gorillas separated from their common ancestor with Chimpanzees and humans leading to the emergence of genus Gorilla. Though this earliest relative of the gorilla is not clear, it was connected to the early ape Procunsul Africanus. The Mountain Gorillas are believed to have separated from the Eastern Lowland Gorillas around 400,000 years but these two taxa are believed to have split from the Western Lowland Gorillas around two (2) million years ago. The classification of Mountain Gorillas has been surrounded by unresolved debate. The initial genus was referred to as Troglodytes in the year 1847 before it was renamed back to Gorilla in the year 1852. Colin Groves in 1967 proposed that all Gorillas be grouped as one species called Gorilla gorilla with three (3) sub species namely Gorilla gorilla gorilla for western lowland gorilla, Gorilla gorilla beringei for Mountain Gorillas and Gorilla gorilla graueri for Eastern lowland gorillas. But the in the year 2003, the World Conservation Union classified them into two (2) species namely; Gorilla beringei and Gorilla gorilla.
Mountain Gorilla Habitat and Ecology
Mountain Gorillas thrive in the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley always referred to as the Albertine Rift. They thrive in its montane cloud forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda along with the Virunga Volcanoes which is a chain of eight (8) Mountains straddling from Uganda, Rwanda to Democratic Republic of Congo. The Virunga massif is protected by three National Parks namely; Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Virunga National Park in Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The altitudinal range is 2,200 – 4,300m and the Mountain Gorilla forests are usually misty, cloudy and cold. Mountain Gorillas feed majorly on herbivores diet that include; stems and shoots (85.8%) of around 142 species of plants, bark of trees (6.9%), flowers (2.3%), roots (3.3%) and fruit (1.7%) along with small invertebrates (0.1%). The mature male gorillas can consume up to 34Kgs per day while the females consume up to 18Kgs.
Safari Attractions in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda
Due to the extended altitudinal spread, the Volcanoes National Park features various vegetation zones. There is lower montane forest which has been majorly lost to agriculture, Neoboutonia forest at the range of 2400 – 2500m, Arundinaria alpina also known as Bamboo.. READ MORE
Some of the Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park have been habituated for human visitation and research. Dian Fossey started the Mountain Gorilla habituation initiative and apparently Volcanoes National Park feature two (2) research groups Beetsme and Pablo’s READ MORE
Golden Monkeys also scientifically referred to as Cercopithecus kandti is species of Old World Monkey that thrives in Virunga Mountains which comprise of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda and Congo’s Virunga National Park READ MORE
There are five (5) volcanic Mountains in Volcanoes National Park Rwanda including; Mount Karisimbi (4,507m), Mount Bisoke (3,711m), Mount Muhabura (4,127m), Mount Sabyinyo (3,669m) and Mount Gahinga (3,474m). The prominent ones READ MORE
The Volcanoes National Park features extensive avifauna most of which are endemic to Albertine Rift. The Park is home to the three (3) of the globally threatened species such as African Green Broadbill, Lagden’s Bush shrike and Kivu Ground Thrush. In addition, the 53 READ MORE
Mountain Gorillas thrive in the western arm of the Great East African Rift Valley always referred to as the Albertine Rift. They thrive in its montane cloud forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Uganda along with the Virunga Volcanoes which is a chain READ MORE
Mountain Gorillas are social animals and they thrive in averagely stable and cooperative groups / families which are kept together by the long-term bonds between the mature females and males. The Mountain Gorillas are non territorial and the Silverback minds about READ MORE
Rwanda Safari Activities in Volcanoes National Park
Mountain Gorilla Trekking is ranked the best safari activity on the continent of Africa as it presents an opportunity to explore the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas that are known to thrive in only three countries in the world namely; Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic READ MORE
With a count of 178 species of birds some of which are endemic to the Albertine Rift, the birders on Rwanda birding safari can consider Volcanoes National Park among the options. During the activity, possible bird sights include; Rwenzori turaco, dusky crimson-wing READ MORE
Known to be the highest of all the eight Mountains that form the Virunga massif rising to 4,507m above sea level, Mount Karisimbi offers an exciting Mountain climbing adventure that lasts a total of two (2) nights on a round trip. Karisimbi Volcano is the highest READ MORE
Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safaris Tours, Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Safari
1 Day Express Rwanda Gorilla Safari is the most short gorilla safari that you can undertake in Rwanda. It is very ideal for traveller with limited time most especially those who are residing in Rwanda
The 2 Days 1 Night Rwanda Gorilla Express is a mini break holiday encounter in the land of a thousand hills. The weekend break is enough for anyone to undertake this gorilla trekking safari in
The 3 Days 2 Nights Rwanda Gorillas and Golden Monkey Safari is a unique safari of its own. It gives you an opportunity to track the two critically endangered primate species in the world i.e. the
The 4 Days 3 Nights Rwanda Gorilla & Dian Fossey hike safari has features of a nature and heritage safari. The safari takes you through the mountain gorilla trekking in the slopes of the Virunga
The 5 Days, 4 Nights Gorilla & Wildlife Rwanda Safari is a rich safari encounter that gives you an opportunity to encounter primates and wild game. The Mountain gorillas thriving in the volcanoes
The 6 Days, 5 Nights Rwanda Gorilla and Chimpanzee safari is one the rewarding primate encounters that you can undertake in Rwanda. The safari involves trekking mountain gorillas in Volcanoes
The 8 Days, 7 Nights Rwanda Gorilla Wildlife & Chimpanzee Safari gives you a detailed encounter of Rwanda. It covers the major destinations of Rwanda including Volcanoes National Park,
The 8 Days Rwanda Adventure & Classic Gorilla Trekking Safari Tour is that wonderful safari which offers travellers on Rwanda Safaris the unique opportunity