Mountain gorillas inhabit the tropical rainforests in east, central and West Africa; they live in social groups dominated by an alpha male known as a silverback. Silverbacks are called so because of a greyish patch of silver hair they develop on their backs as they mature.
Gorillas can make up to 25 different sounds they use for communicating to other in the forest including grunting sounds, chanting screaming and many more. Mountain gorillas also have emotions they can laugh and cry.
Male mountain gorillas can eat up to 49 pounds of vegetation in a day and females can slightly eat lower than that, their diet is composed of fruits, leaves, bark, stem, roots, bamboo shoot and sometimes supplement their diet with ants, termites and insects. Gorillas hardly drink water because they usually hydrate from eating plants.
Nyakagezi gorilla family
Nyakagezi mountain gorilla family is the only habituated mountain gorilla family in Mgahinga gorilla national park; the family derives its name from Nyakagezi area in Mgahinga national park where the family normally forages from.
Habituation of Nyakagezi gorilla family started in 1991 and it was opened for trekking in 1994, the family was under the leadership of Bugingo at the time of habituation but son Mark later took over the group leadership with the help of his brother Mafia. Mark did not fight with his father who is unusual with gorilla families when the son takes over the group, the father is dismissed or the son simply takes away some members to start his own family but Bugingo is still in the group living at peace with other 4 silverbacks.
Nyakagezi gorilla family is composed of 9 individuals including 4 silverbacks, 2 adult females, 2 infants and 1 juvenile. Numbers in gorilla groups keep on changing due to a reasonable number of factors from time to time.
Golden monkey trekking
Mgahinga National Park is a place where silver meets gold boasting with an estimated number of 3000-4000 golden monkeys! This species of monkeys are endangered and endemic to the Virunga volcanic range, the trek starts early morning just like gorilla trekking.
Golden monkeys live in groups of 30-80 individuals and at night they sleep in sub groups on top of bamboo plants. Golden monkeys are fun to behold fond of playing and also love flash cameras unlike mountain gorillas.
Mgahinga gorilla national park is home to 3 of the eight Virunga range volcanoes that is mount Sabinyo, mount Muhabura and mount Gahinga. All these mountains are found within the national park and mountain climbers can choose one to climb, each of three mountains have their own unique spectacular views at the summit.
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