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If you enjoy both travel and wildlife, trekking to see mountain gorillas in their natural environment should be on your bucket list. Being close to these gentle giants can be one of the most thrilling experiences ever, while it may pose challenges in terms of terrain; nevertheless if you’re up for it – you will discover it very rewarding indeed.

Uganda and Rwanda offer the ideal environments for viewing gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda both contain roughly half of the remaining world population of mountain gorillas.

Mountain gorillas inhabit altitudes ranging between 8,000 and 13,000 feet, making them one of the highest-altitude primates on the planet. Though their terrain can be challenging, due to steep and muddy trails and experienced guides making this experience accessible for most reasonably fit visitors. You might become winded at times during your trek; but seeing gorillas makes all this worth your while!

Expect to spend several hours trekking uphill before reaching the gorillas, so it is advisable to come prepared with plenty of water, snacks, and sturdy hiking shoes. Listen closely to your guide’s instructions regarding staying away from them to avoid disturbing their lives.

Gorillas are stocky apes with large hands and forearms that are shorter than their upper arms, small eyes placed closely together, large nostrils, hairless faces with only long, snout-like ears near their head being hairy; but their forehead, thighs and arms are covered in black fur; their shoulders and arms feature lighter gray hues while mature males develop an extensive blanket of darker fur that extends across their back and thighs – giving rise to their popular name, “silverbacks.”

They tend to be vegetarians, although some will occasionally consume bark and invertebrates as part of their diet. Rodents play an integral role in maintaining biodiversity by spreading seeds they eat to spread through forests, opening gaps in trees as they travel, allowing sunlight to reach ground-level environments more readily, as well as opening up gaps that allow sunlight to reach ground-level environments more freely. Rodents spend most of their time on the ground but can climb trees – though not cliff faces!

They tend to be shy and passive creatures, yet will defend themselves if threatened. Their communication includes grunts, growls, whines, chuckles and hooting; visual signals; scents (including chest-beating); visual signals and scents as well as chest-beating by dominant males displaying their strength or dominance to others within their troop; as well as using strong odors to maintain contact among members of their troop.