Mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) live in stable groups headed by a dominant silverback.

The Virunga Volcano Region (VVR) is a single ecological unit divided politically into three national parks: the Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, the Volcano National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A further population of gorillas lives in Uganda in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), an area covering approximately 330 km²

The last census took place in 2018 and it showed that 1,063 mountain gorillas live in these regions. In other words, the number doubled within the last 40 years!
The greatest threat to these gorillas is deforestation and pressure from the increasing population of Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo (DRC). Their proximity to humans also increases the risk of transmitting diseases.

The mountain gorilla population has recovered from a historical low in 1981. This recovery is particularly evident in those groups that are strictly guarded by rangers and visited by tourists. Although there exists the danger of diseases being transferred from human to animal, photographic tourism is largely beneficial, generating a great deal of income for the protection of these animals. The conservation status of the Mountain Gorillas was changed from critically endangered to endangered in 2018.

The region around Lake Kivu is chronically volatile. The Congo (DRC) in particular is favoured by rebels and bandits who destabilise the entire area. A further threat exists in the form of multinational oil companies, which are still eager to exploit the last remaining habitats of the mountain gorilla. The rangers of Virunga National Park are true heroes and have earned our support.
Gorilla Facts
  • The gestation period is 8.5 months
  • They live in family groups
  • They live up to 40 years
  • Fully grown males are called silverbacks
  • A silverback can weigh up to 180 kg
  • Gorillas are mainly vegetarian
  • They sleep in nests made from foliage
  • We share 98% of our DNA with gorillas