Fun facts about mountain gorillas

Fun facts about mountain gorillas: Mountain gorillas the most exciting primates that prefer to reside in forested areas of high elevation in East Africa. That is in Uganda the pearl of Africa where they are found in 2 parks of Mgahinga gorilla national park and Bwindi impenetrable national park, in Rwanda where they are found in Volcanoes national park and In Democratic Republic of Congo where they thrill in Virunga national park. Mountain gorillas are termed as endangered species of primates that share about 97% of their DNA with humans thus make them our closest relatives. Mountain gorillas are the top tourist attractions in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo which are the only countries that harbor these apes in their natural habitats. Mountain Gorillas fall under the Eastern Gorillas together with the Eastern lowland gorillas that inhabit Kahuzi Beiga national park in Democratic Republic of Congo but mountain gorillas are more fascinating than their other sub species the eastern lowland gorillas. 

Below are the top fun facts about mountain gorillas;

  1. Physical fun facts about mountain gorillas

  • Mountain gorillas are large in size: Mountain gorillas are known to be the largest primates in the wild averagely 4-6 feet while standing tall though a grown silverback can even be taller than this.

  • Longer arms than legs (Arm size): Mountain gorillas have long arms that are even longer than their legs making them to majorly walk using all the 4 legs with 2 hind legs and knuckles of their hands to keep balance especially while climbing the hills and trees. But this doesn’t mean that they don’t walk with their 2 legs! Since they share human DNA, most of their features and behaviors are probably closer to the humans. On your gorilla trekking safari, it’s very possible to watch gorillas walking on their 2 legs just like a human being. 
  • Long and thick hair: Mountain Gorillas have long and thick hair to keep them warm even during cold conditions since they prefer residing in areas of high altitude and we well know that the higher you go, the cooler it becomes thus their long hair helps in keeping them warm while in the tropical climatic conditions.
  • Silver back Gorillas Grey hair at the back: The hair at the back of a black back starts to turn silver or grey as it matures at around age of 10-12 years and with is grey /silver patch of hair at the back thus the name silverback gorilla. 
  • Dark brown eyes: Mountain Gorillas have dark brown eyes unlike other animals whose eyes got different colors. This a unique and a fascinating thing about mountain gorillas.
  • Fingerprints and nose patterns: Mountain gorillas have a fingerprint just like a human being. And their nose prints are different from each other and as well related to that of human. Taking a look at the faces of 2 different gorillas, you will obviously recognize a slight difference in their nose print.


  1. Strength of Mountain Gorillas
  • Weight of Mountain gorillas:  the weight of mountain gorillas range between 135 kg to 220kg though their height is relatively the same. However, their counterparts the Eastern lowland gorillas are heavier weighing about 250kg. With this heavy weight, Gorillas are far heavier than humans since the average human being weighs about 70kg.
  1. Habitat facts 

  • Mountain gorillas have limited habitats: Mountain gorillas cannot easily survive in captivity like other species of Gorillas. This is because they prefer roaming the forest freely as they climb up on hills, slope to valleys as they search for food in their natural set up thus making it difficult to gazette them in places like zoos or sanctuaries. This implies that it’s very difficult to find mountain gorillas in any zoo or sanctuary. They are only trekked in their natural habitats in Virunga national park,
  • , Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga gorilla national park and nowhere else in the world.

  1. Social fun facts about mountain gorillas
  • Life expectancy of Gorillas: It is believed that gorillas can live for about 35 years to 40 years and the most cause of their death is diseases, accidents and old age (natural death) just like humans though humans now days live longer than before.

  • Gorilla Families/groups: Gorillas usually live in a families / groups of about 10 individuals though they can be more than 10 or less than 10 under the leadership of one dominant silverback responsible for group management, protecting other family members and fathering all children. Incase this dominant silverback dies and there is no any other adult male gorilla to take over the group, then the female gorillas leave the group and join other groups for safety and security purposes.

  • Family Safety: Under social fun facts about gorillas is the safety of the gorilla family. This is the responsibility of a silverback gorilla as a family head. He has to ensure that there is peace, unity and security of his family at all times. In case of any attack to the gorilla family, a silverback is always ready to fight and defend its members even if it means fighting to death he will surely do it.

  • Gorillas sleep in Nests: Gorillas are seen building their nests in the evening where they sleep at night and the next day they make a new nests again for overnight and life goes on just like that. This is the major reason as to why trekking these gorilla is a tiring experience since these gorilla s never sleep in one place. They just move all day and in the evening they make nests from tree branches and grass for overnight rest and the next morning then as gain roam in the forest till late evening when they make new nests once again for overnight and the process recurs itself. 

  • Feeding habits: Gorillas are known to be herbivores where they eat different parts of plants including fruits, shoots, stem, barks, roots, piths and supplement it with small animals, ants, insects among others. A mature gorilla can eat about 25 kilograms of vegetation on a daily basis and they usually eat a lot early in the morning and in the evening taking a break in the afternoon hours.
  • Reproduction of Gorillas: The gestation period of gorillas is 34 weeks unlike that of humans at 36 weeks leaving a gap of just 2 weeks. This implies that a female gorilla keeps pregnancy for the period of 8 months and a half and gives birth only 3 times in her lifetime. It’s very rare for a gorilla to produce twins though if found they are the most beautiful creatures to watch. Once a baby gorilla is born, the mother takes care of it till 3 years when it is finally allowed to walk freely with other family members.
  • Old males: when there are more than one adult male gorilla in a particular gorilla family, they fight to dominate the group and the strongest silverback remains in the group chasing away all other males from the group to make their own groups.


  1. Comparing Gorillas to Humans

  • Gorillas are Great Apes: Gorillas termed as primates though they share human DNA that doesn’t make them humans. They are primates just like chimpanzees, Bonobo, and monkeys.

  • Strength: Gorillas are stronger than humans approximately 6 times stronger thus can easily fight a group of 6 average men.


  • DNA: Gorillas share about 98.4 % of human DNA next after chimpanzees and the Bonobo thus they mostly behave like humans with the gesture, expression of emotions, laughter and many more making them our cousins. These gorillas use tools and can as well make their own tools to use in scoping water for drinking, and removing ants from ground and many more.
  • Diseases: Gorillas can catch human diseases like cough, flue that’s why people with flue like symptoms and cough aren’t allowed to engage in gorilla trekking adventure. 
  1. Conservation status
  • Population of Mountain gorillas: Over 1000 species of mountain gorilla still survive in the wild with in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. Thanks goes to the people responsible for the conservation of the gorilla habitats that has seen a rise in their population from critically endangered to endangered status. 
  1. Gorilla Tourism facts
  • Gorilla trekking: The most stunning fact about gorilla tourism is that Gorilla trekking is the top tourist activity done in Uganda, Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo. A permit to trek gorillas as of 2021 costs $700. That in Rwanda costs $1500 while for Democratic Republic of Congo costs $400. From the money collected on permits, a percentage of it goes to conservation works to see a rise in the population of these endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.