In case you hadn’t heard the new Travel Antics magazine is officially here! This bi-monthly travel magazine is jam-packed with interviews and images of locals from all over the world. They will give you tips and advice to help inspire your next adventure and make your trip as memorable as possible.
In the first edition, we speak to Rabani, an eco-safari operator, with Instinct Safaris. He has introduced many travellers to wild animals in their natural habitat. And aims to educate and amaze folk from all over the world, by running safaris in Rwanda, Uganda and the DR Congo. He can show you a world beyond your imagination brimming with graceful lions, galloping gazelles and a wide range of fierce wildlife. But, today he wants to tell us a little of the famed Mountain Gorilla, native to his home in Africa.
“My favourite wild animal is a Mountain gorilla, I have grown looking at this great ape both in its wild and habituation state but every moment with it has been described differently. This is all about how they live in the family, sharing close social bonds and their interaction with the natural environment. Mountain gorillas are among the rarest animal species, with fewer than 880 left in the whole world!
Gorillas share human DNA. Gorillas are special primates sharing over 98% of their DNA with humans.
Mountain gorillas live only in Africa and are distributed into two populations. One gorilla population is found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of East Africa within three national parks: Mgahinga in south-west Uganda, Volcanoes in north-west Rwanda and Virunga forest in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The other more than half of the population is found in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park 4 km from my family home.
Mountain gorillas are as shy as they are strong. As a local resident living near Bwindi
Impenetrable National Park I know this for a fact! A mountain gorilla will never chase you when looking directly into your eyes. They are gentle and share smiles when
disturbed they beat their chests and let out angry grunts and roars. Group leaders will
charge at the threat and mothers will fight to the death to protect their young ones.
Mountain gorillas live in groups of up to 30. They are social with an extended bond in the gorilla family led by a silverback. These troops also include several younger males, adult and juvenile females, and infants.
Aged male gorillas are called silverbacks. This name originates from the silver stripe they develop on their backs when they mature. The silver hair can be compared to the grey hair that humans develop.
The dominant silverback gorillas ensure the protection of the group and production of offsprings. Silverbacks maintain order and decide all activities within their troop. They schedule feeding trips, resting time, and travel. They also father the majority of the young in the group.
Female mountain gorillas can start reproducing from the age of ten. They carry one or two babies at a time and give birth after an eight and a half month gestation period. In general, they will bear between two and six offspring in a lifetime.”