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6 Days African Big Five Safari
Destinations: Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, Murchison falls’ National Park and Kidepo Valley National Park.

3 Days Gorilla Safari
The drive to the enchanting and thickly dense forest of Bwindi will take us a pleasant 10 hours. This is where the largest population of the endangered mountain Gorillas in the world is resident. Don't worry, the journey to Bwindi is all part of the fun

8 Days Wanderlust Safari
Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Mt. Mgahinga National Park and Queen Elizabeth National park.

5 Days Great Apes Safari
This safari, takes you to the thickly forested areas in Uganda with forests like Kibale having the highest number of primate species in Africa and Bwindi impenetrable forest with half the population of the worlds remaining highly endangered Mountain Goril

 

Uganda’s mountain gorillas are in the baby boom

    Uganda’s mountain gorillas are in the baby boom
    The endangered mountain gorillas have gone on a wild baby boom as yet another mountain gorilla is born in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

    This park found in the southern western part of Uganda is a World Heritage site. And with the increasing number of births here, it is rightly so.

    On 11thNovember 2016, Businzagave birth to a new baby. Businza is an adult female in the Rusheguramountain gorilla family. Originally from Habinyanzafamily, Businza moved to her present family, Rushegura,in 2000.

     

    She gave birth in the morning and was seen by a Uganda Wildlife Authority tracker later in the day. UWA monitors all the habituated gorillas daily to ensure they are in good health and safe.

     

    Speaking of the newest birth, the third in as many months, Dr. Andrew Seguya, has said the consistent and sustained conservation efforts to ensure the survival of the mountain gorillas is paying off.

     

    “Over the last 10 years, Uganda has been leading in conservation of the mountain gorilla. We believe that the pristine and safe habitant is the crucial link in the survival of the gorillas as well as their health and wellbeing,” Dr. Seguya said.

     

    He adds that as a World Heritage Site, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park has the highest possible level of conservation management. This coupled with safe and secure environment is evidently showing in the growing number of baby mountain gorillas starting a new life here.

     

    “The mountain gorillas are responding to these ideal circumstances by giving birth,” says Dr. Seguya. “At more than 450 individuals, and growing, Bwindi has the largest number of mountain gorillas found anywhere in the world.”

     

    There are 10 groups of habituated gorillas in Bwindi, which is a small number compared to the larger numbers that live in the wild. Less than 900 mountain gorillas are left in the world, and only found in Uganda (over 50%), Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. So, every single birth is a reason for celebration.

     

    The UWA area conservation manager, Mr. Pontius Ezuma says this is Businza’s second birth in two years.

     

    “Businzafirst gave birth on 14th April 2011. This new baby born on born on 11th November 2016 is her second,” Ezuma has said.  “With this baby, the group has now increased to 17 members. This also proves the scientific inter-birth interval for Bwindi as 5 years.”

     

    There are roughly 880 mountain gorillas remaining on Earth, and nearly half live in the lush forests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and Mgahinga national parks.

    Mountain gorillas live in forests high in the mountains, at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet. They have thicker fur, and more of it, compared to other great apes. The fur helps them to survive in a habitat where temperatures often close to freezing.

    A few years ago, the survival of the mountain gorillas was very bleak. However, joint interstate and national conservation efforts have seen the population grow. Bwindi has over 50% and Uganda 54% of the mountain gorillas left in the world. The newborn gorillas make are an assurance of a future for the mountain gorillas.

    Though demonised by movies like King Kong and Congo, the mountain gorillas are actually gentle giants. These very strong and powerful apes are actually gentle and even shy—say more like Jungle Book.

    Mountain gorillas don’t feed on any meat, eating only plants, shoots and fruit. Red ants are their source of protein.

    The struggle for the survival of the mountain gorilla first came to international attention through the work of American scientist Dian Fossey. It was through her efforts, even at the point of death, that probably, the mountain gorilla got the first step away from extinction. The movie “Gorillas in the Mist” features Fossey’s work in the gorilla highlands.

    Over the years, these great apes have been threatened by habitant loss, poaching and human activity. A number of conservation initiatives have been set up to support the survival of the remaining great apes. Since the 1980s numbers have risen from 600 to currently over 880. The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) recently carried out a census whose results are yet to be published. The expectation is that numbers will be positive, and the newborn gorilla is just one proof of that. 

    Female mountain gorillas give birth to one infant after a pregnancy of nearly nine months. The baby mountain gorilla, weighing anything from 1.8 kilograms (four pounds), spends the first three to four years moving around mostly on the mother’s back.

    By four years, the infant is fully weaned and ready to eat the main mountain gorilla diet that includes plants, roots, shoots and the occasional red ants that provide protein.

    The baby gorilla will eventually grow to weigh up to 160 kg (350 lb) for the males, while the females will hit about 90 kg (200 lb). Mature males are distinguished by the silver strip on the back and thus the name Silverback. The females on the other hand have a crest of hair crowning their heads. Both male and female mountain gorillas are covered by thick hair that keeps them warm in their cold mountainous homes in Bwindi and Mgahinga.

    No mountain gorilla is kept in captivity.

    Type: Mammal           

    Diet: Omnivore          

    Average life span in the wild: 35 years          

    Size: Standing height, 4 to 6 ft (1.2 to 1.8 m)           

    Weight: 135 to 220 kg (300 to 485 lbs)         

    Group name: Troop or band   

    Relative:  Size relative to a 6-ft (2-m) man

     

     

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