The Congo contains some of the most fascinating natural wildlife habitats in Africa. This fascinating country is home to a remarkable creature, the Mountain Gorilla. Our destination is the Virunga National Park that extends along the borders of the Congo, Uganda and Rwanda.
Close to the border with Uganda is the village of Goma, that contains several dwellings and a good market that displays an amazing variety of exotic fruit. After a short but very welcome break, the journey continues in a four-wheel drive minibus. This does not last very long as it soon becomes necessary to travel by foot, a daunting prospect but also one inspired by the possibility of spotting the rare Mountain Gorilla in its natural habitat on a journey that will take around two days.
The excitement continues to mount as a tree, or even a bush, could suddenly reveal one of the regionís remarkable Mountain Gorillas. Suddenly from behind a bush, the first one appears!
Unlike their reputation of old, these mighty creatures are far from aggressive and man originally thought of these animals as highly dangerous and unpredictable. However, recent studies have proven that this is untrue and that the gorilla is an exceptionally peace loving creature.
Even today, the precise size of the gorilla population is not known. However, it is believed that around 380 Mountain Gorillas inhabit the protected region of the Virunga Mountains.
Various sounds such as screaming, whimpering, barking and grunting play an important if not vital role in the daily communication of the gorilla as the various members of a group may not see each other for much of the time. By communicating in this way, they learn of the mood and current whereabouts of the other members of the group. On average, an adult utters around eight sounds an hour.
Due to constant supervision and strict policing, these fascinating creatures that were until quite recently threatened with extinction, have managed to survive to the present day. Long may this continue!