E-mail: info@climbingnyiragongo.com | Phone: +256 39 2 159498

The Great Apes of Congo


The western low land gorilla is the most numerous and widespread of all gorilla subspecies. It is critically endangered with the smallest population. The male is referred to as a silverback and is the leader of the gorilla family. The populations of these gorillas can be found in Cameroon, The Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Equatorial Guinea as well as in large areas in Gabon, Congo, and Cabinda region of Angola.

What Western lowland Gorillas eat?

Gorillas stick to a mainly vegetarian diet, feeding on stems, bamboo shoots and fruits. Western lowland gorillas, however, also have an appetite for termites and ants, and break open termite nests to eat the larvae.

Western lowland Gorilla Groups

Gorillas live in groups, or troops, from two to over 30 members. But data seems to indicate that western lowland gorillas live in smaller groups, averaging about five individuals.


Western Lowland Gorillas do not have a distinct breeding season. Gestation lasts from 250 to 270 days (8-9 months). In the wild, female gorillas usually deliver their first offspring at 10 – 11 years old and at 4year intervals thereafter. One infant gorilla is normally produced and twins are rare.

How to differentiate western lowland gorillas female and male?

In western lowland gorillas, the silver may extend to rump and thighs. Western lowland females may go gray below the ears and on the neck and top of the head as they age. Compared to other subspecies, western lowland gorillas have a more pronounced brow ridge and ears that appear small in relation to their heads. They also have a differently shaped nose and lip than other subspecies.



Grauer’s gorilla, also known as the eastern lowland gorilla, is found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The eastern lowland gorilla also known as Grauer’s gorilla is the largest of the four gorilla subspecies. The eastern lowland gorilla occurs in the lowland and Albertine Rift montane forests of eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Until the mid-1990s, the population was thought to number around 17,000 individuals. But the latest survey found that numbers had crashed to less than 4,000.

What do they eat?

They eat every part of the plant, including roots, leaves, fruit, stems, flowers, bark, and even fungi (e.g. mushrooms). They will eat smaller ground plants and vines as well as foraging in the trees. This species will sometimes eat insects, but for the most part they are herbivores.

Eastern Gorilla groups

Eastern lowland gorillas are highly sociable and very peaceful, living in groups of two to over 30. A group usually consists of one silverback, several females and their offspring. Silverbacks are strong and each group has one dominant leader (see alpha male). These males protect their group from danger.



Adult female gorillas give birth to one baby about every 4 years although a surviving infant is produced only every 6 to 8 years due to high infant mortality in the first 3 years of life. A baby gorilla is born weighing 1.8 to 2 kilograms (4 to 4.4 pounds) after a gestation period of 251 to 295 days.

How to differentiate eastern lowland gorillas female and male?

Adult male gorillas, or silverbacks, will be close to twice the size of the females, have silver hair on their back, and have large bumps on the top of their heads called sagittal crests. Even with these indicators, it sometimes may be hard to tell young males and adult females apart.



The Cross River Gorilla, with fewer than 300 individuals estimated to exist in the wild, is the most endangered of the gorilla subspecies, and is listed by the IUCN as Critically Endangered. This is the highest ranking for species that remain in the wild, and means the Cross River gorilla is at risk of extinction.

Cross River gorillas are found in the mountains, highlands and forests along the border between Cameroon and Nigeria. … The closest population of western gorillas (their closest gorilla relatives) are 300 kilometers away in Cameroon’s Ebo Forest.

What Cross river gorillas eat

These gorillas live in the mountainous region between Nigeria and Cameroons. The Cross River gorillas are herbivores and usually feed on branches, nuts, leaves, and berries that they hunt for from different plants.

Cross river gorilla groups

These gorillas live in groups of anywhere from 2 to 20 individuals, and the groups are made up of the dominant gorilla, several females and their offspring.


They reach maturity at around 10 years old, and usually, have 1 baby at a time after a gestation period of 9 months. They have a high level of infant care until the young gorilla is 3 or 4 years old, and as a result, they only give birth once every 4 years or so.

How to differentiate from cross river gorilla’s male and female?

Cross River gorillas are large, stocky and muscular in the same manner as other gorillas. The males can be about twice the size of females, measuring up to 5 or 6 feet in height and weighing in at around 440 pounds. Females, by contrast, usually weigh about 220 pounds. This size difference is common among gorilla species. Both male and female Cross River gorillas have long hair to keep them warm in their high-altitude habitat.

How do all Gorillas communicate?

Gorillas communicate in a variety of ways, including facial expressions, sounds, postures and gestures. When things are calmer, gorillas often greet each other by touching their noses together, and will sometimes even give a reassuring embrace. The females align themselves with their leader, openly soliciting mating.

CopyRight © 2022-23 Primate Safari Experiences LTD. All Rights Reserved