Watching the Mountain Gorilla Family:

Gorilla family is a Group of Gorillas living together, it is comprised of Alpha male or Silver back, Black backs, females and young ones of different ages. Tracking these mountain gorillas, one must posses a gorilla tracking permit which must be purchased in advance. Each gorilla family live and feed together like human beings.

Atypical Gorilla family contains about 10 members, the dominant Silverback, several adult females and then immature offspring of different ages. However there can be variations in family size which may range between 2 and 30  or more individuals. A group may sometimes contain more than 1 or more silver back. In multi groups, the silverbacks are usually related as brothers, half brothers, or father and son. When gorillas reach maturity, they typically but not always , leave the group in which they were born. Females will shift to another group directly when they are 6-10 years old. Males follow one of two strategies, to become the leader of the group; either remain in the group and attempt  a takeover  or emigrate to become solitary male and eventually form anew family group. All male gorillas become silverbacks at about 14 years of age but not all males become group leaders. The Silverback is responsible for the security of entire family.

Mountain gorillas live in the Virunga massif which is comprised of Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in UgandaVolcanoes National Park in Rwanda and the Virunga national park in DR-Congo. The other population live in the Jungle of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. Those are the only places where this specie of Gorilla is found in the whole world. The mountain gorilla family members are all responsible for the youngsters or juveniles.

You may ask yourself why it is possible to see gorillas so well if they are wild ! Naturally gorillas are afraid of human beings and will typically flee and some times aggressively charge if people continue getting close to them. Gorillas that are trekked and visited by people have undergone what is know as Gorilla Habituation. Habituation refers to the process where the Wild Gorillas, through daily peaceful contact with humans have slowly lost their fear of human presence and have learned to see them as neutral beings in their environment. Habituating a gorilla family usually takes approximately 2 years. The Guidelines and gorilla rules established for tourists visits have been put in place to respect the special relationship that exists through the habituation period. The Gorillas briefly letting people into their world.

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