Gorillas in the Mist

What do Mountain Gorillas Do All Day?

Gorilla habituation in Uganda and Rwanda is an activity that exposes a visitor to gorillas’ daily activities! Many people wonder how  gorillas spend their day within the Virungas and the impenetrable forests of Bwindi in Uganda. Like human being, the gorillas in the wild do routine work every day. Here are some of the activities that the gorillas engage in;

1. Early in the morning the gorillas leave their nests. This is always early in the morning at 6 am though sometimes can stay longer in their nests most especially on cold days. They always leave their sleeping sites when the sun rises. Another fact about these gentle giants is that the gorillas forage in early morning and rest in late morning and around midday.

2. Did you know that gorillas spend about half of the day eating. Rest periods take up approximately a third of the day. They spend about 6.5% of their time moving from one location to another and they are engaged in social behavior for 3.6% of their time. Social contacts occur mainly during rest periods. Therefore the midday rest period is very important for the social life of the group, as this is the time when the animals interact with their companions and when the young gorillas can play without being interrupted.

4. Gorillas forage again before resting at night. Every evening, gorillas construct new nests which they build on the ground or within trees. This depends on various variables, such as the vegetation and the security situation of the place where they have spent a day! Most often the gorillas build nests in what looks to be a safer location. Each member within the family builds its own nest! It is only infants that sleep in the same nest as their mothers. About half an hour before it gets dark the gorillas settle in the nest. Occasionally, they also build nests for the midday rest.

5. To build a ground nest, the animals pull the branches of bushes and other plants into the centre, layer them and anchor them to each other. Other plants are bent in to form the nest rim. Tree nests are built mainly in forks of branches or similar structures. The nest has to be constructed in such a way that it can carry the weight of the gorilla. Females and young animals prefer to sleep in trees, whereas silverback and the blackback males hardly ever do. Gorillas spend most of their time eating and they feed on leaves, stems, fruits and so on.

Would you like to learn more about gorillas in the wild? Why not book a gorilla safari in Rwanda or Uganda and meet the mountain gorillas face to face in the wild. Guided by a local knowledgeable guide, you will get to learn about the gorillas and the proceeds from your visit will promote the conservation of these endangered species.


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