Silverback in Bwindi Impenetrable national park
Silverbacks in bwindi impenetrable national park: Mountain gorillas are indeed one of the world’s most fascinating giant creatures and encountering them is the best primates experience most especially the Silverback gorillas. The name “Silverback” is given to a fully grown or say adult male mountain gorilla. When the male mountain gorillas are fully mature, they start losing hair on their backs leaving the back bear with no hair but only in greyish or silver-colour backs. It’s much easier to recognise a silverback gorilla during gorilla trekking safari in any of the world’s only gorilla trekking destinations in Bwindi Impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park in Uganda, Volcanoes national park in Rwanda and Virunga national park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The silverback in Bwindi Impenetrable national park is the dominant mountain gorilla and it takes the leading roles in a gorilla family. Thus a silverback gorilla is the head of a gorilla family because they are considered mature at the age of 8 years and they continue to grow as they grow out of hair on their backs. As a male gorilla grow and reach a certain age, the male gorilla will form its own family leaving his own extended family which is quite similar to human beings hence it is said a gorilla has 90% similar to human beings. At the age of 13, they are too strong thus they start fighting the leader of the family as they attempt to take over the leadership. A fully grown silverback gorilla weighs between 135 kilograms to 200 kilograms that is 300 to 430 pounds with a height of between 1.5 meters thus 4 feet 11 in to 5 feet 11 with an arm span that stretches from 2.3 to 2.6 meters. This is one of the most interesting things to see during gorilla trekking tour.
Silverback gorillas are responsible for the protection of their families and in case of any threats of the enemy, silverback gorillas charge by thumping their chests and making roaring sound however roaring sound can also mean a form of playing, an attempt to intimidate or an alert to the group for any intruder in their territory. While the silverback gorillas do that, the female adult gorillas look out for the young ones especially the babies by huddling them in their bellies to the ground and their feet and hands folded under their bodies to show their submission to the silverbacks. An average Silverback gorilla is about 7 to 18 times stronger than an adult male gorilla thus a male gorilla can no wrestle and win a wild Silverback gorilla. They have shorter arms with larger nose and Jaw, larger teeth.
The silverback gorillas being the leaders of a gorilla family, they are response in monitoring the movements of their families, they lead the way and the rest of the family members follow. A silverback gorilla heads as many as 30 individuals in a family. This family include; the dominant male which is the Silverback, a handful of female gorillas and their immature off strings. As the young gorillas grow, the Silverback gorilla will split from the family to travel alone, this is around the age of 15 years, and males will start collecting their harem of females and start their own family groups.
The silverback gorillas are larger with longer hair however with hairless back given their growth. They serve in high altitudes of about 2,200-4,300 meters (7,300 – 14,100 feet). Being the largest primates, the silverback gorillas consume over 50 plant species in the forest. Mounting gorillas only live in montane rainforest with high altitudes, providing them with green vegetation whereby 70 percent of these, is their diet composed of leaves, 20 percent is composed of edible roots and stems and 10 percent is composed of the fruits and flowers. Some of the varying plan species include; nettles, Galuim, Celery, thistles to mention a few. However, they occasionally feed on Ants, grubs, snails and other small insects. It is noted that a Silverback mountain gorillas of Bwindi national parks in Uganda consume to about 30 Kilograms of plants daily while an adult female gorilla consumes to about 18 Kilograms. The adult gorillas have strong teeth chewing muscles which are strong enough to handle the large quantities of food consumed daily. Their teeth is as strong as those for human especially for the silverback gorillas, they possess long pointed canines teeth that is not only for chewing food but mainly for fighting other gorillas or enemies. The mountain gorillas do not consume a lot of water because they are scared of water so they get most of the water from the vegetation that they feed on as most of the plants are succulent providing water that they need to survive.
Silverback gorillas are the major interests of most travellers’ to Visit Bwindi Impenetrable national park. Other gorilla trekking destinations to find the Silverback gorillas include Rwanda and The Democratic Republic of Congo. They can be visited anytime of the year both in low and high seasons given the changing weather conditions. To be able to access a gorilla family headed by a Silverback, you are required to book a gorilla permit 5 months in advance as gorilla permits quickly sell out even in low seasons. A gorilla permit costs USD 700 per person throughout the year in Bwindi impenetrable national park and Mgahinga national park. To encounter these incredible creatures, plan a safari in Uganda and book your gorilla permit with Achieve Global Safari for a life time memories in Uganda.