Mapuwa gorilla group

Mapuwa Gorilla Family

Out of the 8 Gorilla families open for tracking in Virunga national park, D.R. Congo, one is worth a mention – Mapuwa gorilla family. This is a newly habituated gorilla family often residing at the extreme end of Virunga N/park towards the Jomba region, right near Congo-Rwanda border. Not as history spells it, Virunga national park is quite safe for tourism and offers amazing trekking experiences. It is one of the largest and oldest parks in Africa and over 100 individual mountain gorillas call it home, Mapuwa gorilla family inclusive.

Mapuwa gorilla family is made-up of over 15 members – 1 silverback, called Mapuwa (son to Rugendo and brother to Humba), adult females, black backs, infants and many more. Mapuwa left his family in 1998 and started his own until date. The group was opened for visitations in 2015.

To encounter this gorilla family, a task of tracking them lies ahead; an activity that kick-starts very early in the morning with a pre trekking briefing by park rangers. The briefing lasts for approximately thirty minutes, with the park rangers explaining the trekking rules, how the gorillas go about their lives and so much more. Tracking the Mapuwa gorilla family lasts for approximately 1-7 hours, plus a maximum of one hour for watching them as they play, relax and feed.

What does Mapuwa Gorilla family feed on?

Mountain gorillas are mainly vegetarians who feed on fruits, bamboo shoots, leaves and stems among others. Most of their day is dedicated to feeding and moving from one territory to another.

Who is legible to track Mapuwa gorilla family?

The question of who qualifies to visit the Mapuwa gorilla family is very important. All persons aged 14 years plus, from any part of the country can access this gorilla family, but in groups of a maximum of 8 per person per day. Can an individual have the whole gorilla group for themselves? Yes! As long as you can afford the set permit price.

Note that tracking this group is not limited to only the able bodied or energetic persons, but also the elderly and the disabled. But you should visit this group only if you know your health is well.

Trekking rules governing Mapuwa gorilla family.

Encountering this group comes with great excitement and actions; as trackers develop strong imaginations and thoughts. To avoid a situation that can discomfort or endanger these apes in their natural habitat, here are some of the rules set to protect the trekkers, Jungle, and inhabitants.

  • Disinfect your feet and hands before encountering the family.
  • Don’t litter the park.
  • Don’t make noise.
  • Don’t use flashlights while taking photos.
  • Observe at least a 7-meter distance from the apes.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Don’t create paths.
  • Properly dispose off human waste.
  • Don’t look deep into the eyes of the silverbacks.
  • Avoid overstaying with them because they get stressed.

Cost of trekking the Mapuwa gorilla family.

The gorilla trekking permit is compulsory if one will be in a position to access the Mapuwa group in their natural habitat, deep in the lush Virunga Jungle. The Permit costs 450 USD and only valid for persons aged 15 years plus.

As you purchase a permit, gorillas are conserved and the park entrance fee paid and the ranger guide is paid. How these trekking permits can be got is through a trusted tour operator but you can also directly get them from park authorities. Only 8 permits are available for 8 persons per day.

Packing list for tracking Mapuwa gorilla family.

Whatever you plan to carry; let it be tailored to your comfort, ease of trekking, and wallet. The trekking permit, yellow fever vaccine certificate, warm clothes, long-sleeved shirts, trousers, gloves to protect your hands, a hat to protect your head, good hiking boots, passport, visa, a professional camera for quality photos, binoculars to capture distant creatures, long stockings and other personal effects. Over packing leads to more expenditure and can cause inconvenience.

Best time for visiting Mapuwa gorilla group.

Trekking Mapuwa gorilla group is done all year round; though more comfortable during dry months of the year – June to October and December to March. Sighting them in these months is very possible and easy. However, the other wet months come with discounts on the prices of accommodation, permits and many more.

As you make bookings for trekking Mapuwa gorilla family, there is an opening for unforgettable memories and free-style adventure. Visit Mapuwa gorilla group on your next gorilla safari to D.R. Congo!