Primate Safaris - Gorillas: When and Where
Both Rwanda and Uganda are small equatorial countries with fairly stable weather patterns, making gorilla tracking here a wonderful year-round activity. The rainy seasons usually tend to run from March through May and then again from October through November. As anywhere else, it is hard to predict exactly and weather can vary in different areas – for example, rainfall in the mountainous areas is generally more plentiful than in the lower altitude areas.
There are astonishingly only two populations of mountain gorillas in the world, one in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, and the second in the Virunga Mountains which border the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda.
The Bwindi population totals around 320 gorillas. There are a total of four habituated gorilla groups: three are located in the northern part of the forest close to Buhoma, and the other family lives in the southern part close to Nkuringo.
The Parc Nacional des Volcans in Rwanda is home to seven gorilla families: the Susa Group, Sabyinyo, Amahoro, Group 13, Hirwa, Kwitonda and Umubano. With 38 members, the Susa Group is the largest and most popular gorilla family in the world. Four gorillas in the Susa Group are silverbacks and they also have the only set of known surviving twins.
Generally, it is believed that the gorillas in Rwanda are easier to track as they are more habituated and tend to remain lower in the foothills. Although gorilla trekking can be more challenging in Uganda, the success rate is as good as 100%.