Today is World Gorilla Day

Western Lowland Gorillas


Conservation, Gorillas, Primates, Travel, Wildlife

While mountain gorillas get more publicity, the western lowlands are more widely known as these are the only gorillas you will find in  a zoo. Although they weigh up to 400 pounds, the westerns are the smallest of the gorilla subspecies. They are the most populous gorilla species with over 300,000 western lowlands living in the vast rain forests of central Africa.  By comparison, the world population of mountain gorillas is approximately 1,000. Although more plentiful, the western lowland gorillas are still endangered because  their habitat is rapidly deteriorating due to logging and agricultural deforestation.  They live in rainforests and swamplands. The Republic of Congo has the largest population of lowland gorillas and is remarkable for its progressive conservation efforts. You can visit western lowland gorillas in Odzala National Park . Visiting Odzala’s gorillas is a big adventure. The park is extremally remote, sitting deep in the Congolese rainforest. Getting to this wild and wonderful wilderness takes time, effort, and no small expense. But it is more than worth it. Some of Odzala's gorillas have spent a lot of time with researchers and are habituated to humans. As a result, they don't run away when you approach them and you can take time to get to know them. The lowland gorillas are more energetic and kinetic than their larger cousins. The juveniles are a delight. they like to climb trees, pose, and showoff for humans.  Odzala's accommodations  are surprisingly posh for such a remote location. In addition to gorilla , there are other fun activities like hiking, kayaking, birdwatching, and game viewing. The variety of wildlife is fascinating and the forest elephants are especially beautiful.