Hit Enter to search or Esc key to close

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the Eden’s in Africa to see the variety and high endangered wildlife like the western lowland gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, mountain gorillas, bonobos, Okapis etc. However the country is continously being disturbed by political instabilities that forced the country to be one of the least visited countries in Africa. The cuntry is rich but less protected gains have been attained from tourism. There are three subspecies of gorillas found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and these include the less threatened Eastern lowland gorillas in Kahuzi Biega and Maiko National Park.

History of Eastern Lowland Gorillas

The eastern lowland gorilla also known as Grauer’s gorilla—is the largest of the four gorilla subspecies. It is distinguished from other gorillas by its stocky body, large hands, and short muzzle. Despite its size, eastern lowland gorillas subsist mainly on fruit and other herbaceous materials, just like other gorilla subspecies.

Years of civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have taken their toll on both the eastern lowland gorilla and the mountain gorilla. The eastern lowland gorilla makes its home in lowland tropical rain forests in the eastern DRC. In the last 50 years, its range has decreased from 8,100 square miles about the size of the state of Massachusetts to about 4,600 square miles today. This subspecies may now occupy only 13% of its historical range. There were nearly 17,000 eastern lowland gorillas in the mid-1990s but scientists estimate that the population has declined by more than 50% since then. An accurate accounting of the animals has been impossible for many years because of violence in the region.

Throughout the unrest, the gorillas have been vulnerable to poaching, even in Kahuzi-Biega National Park, home to the largest population of protected eastern lowland gorillas. Rebels and poachers invaded the park and people set up illegal mines. But, with help from WWF and other organizations, park staff is re-establishing control over the land.

How many Eastern Lowland gorillas are there in the wild?

There are far fewer eastern lowland gorillas compared to western lowland gorillas. According to a 2004 report, there were only about 5,000 eastern lowland gorillas in the wild, down to fewer than 3,800 in the 2016 gorilla census. With disrupted research in Kahuzi Biega National Park, the park remains the last stronghold of the eastern lowland gorillas, numbering just over 200 individuals with three habituated families that are currently being protected by the park and they are open to tourism.

Would you like to go on a gorilla safari to see the Eastern lowland gorillas? There are well crafted itineraries that will enable you to encounter the eastern lowland gorillas.