Deep within the lush rainforests of Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Congo live around 22,000 of the world’s western lowland gorillas some of whom can be observed on guided gorilla treks from the local camps.
The western lowland gorillas favor the lush rainforests of Odzala-Kokoua National Park. One of Africa’s oldest parks, it was established by the French administration in 1935. The park covers some 8,450 miles of pristine rainforest. On average, the forest receives fifty-nine inches of rain per year during its two wet seasons from March-May and September-October. These abundant rains create the beautiful forest, rivers, and marshes within the park.
The western lowland gorillas have several key differences that set them apart from their mountain cousins found in Rwanda and Uganda. For one, they favor the tropical lowland forest areas. They are also smaller and lack the thick fur because of the warmer climate found at these lower altitudes. More importantly from a viewing stand point, they can be a little harder to track as they prefer to rest under tree during midday. Their favorite food is the marantaceae, a shrubby plant found in thick supply on the forest floor. Therefore, they are easier to track and view in the morning when they are feeding and active.