Mountain gorillas have large jaws and teeth and long black hair that is often thicker and longer than the other species so they can survive in the colder, mountainous temperatures. Adult males can weigh up to 200kg and be up to 6ft tall, females can be half the size with an average weight of 100kgs and height of 4 foot 11 inches when standing upright.
With just over 1,000 left in the wild after severe poaching and dwindling habitat, witnessing the few reachable groups in these areas is, for most, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Predominantly ground-dwelling, mountain gorillas prefer open canopy forests that allow light to reach the forest floor; their diet consists of bamboo, roots, stems, leaves, and vines.
Female gorillas actively choose their breeding partners as the male protection is essential to a successful reproductive cycle. Communication varies between barks, screeches, pant grunts and chest-beating.
Movement is usually on all fours via "knuckle-walking". Group size varies from 2-30 individuals but a typical average is 9. Mountain gorillas have a fairly limited home range, making them easier to track and habituate for tourism and research possibilities.
Mountain gorillas can be found in Rwanda and Uganda, in the Virunga Mountains, an astonishing necklace of nine volcanoes in various stages of extinction, dormancy and activity and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.