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Congo – Low Land Gorillas

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Special Offer
From$1,400
Special Offer
From$1,400
January 14, 2022
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225
4 Days 3 Nights
Availability : Jan 16’ - Dec 16’
San Francisco
Shanghai
Min Age : 14+
Max People : 40

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 rainforests in the eastern DRC. In the last 50 years, its range has decreased from 8,100 square miles 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 are reestablishing control over the land.

Like all gorillas, Eastern Lowland gorillas have a broad chest and shoulders, a large head and a hairy shiny black face. A full-grown male can weigh up to 220kg, and can be distinguished from the Mountain gorilla by its slightly narrower body and face and its noticeably rounder nostrils.

Tour Details

Eastern Lowland gorillas only remain in DR Congo, a country plagued by war, political instability and natural disasters. Like Mountain gorillas, Eastern Lowland gorillas suffer terribly from habitat loss, but in some areas this loss is magnified by the illegal mining industry or by the lack of legal protection for the gorilla habitat.

Mt Tshiaberimu gorillas
In 1996 a small isolated population of gorillas was found living at Mt Tshiaberimu, a small isolated annex in the northern region of the Virunga National Park. The population was facing imminent extinction, threatened by activities such as mining, hunting and the collection of firewood. In rapid decline and ignored by many, the Gorilla Organization pledged to protect this tiny group of gorillas and the habitat. Now, twelve years on, this work is paying off and this precious group of gorillas, now has twenty individuals and is on the up.

The Mt Tshiaberimu gorillas are morphologically different to the Eastern Lowland gorillas found elsewhere and may yet be reclassified as a distinct sub-species, Gorilla beringei rex-pygmaeorum. They are currently officially classified as Gorilla beringei graueri.

Departure & Return Location

John F.K. International Airport (Google Map)

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Air fares
  • 3 Nights Hotel Accomodation
  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • All transportation in destination location

Price Excludes

  • Guide Service Fee
  • Driver Service Fee
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Fees

Complementaries

  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
What to Expect

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Zürich, Switzerland

We’ll meet at 4 p.m. at our hotel in Luzern (Lucerne) for a “Welcome to Switzerland” meeting. Then we’ll take a meandering evening walk through Switzerland’s most charming lakeside town, and get acquainted with one another over dinner together. Sleep in Luzern (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2Zürich–Biel/Bienne–Neuchâtel–Geneva

Enjoy an orientation walk of Zurich’s OLD TOWN, Switzerland’s center of banking and commerce. Then, leave Zurich and start your Swiss adventure. You’ll quickly discover that Switzerland isn’t just home to the Alps, but also to some of the most beautiful lakes. First, stop at the foot of the Jura Mountains in the picturesque town of Biel, known as Bienne by French-speaking Swiss, famous for watch-making, and explore the historical center. Next, enjoy a scenic drive to lakeside Neuchâtel, dominated by the medieval cathedral and castle. Time to stroll along the lake promenade before continuing to stunning Geneva, the second-largest city in Switzerland, with its fantastic lakeside location and breathtaking panoramas of the Alps.

Day 3Enchanting Engelberg

Our morning drive takes us from Swiss lakes to Swiss Army. At the once-secret Swiss army bunker at Fortress Fürigen, we’ll see part of the massive defense system designed to keep Switzerland strong and neutral. Afterward, a short drive into the countryside brings us to the charming Alpine village of Engelberg, our picturesque home for the next two days. We’ll settle into our lodge then head out for an orientation walk. Our stroll through the village will end at the Engelberg Abbey, a Benedictine monastery with its own cheese-making operation. You’ll have free time to wander back before dinner together. Sleep in Engelberg (2 nights). Bus: 1 hr. Walking: light.

Day 4Interlaken Area. Excursion to The Jungfrau Massif

An unforgettable trip to the high Alpine wonderland of ice and snow is the true highlight of a visit to Switzerland. Globus Local Favorite At an amazing 11,332 feet, the JUNGFRAUJOCH is Europe’s highest railway station. Jungfrau’s 13,642-foot summit was first ascended in 1811 and in 1912 the rack railway was opened. There are lots of things to do here: enjoy the ALPINE SENSATION, THE PANORAMA 360° EXPERIENCE, and the ICE PALACE. Also receive your JUNGFRAU PASSPORT as a souvenir to take home with you. The round trip to the “Top of Europe” by MOUNTAIN TRAIN will take most of the day.

Day 5Lake Geneva and Château de Chillon

It’s market day in Lausanne! Enjoy browsing and packing a picnic lunch for our 11 a.m. boat cruise on Lake Geneva. A few miles down-shore we’ll dock at Château de Chillon, where we’ll have a guided tour of this delightfully medieval castle on the water. On our way back we’ll take time to peek into the vineyards surrounding Lutry before returning to Lausanne. Boat: 2 hrs. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Map
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