Differences between mountain gorillas and chimpanzees

Differences between mountain gorillas and chimpanzees : The mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees are both primates and are both found in the East African countries. The Eastern Africa offers tours to visit the incredible mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees. The mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees are living and stay in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo and over 600,000 individuals have flocked these countries to take on this experience.

The mountain gorillas can only be visited in the 3 countries that is Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo in the entire world. Half the known population of the mountain gorillas is living in the Albertine rift on the slopes of the Virunga ranges and the other half lives in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park. There are 4 national parks that are home to the mountain gorillas and all offer the mountain gorilla trekking experience and these are the Volcanoes national park of Rwanda, the Virunga national park of DR Congo, the Bwindi Impenetrable forest national park and the Mgahinga gorilla national park of Uganda.

The chimpanzees are more in number as compared to the gorillas and these can be visited in many parks in the East African countries. The chimpanzees like to live in the rainforests and in the savannah lands. You can visit the chimpanzees in Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania as well in several of the national parks.

Eating habits;

These are close looking animals but they have major and outstanding differences that you will get to notice in this article and later on your trek to visit any of these. The chimpanzees and the mountain gorillas may both be known to be herbivores and this implies their major source of food is leaves, fruits, roots and tree barks. The chimpanzees however have been known to eat small animals putting them in the omnivorous class.


The mountain gorillas and the chimpanzees both tend to live in forested areas but for the mountain gorillas just like their name suggests, they tend to go further and settle in the high lands or on the mountain slopes and the chimpanzees opt to enjoy the lower lands in the forests. This is also another reason as to why finding the mountain gorillas on a trek is much longer as compared to a chimpanzee trekking.

You will notice the mountain gorillas will stay on ground during day and rarely get up in the trees and this is majorly because of their weight. The tree branches may not be able sustain them unlike the chimpanzees that spend up 99% of their time up in the tree branches and swinging from one tree branch to another. You may also spot the chimpanzees moving on ground or resting on grounds on a chill day.

Differences between mountain gorillas and chimpanzees
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When it comes to appearance, the mountain gorillas are bigger in size compared to the chimpanzees. The mountain gorillas are almost times two of the chimpanzees as their arms are bigger, the muscles stronger and the chests are much broader than those of the chimpanzees. The gorillas and the chimpanzees can also be differentiated immediately by the face as the mountain gorilla’s faces are black and the chimpanzee faces are pink.

Body features;

You will also notice the gorillas have smaller ears at the back of their heads while those of the chimpanzees are more pronounced and big. While on your mountain gorilla trekking experience or the chimpanzee, it would be fascinating to spot more differences.


The mountain gorillas are known to be very intelligent animals as they share up to 99% of their DNA with humans however you should note the chimpanzees have larger brains and are considered more intelligent than the mountain gorillas. The chimpanzees are even more active than the mountain gorillas and are cheekier.


In terms of strength, the mountain gorillas are much stronger than the chimpanzees and this is another point on which they differ. The gorillas use strength to defend themselves but the chimpanzees are not as strong so they tend to use their brains in times of defense. The gorillas will however try to avoid trouble as much as possible.

The chimpanzees are however faster walkers than the gorillas and both use four limbs to make their way through places. This may be attributed to the difference in sizes of the primates but this doesn’t mean the mountain gorillas are slow, they can also be fast where need arises.


The gorillas and the chimpanzees are both social primates however on your visit to either of them, you are able to notice the chimpanzees will be more welcoming and will pay attention to you unlike the gorillas that will go ahead to continue about their usual day to day life.

The mountain gorillas as well as the chimpanzees despite all their differences, they share major similarities starting with the fact that they are both primates, and both these primates give birth to one offspring at a time and rarely twins. Book yourself a Rwanda safari or a Uganda tour for a chance to take on both primate experiences in the time frame you have available.

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