Are there gorillas in the Serengeti? - Serengeti National Park

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The Serengeti National Park is a renowned and picturesque region located in Tanzania, East Africa. It is home to a diverse range of wildlife species, making it a popular tourist destination for nature lovers and safari enthusiasts. However, when planning a trip to this magnificent park, people often wonder - "Are there gorillas in the Serengeti?" In this article, we will explore the answer to this intriguing question.

Gorillas - A Rare and Endangered Species 

Gorillas are one of the most iconic and endangered species in the world. These gentle and majestic primates are only found in the equatorial forests of Africa. There are two species of gorillas - the Eastern Gorillas and the Western Gorillas. The Eastern Gorillas are further classified into two subspecies - the Mountain Gorillas and the Eastern Lowland Gorillas. Sadly, all of these species and subspecies are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. Due to habitat loss, poaching, and disease, their population has significantly declined over the years.

Serengeti National Park - An Abode for Wildlife

The Serengeti National Park spans over 14,750 square kilometers and is home to an immense variety of flora and fauna. It is famous for its yearly migration of over a million wildebeests, making it one of the most sought after safari experiences. Visitors can also spot a wide range of animals such as lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, and buffaloes, among others. However, gorillas are not on this list, which brings us back to our question - "Are there gorillas in the Serengeti?"

Understanding Gorillas' Habitat and Distribution 

Gorillas are primarily found in the dense forests of central and western Africa. They inhabit tropical and subtropical forests from sea level to up to 3,100 meters in altitude. The Serengeti National Park, on the other hand, is situated in the savannah biome, with grassland plains and scattered trees. It is not a suitable habitat for gorillas as they require a dense canopy cover to live and thrive. Hence, they have never been a part of the park's ecosystem.

The Nearest Habitat for Gorillas

Although the Serengeti National Park does not house gorillas, there are other reserves and national parks in Tanzania where primates can be found like Mahale National Park where we have chimpanzees. The closest  habitat for gorillas is another country - Rwanda. The Volcanoes National Park situated in the mountainous region of Rwanda is a popular destination for tourists to embark on a gorilla trekking experience. There are also several National Parks in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo that are home to Mountain Gorillas.

Cultural Importance of Gorillas 

Apart from their ecological significance, gorillas hold great cultural importance in the region. The communities living near gorilla habitats consider them to be sacred and often have traditional beliefs and rituals associated with them. These primates play a vital role in local culture and are a source of tourism-generated income for the countries they inhabit.


In conclusion, the Serengeti National Park may not be home to gorillas, but it is an essential conservation site for other wildlife species. The park's scenic beauty, coupled with the fascinating wildlife, attracts millions of visitors each year. However, for those wishing to see gorillas in their natural habitat, a trip to other countries in the African continent would be necessary. Let us continue to appreciate and conserve these magnificent creatures for future generations to come.

Serengeti National Park

Serengeti National Park