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Gorillas Vs Chimpanzees

Gorillas Vs Chimpanzees

Gorillas Vs Chimpanzees: Uncovering 8 Unique Differences Between Gorillas and Chimpanzees

Ever wondered what sets Gorillas vs Chimpanzees apart? Lets compare Gorillas vs Chimpanzees by their physical attributes, diet, habitats, behavior and more!

Gorillas and Chimpanzees are both Great Apes found in the African jungles. However, many travelers often mistake a gorilla for a chimpanzee or vice versa.

While they might seem similar in pictures or at first glance, these two primates are in fact two very different primate species. Therefore, we shall provide some of the ways they vary so that next time you are on a primate safari, you will be able to differentiate these two Great Apes like a pro.

Some of the comparisons while being helpful in distinguishing them from a far while others you might need to come little bit closer to identify.

Comparing Gorillas vs Chimpanzees;


While gorillas and Chimpanzees are both Great Apes, the former belongs to the Gorillini tribe and Gorilla Genus while the latter is part of the Hominini tribe as well as Pan Genus.

It is undeniable that humans are closely related to these primates but the chimpanzees share more DNA with mankind (98.7%) compared to the Gorillas that share 98.2% only.

Body size and strength

When placed together, you will notice that gorillas outweigh chimpanzees by over 150 to 300 pounds compared to 50 to 150 pounds and are even taller-4 to 6 feet vs 3-5 feet for Chimpanzees.

Mountain Gorillas

In so doing, their strength levels also vary. Gorillas are known to be one of the strongest animals on Earth with the capability of consuming 18 to 30 kilograms of food each day hence their massive body mass.

As a matter of fact, gorillas are known to be the largest Apes in their family line and surprisingly, they are 10 times heavier and stronger than humans.

Body features

Gorillas are more muscular with broader chests and longer arms and also have larger heads. Gorilla ears are smaller and directed to the back of their heads compared to Chimpanzee ears which are larger and protrude from their heads.

The color of their faces also differs, whereby gorillas have blacker faces while the chimpanzee faces are pinkish.


Gorillas and Chimpanzees might both be Great Apes but their diets will interest you. Gorillas are primarily herbivorous and their diet typically comprises of leaves, stems, fruits, flowers, tree barks, and bamboo shoots, which is quite different from the chimpanzees that are considered omnivorous.

They consume leaves, fruits, flowers, and even small animals, especially monkeys. This behavior hasn’t been seen in gorillas who instead consume insects to supplement their diet.

Levels of intelligence

It is no brainer that both gorillas and chimpanzees are intelligent animals but when you compare the IQ of Gorillas vs Chimpanzees, chimpanzees beat gorillas hands down when it comes to intelligence.

When you visit them during one of the Uganda primate safaris, your mind will be blown by their extraordinary intelligence owing to the fact that they are more closely related to humans as well as bigger brains compared to their body weight.


Chimpanzees and gorillas are both social primates, which you will attest to during our primate tours but the fact still remains that the former are more sociable, friendly, welcoming, and will be attentive to your presence.

Gorillas on the other hand are down to earth but docile, quite shy, and prefer going about their daily routines.

Geographical location and nature of habitats

These Great Apes live in the dense rainforests of Africa and can’t live in the same home range owing to their protective and territorial behavior.

However, you will be surprised by how gorillas live in far more isolated locations than their counterparts that can stay in less dense vegetation like forested savannahs. This isn’t possible with the gorillas that occupy the humid rainforests, most cases in isolated locations.

The mountain gorillas (one of the sub-species of gorillas) for instance live in the dense rainforest on mountains hence making it more difficult to track gorillas than it is with chimpanzees.

Gorillas prefer building their nests on the ground and live in relatively smaller families/groups of 5-20 individuals while chimpanzee nests are mainly built on trees and they live in larger communities/troops of up to 40 individuals.

Life span

When you compare the lifespan of Gorillas vs chimpanzees, you will realize they got different lifespans, and the latter live longer than the former.

The lifespan of chimpanzees in captivity is between 50 and 60 years than an average of 50 years in the wild. The average lifespan of gorillas in the wild is 45 years.

Female gorillas begin reproducing at 10-12 years, which isn’t the case with female chimpanzees that won’t start reproducing until 13 to 15 years. Overall, female chimpanzees give birth to more offspring in a lifetime even when their gestation periods are the same.

Our Best Gorillas and Chimpanzee Safaris

3 Days Luxury Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi

The 3 Days Gorilla Trekking Bwindi Tour provides the best wildlife encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, one of their natural habitats…

Chimpanzee Safari Uganda

Enjoy your 3 Days Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in the “primate capital of the world”, Kibale Forest National Park. Embarking on chimpanzee tour in Kibale National Park, Western Uganda…

6 Days Uganda Primates and Cultural Safari

The 5 days Uganda Primates Tour is every primates lover’s dream expedition with Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi, Chimpanzee Trekking in Kibale and Golden Monkeys in Mgahinga…

People also ask;

Gorillas are far more powerful than chimpanzees. A mature gorilla can lift up to 1,810 kg (4,000lbs) that is about 6 times what a mature chimpanzee can lift.

When you compare the strength of gorillas vs chimpanzees, it is very obvious that a gorilla can thump a chimpanzee easily but, chimpanzees are much smarter and can use their intelligence to their advantage.

Chimpanzees are among the list of most intelligent animals in the world with some scientists arguing they are smarter than some human beings. Comparing the intelligence of gorillas vs chimpanzees, chimps are smarter based on the number of tools they use, their communication gestures are wider and are able to mimic human behaviors and acts on their own.

The act of chest beating is primarily meant to intimate male rivals and other threats but, it is also presumed that male gorillas drum their chests to attract female gorillas.

Wild chimpanzees tend to be fearful of humans and usually shy away when humans move closer but, chimpanzees can be deadly to humans in case they feel threatened and are capable attacking and in rare cases kill human beings. Avoid intimating chimps, be safe.

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