Gorilla trekking

Trip Start Jan 03, 1976
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Rwanda  ,
Monday, September 16, 2013

A 5.20am get up, a quick breakfast then we piled into jeeps and headed off to meet the gorillas! Gorillas not only are early starters, but.. they are called mountain gorillas for a reason, its a bit of a hike up. Lucky for us we had some unprepared people with us who clearly hadn't cottoned onto that fact and seemed prepared for a stroll through a supermarket. They needed a break every two metres up the steep incline which left us plenty of time to admire the view and say hellos to the local kids. Before leaving the guide had talked to us about the local kids, how they will ask for money or empty bottles, but gave us a specific warning not to give them anything as obviously this assists in keeping them from school. This is something our other tour company had talked to us about also, and whilst its hard at times to say no to those kids at times they just put their hand out and say 'money' which is pretty easy to decline. As it was during a public holiday, for an election, the local kids were out in force and even sang us a welcome song. When we finally reached the national park walls, and clambered over the stone wall the incline lessened, but the jungle increased requiring our (armed) guards to hack through with machetes, led on by the (armed) trackers who had located the gorillas earlier for us.

After walking for a bit we turned a corner then amazingly right in front of us a female gorilla was lolling about having a nap. Excitedly we all snapped a million photos only to meet the rest of the family a few metres away, including a silverback and a (squee) baby! They didn't seem to mind us standing so close, nor that the guards hacked at the branches to give us a closer view. The baby rolled and played around, beating his little chest and sliding up and down a hill to our complete delight. Whilst staring enthralled at the baby one of the guys and I were suddenly told to move, a big gorilla was right behind us!

We tracked the family through the forest and spent an hour with them. One gorilla was up a tree, looking for her mate – no hiding for him! At one point Tracey was posing in front of a gorilla and he tackled through the bush, our guide told us all to quickly sit down so as not to startle the gorilla, never mind how much he startled us!! At the start we had been told if a gorilla came near, or touched you, you couldn’t react and definitely couldn’t run (well, it’s not like I’m a fan of running anyway) but I'm happy to say we passed that test although we are all pretty sure that the gorilla is now laughing about that moment with his mates.

After the hour we had to say goodbye to our new gorilla friends.. an amazing experience. Oddly they also handed us a certificate at the end to say we had gone gorilla trekking, I'm building up quite the collection of certificates on this trip.
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dad on

well dont even think about Lion trekking

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