Mountain Gorillas... Absolutely Amazing!!!
Trip Start Jul 23, 2010
89Trip End Apr 17, 2011
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Where I stayed
Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
To promote mountain gorilla conservation, gorilla tourism started in Bwindi Impenetrable national Park in 1993 with two gorilla groups being habituated. Habituation is the process of making gorilla groups accustomed to humans, thereby facilitating close interaction without the danger of gorillas displaying aggressive behavior or even attacking in self-protection
There are seven gorilla groups in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks, both in Uganda. The Nkuringo group that Jim and I spent time with is made up of 21 gorillas.
• Silver Backs 2 (Over 15 years)
• Adult Females 4 (9+ years)
• Males (Black Backs) 5 (8-12 years)
• Sub-Adults 2 (5-8 years)
• Juveniles 1 (3-5 years)
• Infants 7 (0-3 years) (twins born October 2008)
The walk started from the ranger station at the top of the mountain and went down into the valley, where the primary forest begins
The descent was steep in some places, even more challenging in spots than Kili. The park
service had two scouts out ahead of us to track where we might find the gorilla group today. They can travel great distances, especially if there has been fighting or fear of predators /
poachers. However, before we even reached the valley, our guide, Herbert, who works for the park, told us the group had been spotted ahead, which would make our arrival much sooner than is frequently the case. That was good news! We now knew exactly where to go, and Herbert, his assistant guides and our porters guided us off the trail, through the bush, directly to where the group was situated.
It was amazing that our presence didn’t seem to bother the gorillas, in spite of there being babies among the group
Herbert’s assistants cleared brush away for us to get a closer look at each of them – we had 15 of the 21 gorillas in the group right there with us, not common according to Herbert. You’ll see lots of flies on the photos and video, but they didn’t bother us; they had enough gorillas to keep them busy, I think.
While we were observing the gorillas, Herbert’s staff was busy noting which members of the group were present, looking for any evidence of injury, health problems or pregnancy, and noting the specific GPS location of the group at this time.
Our time allotment was 1 hour once we arrived, and wouldn’t you know, the gorillas knew when an hour was over, as they started to make their way to another location just as our 1-hour expired.
We made our way back to the camp in the valley to have lunch, which was packed by our lodge anticipating a long day
The worst part of the trip was the forest trek – being in the bush, where you didn’t know where you were stepping. What looked to be solid footing wasn’t always solid, but a web of vines and leaves that disguised a hole or ridge. Nonetheless, he did it, and we rewarded the porters for the great service!
At the top, we visited a local shop, where local children crafted some wonderful items
Because we made such good time on the way down, and found the gorillas so quickly, we were back to our lodge before 3:00, plenty of time to relax before a private dinner in our room in front of the fireplace.
And some time on the computer to check on the results of the Green Bay Packers… congratulations! Our next feat will be to determine from where we will be able to watch the Super Bowl.
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