Trekking to see the Mountain GorillasDecember 20, 2016
There are only roughly 700 mountain gorillas left in the wild, and nearly half live in the forests of the Virunga mountains in central Africa.
Trekking to see these gentle giants is not only a true wilderness privilege, but also helps contribute towards mountain gorilla conservation initiatives. Rita Cook and Guillaume de Vaudrey joined us for a safari to the mountain gorillas and the Serengeti and described their experiences in a Huffington Post article. Here is a snippet of what Rita had to say about it:
“I have a short bucket list. There are a few items on the list I have done, a few I will get done soon and then there are those “must dos” that I simply did not think through. One of my big bucket list items was trekking to see the Mountain gorillas in Uganda. I have been telling everyone for several years I was going to do it. So, this past summer I did end up in Uganda on my Mountain gorilla quest.
It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It was also the most rewarding and humbling experience too.
I thought to myself after only about three hours of trekking up steep cliffs, through tea plantations and into thick heavy forest that when that moment came that I finally laid eyes on the troop of Mountain gorillas it would change my life. Well, it did change my life because, as George Schaller, one of the world’s leading gorilla researchers wrote “No one who looks into a gorilla’s eyes — intelligent, gentle, vulnerable — can remain unchanged…”
However, little did I know I would be so tired from the trek that I would nearly skid down the hill and into the Silverback’s lap, that in no way is a reason not to take this incredible journey though. In fact, that was what made my personal quest to see these amazing creatures all the more special, you work for it, but it will be an encounter you will never forget.
So as not to fall into the lap of the Silverback or one of the other family members I found myself hanging onto trees and branches that were of uncertain soundness. I just stood there staring in wide-eyed wonder with little thought to the fact that if the branches broke I would probably end up broken too.
As I remember back now I can recall the word giddy came to my mind when I arrived steps away from where the troop of about 20 were playing in the trees and having a snack. When you finally arrive near the gorillas I was told, you will smell them before you see them. That was true. And there were flies everywhere so you can’t miss that either. You can trek anywhere from 30 minutes to nine hours to see the troop, the trackers usually have a good idea of where they are each day. We were so lucky that it only took us about three hour and then we were able to stay and observe them for one hour – that’s the limit visitors are allowed.”
Read the full article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/its-a-journey-discovering-africa-from-mountain-gorillas_us_582105a9e4b044f827a791f4 or find out more about our gorilla trekking safari options here: http://www.journeysdiscoveringafrica.com/safari-ideas/gorilla-safaris/
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