I can honestly say that travelling to Uganda and trekking to see the gorillas was one of the most incredible experiences I will ever have. I have talked to numerous people that have visited Uganda and Rwanda, and you can see the excitement in their eyes as they re-live the moment they came face to face with these amazing primates.
The trekking was rather challenging. The terrain is dense forest, with guides and trackers making paths with machetes as we walked. Just before our group of eight left, there was a thunderstorm and this made the ground very wet and muddy. There is also no guarantee how long it will take you to find them. It took little over an hour before we saw our first glimpse of black fur. We were told we must not make any sudden movements, or get too close. If a gorilla was to charge at us, we had to stay still and look down. I have to say the thought of a 220 KG gorilla charging towards us did not exactly thrill me and I am not sure if I could have stayed still!
However we had a glorious hour to observe these beautiful creatures. The children played in the trees. Their mothers watched to make sure they were not getting in to too much trouble. The men in the group sat and ate. It was brilliant to get a true insight in to family life. The baby gorillas were so cute. I wish I could have taken one home!
For me though, the realisation came just as we were about to leave the family alone. We turned and saw the silverback, sitting, observing us. Just seeing how gigantic he was when we were less than 10 meters away, made me realise that this experience really could not be beaten.
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