Foreword - A Gorilla Safari
For as long as I live I will never forget the moment whilst on a gorilla safari I came face to face with a 400lb silverback gorilla and I am almost certain my heart stopped for at least 5 seconds.
I have been fortunate enough to have spent priceless time on safari with the few remaining mountain gorillas on the planet. These magnificent apes are found only in the Virunga Volcanoes of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo as well as the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.
Scrambling up the side of a rather precipitous volcano may seem irrational but the rewards are plentiful when you catch sight of a baby gorilla swinging freely though the undergrowth. Although a safari to see the gorillas conjores up thoughts of an arduous track through dense rainforest these rapidly fall away and leave you with a feeling of excitement and serenity which is difficult to describe as soon as you cast your eyes on a gorilla troop.
As your eyes focus through the forest you begin to make out the shapes of two, three four, five individual personalities – grooming, sleeping, chewing and wrestling each other. Babies scamper from branch to branch whilst the more sedate adults shoot tentative looks over the troop. In the distance a large black solitary object sits motionless and as you shuffle around the bamboo shoots to take a better look you find yourself less than 20 feet from the greatest of apes... a fully grown silverback mountain gorilla.
The setting for this type of safari is surreal, almost as if you have gate crashed a family gathering where everyone politely ignores you. Human presence is perfectly accepted amongst this particular family, provided you keep a safe distance and it is rare that a gorilla will even make eye contact with you let alone shake hands.
Mountain gorillas are highly social and territorial and do not survive in captivity. There are approximately 700 gorillas left on the planet of which there are only twelve habituated families so the opportunities to spend time with these fascinating creatures is strictly limited. We specialise in arranging quality gorilla safari trekking experiences and would love to invite you into a very select club of people who have had the privileged of visiting the gorillas.
John Harvey - Gorilla Safari Specialist