Gorillas

Posted 22 June, 2007 by graham in Rwanda

A short drive after a 5:30am start, and we got to Park National Volcans, in Eastern Rwanda.
We trekked for a little over two hours to meet up with the park’s trakers, who have been following a group of 16 mountain gorillas. This is where Diane Fossey worked and is buried. The organisation with her name is still very active here.
As we drove up it got very misty. The main crops up here are potatoes (Irish Potatoes, they call them) and cabbage. Not what I expected for Africa!
We gathered in the rain and mist for a briefing with our guide and headed into the park. This is a serious rain forest; very very damp, muddy, vines everywhere, and the whole thing envelopped in a thick mist. Magnificent.
We caught up with the trakers, then hacked our way into the bush, slid down a huge hill, and there they were: mountain gorillas!
There’s a large silverback – the dominant male – many females and juveniles. The kids were the most fun. They played ‘king of the hill’ on a pile of vegetation the silverback had ripped up. Once of them danced and beat his chest in glee. I think they were happy to see us. Each gorilla family only gets visited once a day by a group of 8 for a maximum of 1 hour. Hence after our hour we scrabbled back up the hill, onto the muddy path, and slid back out of the park. Wonderful!

This evening we are going to someone’s house here in Ruhengeri for a Rwandan meal and a talk about the 1994 genocide. But first someone on our truck has just got news he passed his degree, with a 1st, so celebrations are in order.

This post has (1) comments

1 comment to “Gorillas”

Anthony, July 3rd, 2007 at 3:33 pm:

  • I just enjoyed a burrito wrap from BLT which made me think of you. My waistline will never be the same since you introduced me to that place.

    Looks like you are having an extraordinary adventure! You are not missing anything in London, the weather here has been dreadful, it has rained every day for the last 3 weeks!

    Have you tried the goat wrap yet?