Gorilla Trekking
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Kenya Tanzania Uganda Zanzibar
Gorilla Trekking

Bwindi, the impenetrable forest in western Kigezi will be the start of you adventure. As you begin, your guide will take you to the point where the gorillas were seen the day before. For many years, these groups that you will be tracking have undergone an extremely delicate process that has gradually made them used to the presence of humans, and allowed a few privileged visitors to interact with them briefly in the wild. The gorillas are by no means tame. They are completely wild animals, which even now tolerate human presence for an hour a day at most. Experienced guides will accompany you on your tracking, many of who have been involved in the habituation process themselves.

The terrain in which the mountain gorilla frequents makes for a challenging trek, compromising an altitude of 5200 feet, dense undergrowth and steep slippery slopes will require a reasonable level of fitness.

The gorillas which prefer a diet of secondary growth vegetation for their diet and habitat cover large distances and are constantly moving and never constantly in one area. The time you see them will be during their daily rest period. At this time of day, the dominant male (usually a silverback) generally lounges on the ground or against a tree while youngsters roll in the vegetation and climb on trees, vines, and each other. Females nurse and play with their infants. Occasionally, a curious youngster may approach you or someone in your group.

Setting off along the wet and steep trails you will find yourself along with your tracker looking for footprints, dung, chewed bamboo, celery stalks and abandon nests from the previous evening. Weaving along the gorilla made trails is an extremely peaceful however exciting experience. Once you get close to the troop your sense of smell will pick up the gorillas before you see them. This is due to the dense undergrowth that makes it difficult to see more than 20 feet in some places.

You will probably smell the gorillas before you actually see them. When you reach them, the tracker will move forward, making soft smacking and groaning sounds with his mouth to assure the group that friends are approaching. Although gorillas make very few vocalizations, this sound of reassurance is one that family members often use with each other.

After one hour with the gorillas you will then start the trek back to camp in order to have a bath and a gin and tonic.

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