Rwanda's Gorillas - 2017

the gorillas and the other primates and this first visit with the wild gorillas did nothing to dissuade me. All too soon we heard the 1-hour alarm go off on the ranger's wrist and we knew this experience was ended. But, no, just about that time the family began to move around, even the somnolent silverback. They moved slowly on all fours but with considerable dignity—except for the youngsters who were still gamboling in the trees. The small baby was lifted by its mother to be carried off. But the group moved in different directions—some following the silverback, moving off to the right of where we human primates stood and others heading left. The ranger signaled we could move along behind the animals and so we saw them in other places but only for very short times. And as I and some others went with Avit to the left, one of the youngsters brushed my right leg lightly as he shoved his way through the dense foliage. We had been warned not to touch a gorilla no matter how close it might approach us so I obeyed the order and did not reach down to feel the youngster's coat. Because of the confusion of the gorillas departing in different directions, we actually got a little more than an hour among them! What a privilege and a treat to observe them so closely. We were definitely much closer to these apes than we had been when in front of the Mwamba pride of lions! Though I am fairly sure that we descended from the park on the same trails we climbed, I really do not remember much about the descent except that Fidel and Anastaze kept me on pace with the others and never let me slip or fall. We thanked them both heartily and gave them a generous tip in addition to their regular fee!

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