The main reason for this trip centered around the chance to see gorillas in the mist. The drive up to the Impenetrable Forest was chilly, with the clouds laying deep in the valleys showing off the tops of the hills.
The winding ride filled us with anticipation, we were going to have only one chance at this. A slight rain started so when we arrived we grabbed our rain gear, our hiking gear, and of course our cameras.
Rorey and I decided to get a porter for our trek. Creating protected parks has been somewhat of a tradeoff with the local populations. If they are expected to not farm in the area, or tolerate the local wildlife populations destroying crops, they should have some extra incentives. Many people in the area benefit from tourism in different ways. Porters, in many places we have traveled to far can earn a decent living, and often provide a great service. As we found out, our lovely porter helped get the entire crew up and down the forest as we tried to locate and follow a specific gorilla group.
We could have been better prepared with our gear. Rorey’s running shoes didn’t quite cut it and she took a fall into a group of Army Ants.
Finally we (trackers) found the gorillas and we started our countdown. Once you locate the gorillas, you only have a certain amount of time with them. Even if they are moving around. It was a series of stop to watch and then hack through more forest and move up and down the hills to catch back up with them. Only the babies paid us much attention.
One of the big Silverbacks was munching in a tree full of vines when he started to fall. Amazing how graceful theese big guys are even when falling.
Just an amazing trip. Including our quick stops on the road out of the hills.