This was called the Ultimate Gorilla Photo Safari. We spent a week in Uganda and a week in Rwanda photographing mostly primates on the mountain slopes. In Uganda, we first spent two days with chimpanzees. Then we spent two days with mountain gorillas. These were wild animals, but were among the few families that had been habituated to humans – meaning they were used to seeing people and were less likely to run away, or worse, charge you. They pretty much ignored us as they went about their business. Since they share over 95% of our DNA, we were required to stay seven meters (23 feet) away to keep from sharing diseases. Some gorillas don’t know what a meter is. Each day, their human exposure was limited to just one hour. Our hikes, though somewhat strenuous with inclines you don’t find in Florida and sometimes narrow, slippery, muddy trails through dense forest, weren’t too bad. A couple times they had to split our Natural Habitat Adventures tour group of ten people in half and the other half managed to get the long hike – one day hiking over twelve miles in several hours (the last few of which were without water). That day they got back to the lodge just before dark and just after it started raining hard.
In Rwanda we visited two more families of gorillas and spent one morning with the golden monkeys. Along the way, we also saw a pride of tree-climbing lions, an assortment of other mammals, birds, and other wildlife. Nancy took lots of pictures and I even took some video. I have no idea how long it will take us to process all of those pictures.