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 habituated to humans. That means 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. Apparently, some gorillas don’t know what a meter is. Each day, the gorillas’ human exposure was limited to just one hour.
Though somewhat strenuous with inclines you don’t find in Florida and sometimes narrow, slippery, muddy trails through dense forest, our hikes weren’t too bad. A couple of times, they had to split our Natural Habitat Adventures 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). One 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. We also saw a pride of tree-climbing lions and 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.