Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gorilla's in the Mist and Sun

What a fantastic day with the gorilla's! Have a look.

There has been a lot of rain here recently - it is the start of the rainy season. But we had a view of this East African Rift volcanoes.

Our lodge has a listing of the volcano's above the gorilla's heads. I was to walk to the Gahinga volcano to see the Kwitonda group.

The entrance to the national park. The current entrance fee to see the gorilla's is $500. June 1 it goes to $750.

We met Oliver our guide, (holding the clip board)

A view of the Gahinga volcano

Beginning the trek up to the park boundary

A few people opted to be carried up to the gorilla's for an extra fee of $200 each

They said that the ride was quite comfortable and they were definitely faster than the walkers

Sabyinyo volcano, likely hasn't erupted in a long time as much erosion is shown to be affecting its crest

My first photo of a gorilla as we approached the group - it's there in the right background

Of course we got much closer

This is silverback number 2. Silverbacks are males older than 12 years who have dominance over the group. Only number 1 gets to mate with the females and he will attack other males who try.

I used a long lens on many shots but it wasn't necessary all the time

When we first arrived the group was feeding after 13 hours sleeping in the nest

They fed for about 30 minutes while we were there. Trackers stay with each group 24 hours to prevent poaching and to tell the guides where to bring visitors.

It was awesome to say the least

Self portrait with a gorilla. A lot of wildlife will flee human approach but these groups are habituated to humans and mingle with them freely. We are supposed to stay 7 meters away but gorilla's have no rules and often walk right up to us.

The Kwitonda group has 24 individuals and will likely splinter into another group soon as there are 4 silverbacks within it

There are many babies in this group and one was only 3 days old

A big silverback

One of guests photographing the scene

He finally had enough to eat and was ready to play

So he rolled over, closed his eyes and scratched his face

Then he seemed to play hide and seek behind this bush

The little ones were very playful

Very human in some respects

Emily and Gerald photographing a gorilla

They pulled down huge branches while feeding - leave no trace they are not!

A pensive moment contemplating the visitors

Babies
Playing

Chewing

The group resting after a meal

Looks fierce but this juvenile was just playing with another

A fantastic day!

2 comments:

Gaelyn said...

WOW!!!! I just don't know what else to say.

buddy2blogger said...

Great post! I too like Mountain Gorillas and have read the book "Gorillas in the Mist".

Wish I too get the chance to get so up and close with these magnificent apes :)

Cheers!