Geology, landscape development, adventure and foreign travel, philosophical and scientific musings, photography and earthly explorations
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
The group resting after a meal
Looks fierce but this juvenile was just playing with another