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Touched by Wild Gorilla

Touched by a Wild Mountain Gorilla

Touched by a Wild Mountain Gorilla

Touched by Wild Gorilla

I can’t remember for how many years I’ve dreamed of the ultimate wildlife adventure – gorilla trekking in the East African jungle, but I can tell you: for a long, long time! I wanted so desperately see our close relatives in their natural habitat, feel their majestic appearance and experience their gentle and kind behavior.

It took quite a long time to convince my family of this truly unique and thrilling journey, but finally the four of us went to the Pearl of Africa. Now we know why people call it that way: Uganda offers such a great variety of wildlife, climate zones and stunning landscapes, you think you are in another country each day. Besides the local people were extremely friendly to us and we felt welcome everywhere we’ve been to. On our 14-day safari tour we visited 7 out of the 10 national parks – one so much different than the other. During the various game drives we saw huge herds of antelopes, elephants, giraffes, crocodiles, hippos, buffalos, various species of birds and many, many more.

But the undeniable highlights were the 2 gorilla treks – one at Bwindi Impenetrable NP, the other in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. We are very happy that we were advised to do the trekkings in 2 different national parks, because the vegetation was very dissimilar and so we had 2 totally different experiences. When we first saw the huge silverback of the Nshongi group in Bwindi forest, we were all so thrilled! At first he was walking rapidly through the bush – followed by our group of 8 visitors and some rangers – then he rested on a rather open place, where we could study him calmly eating some leaves 3 meters in front of us and see how gentle he interacted with his juvenile daughter that was climbing a tree right above us, without taking any notice of the strange humans with their cameras. We could even catch a glimpse on a tiny baby gorilla that was thoroughly carried from his mother.

The second trekking was even more stunning because unlike the first, the gorillas of the Nyakagezi group in Mgahinga were indeed very interested in us, too. The massive silverback was examining us carefully before he went by 1 meter (!) in front of us to feed on tree bark. I felt so small and weak beside that majestic creature that was looking like King Kong, accepting us in this jungle kingdom. With every step he took we could see his muscles play under his skin. He seemed to be so strong that he could easily break trees. A 3-year old gorilla girl and a 4-year old boy were playing on an open area, where we could take marvelous photos of them. Every now and then they stopped scuffling and came very close to watch us.

Suddenly the juvenile boy was standing up, rushing towards me, touching my arm for a second, beating his chest as a sign he is the bravest male because he dared touching the weird white “ape” and running to his father for protection. That was so funny!! Ten minutes later the same thing happened again. Everybody was laughing out loud and the guides said that I was very blessed because this rarely happens. I just felt so happy, more than words could ever say. This was certainly one of the most exciting hours in my whole life and it was passing way too quickly!! We all could have spent days with the mountain gorillas, just watching them. The thing that was fascinating us most was that they are just like us – their gestures and facial expressions are exactly the same, the social network they are living in is just like in a modern society, the kids are playing like human kids do and I absolutely adored the little wrinkles around their wary eyes, hands and feet.

My family and I will never ever forget these gorgeous times we spent in the pearl of Africa and we pray so much that people around the world spent all their effort to preserve nature’s jewels like for all future generations.

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