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Published: June 10th 2017
Geo: -1.5379, 29.5532
We did 2 days of hiking into the Virgunga Volcano mountain range that borders Rwanda, Uganda, and the Republic of Congo.
The first day, we followed a gorilla family of 17 members. It included 3 silverbacks (male, 12 years and older), 1 blackback (male, 8-12 years old), and the rest are females, young males, and babies. The trackers follow the family, radio to our guides, and then we hike to the trackers through some very thick jungle. Then, we get 1 hour to sit amongst the gorillas and watch their behavior. The gorillas seem to be indifferent to having us around. Although, the head silverback definitely keeps watch over the family and makes sure the humans know who is in charge. There were a couple episodes of beating his chest....which sounds more like knocking on wood.
On the second day, we trekked to a separate location after the trackers located a different family. The family had 13 members, including a lot more young babies. They put on quite a show. We also had a couple large gorillas walk right through our group. One brushed right up against my leg and another can tumbling through and almost knocked down our guide.
government only allows a limited number of groups of 8 tourists go into the gorilla jungles each day. We requested our passes in January to be able to schedule this for August. So, if you plan to go, make sure you plan early.
We are now in a the Kilgali Serena Hotel in Kigali. Tomorrow, we start our 34 hour return trip home....Rwanda to Kenya to Zurich to DC to Richmond.....with a lot of layovers.
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