Meet The Gorillas In The Mist

June 7, 2016 at 7:01 pm Leave a comment

There’s something fascinating about the gorilla. It is one of our closest ancestors in the primate family, but these are huge, powerful yet peaceful animals that are now in more danger than ever. Changes to the environment and the never ending expansion of human industry have dramatically reduced the numbers of gorillas in the world for their prime before the industrialization of humans. Today, the mountain gorilla population is fraction of what is once was in centuries past.

Zara tours have always offered wildlife safaris in Uganda and Rwanda  but one of our special offerings is a chance to meet with the mountain gorilla.

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A Trip To The Mountains

The Bwindi National Park is the destination for people that want a glimpse of actual mountain gorillas in their native habitat. Because this is a trip that involves going out to see the wildlife, rather than the other way around, it’s highly recommended that people come prepared for a hike. The unpredictable nature of weather means travelers should be prepared not just for a long walk, but the possibility of rain.

Gorillas build “nests” and thus have a territory, but no permanent dwelling that they reliably stay at. The trip to Bwindi national park puts you squarely in their territory, but you’ll still have to search, with a guide, to find them within that territory. Sadly, while there are over 300 mountain gorillas living in this area, that number comprises over half of the total mountain gorilla population remaining in the world.

When the gorillas are found, it’s important to be quiet, respectful and keep conservation principles in mind. In order to minimize the possibility of interfering with the gorillas, only an hour of time with the animals is allowed once contact has been made. This is important in order to preserve the natural behavior of the gorillas and ensure that they prefer their independence and natural lifestyle, rather than develop a bond with humans, which could create a dependency that would endanger the species further.

There are also birds, butterflies and many other forms of wildlife to appreciate during this tour, but it is our primate cousins that are the real star of the show. When we meet with gorillas, we encounter an aspect of our own humanity, and we are definitely the better for it if we have the opportunity to experience this confrontation.

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Entry filed under: African Safari.

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