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Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi is a World Class Adventure



The mountain gorillas of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in south Western Uganda attract thousands of visitors from all over the world.  Many travelers chose Bwindi as their location for their gorilla safari because of anecdotal evidence of near certainty for a gorilla encounter. And so that’s the way it was! Not for the very fragile body as the terrain is a bit rough everywhere – although your local destination guide will make allowances for the weakest in the group. For that reason, it makes sense for travelers to trek with people of approximately their own physicality. As you trail though the Bwindi impenetrable rain forest, you look at the vegetation around you and think – it’s definitely impenetrable! This is a world-class experience that has attracted many travelers into the East African country including adventure seekers, celebrities and novelties.

During our trek, we spent several hours on the hike and upon meeting the mountain gorillas, we had our permitted 1-hour exposure with a gorilla family within the jungles of the forest. By the way, the gorillas don’t bother with the tracks – they simply crash their way though the “impenetrable” vegetation! What a wonderful experience! There were 15 individuals in our gorilla family. The dominant male was huge and treated us with total distance while he did his own thing – eating stalks, rolling about and grooming himself. Our tracker explained the name of each of the animals and the reason for that name. Amongst the gorillas was an interesting juvenile called “playful” (in English) and he actually rushed at me, stopping with his face inches from mine. What an amazing experience of coming very close to the mountain gorillas! The tracker expressed admiration for my courage in not moving. Of course he misunderstood my inaction to be courage rather than the reality of being frozen in terror!

But, these animals are not aggressive at all and this was just play! “Playful” obviously eventually saw me as being boring and crashed off into the jungle instead! The rules say that 7 metres is the closest you can approach them but the gorillas themselves negate that by coming right up to within 1–3 metres of you.

All the safaris and jungle visits of the past paled in comparison to this trek. The trek can be very very arduous and it is so much easier taking pictures without a backpack filled with bottles of water, food and rain gear on the shoulders

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