Gorilla habituation

Imagine a group of 11 gorillas which is only 70% habituated to humans. What might they do when they see another great ape? As we found out today, they carry on feeding for a bit and then they start moving away…… and getting them habituated meant we had to follow them!

Here in Bwindi National Park, the rangers have done a good job of encouraging the numbers of gorillas. The greater the number of gorilla groups, the more tourists can visit them and bring in much needed income to this poor country. Habituation of new groups takes about 2 years, with our group today at around the 14 month stage.

Chances of really great photos? Oh-so-difficult, as we followed our machete-wielding rangers through the tropical rain forest today. Gorillas don’t do paths so this was tricky stuff, up and down the rather steep hillsides. Did we love it? Absolutely.

Dense tropical rain forest

The numbers

  • Distance travelled: 26.6 kms/16 miles
  • Height gain: 450 metres
  • Maximum altitude: 2,300 metres
  • Time walking: about 8 hours in total, with 4 tracking the gorillas
This large silverback greeted us!
And then showed us he was the boss

Possibly the scariest moment today was when the silverback was on the ground and charged across us, roaring at the same time – just reminding us that he was in charge.

A real monk on!
A female looks out for her infant
While another decides if it’s Shellac or lacquer
Mum takes her 9 month old babe on her back

The infants were the most fun – again – so please enjoy these images.

What a great day. Will we sleep well tonight? Guaranteed!

6 thoughts on “Gorilla habituation

  1. Wow! What a wonderful experience you have had today/ The photographs are absolutely stunning but actually being there probably was even more. The photos of the younsters are my favourites. Can’t wait to see a few more when you get back. David, a 60th birthday you will never forget

  2. Amazing photos! What an experience…
    Sorry I haven‘t been in touch for ages, will write to you soon.
    Have a wonderful time and take care.
    Love, Lisa

    1. Great to hear from you Lisa. I wonder if you’ve been here – a great country. Hope you’re doing well xx

  3. Well two great days of visiting the gorillas and if there was difficultly getting good photos you certainly overcame it. Fascinating and I’m really surprised you were able to get so close particularly since there were infants. Must have been a remarkable experience.

    1. Thank you Steve. I was really hoping I might be able to get a photo of the resident silverback and the new silverback, but no joy! A great experience.

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