Uganda: A Primate Paradise

Eco Report: Gorillas Galore in Uganda

Zegrahm Contributor|April 9, 2010|Blog Post

On day one at Bwindi, we set out in two teams to look for the gorillas. One team found the Habinyanja (H) group relatively easily, with magnificent views of the silverback and a variety of other group members. The other team set off for the Mubare (M) group and we finally reached them after 600 vertical feet of slog through incredibly steep and slippery forest. We were rewarded with an amazing hour with the five-member family group, with the young blackback at distances as close as three feet. At one stage, one of the guides dropped his GPS, which rolled down and hit the blackback on his head, before rolling further downhill, where another young male picked it up and proceeded to push the buttons and peer at the LCD. Priceless.

On Day two, we arrived at the park headquarters and discovered that the "new" group in the 'hood, the R group, was somewhere very close to the Gorilla Forest camp, and a third of us had an incredible hour with the 19 strong R group. Meanwhile, the second team had a superb trek to the M group, and we had close sightings of 14 members of the H group, including lots of chest-beating babies, and all three adult males. We even watched a young female soliciting the silverback with gentle arm caresses, culminating in them mating...which means a Christmas baby in 8 and half months! Getting back to the lodge, we learned from the few people that stayed back at camp that the R group had walked right into the Gorilla Forest Camp, strolling along the paths, inspecting the drying laundry, and sitting on the verandahs of the cabins! So we had 100% of the groups seeing gorillas on two days, with a total of 37 individuals seen.

And then, as we were leaving camp to make the charter flight back to Kampala on the last morning...they walked into camp again, and delayed our departure by an hour and a half. 100%, on three days—can’t beat that, hey?!

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