Gorilla Express

Why We Love It

The rainforests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest definitely qualify as 'deepest, darkest Africa' and were absolutely beautiful. That is, until you have to start trekking through it. They aren’t called ‘impenetrable’ for nothing. It’s no surprise that one of the main populations of Africa’s mountain gorillas make it their home. Our guides and trackers were equipped with a GPS and knowing the vague location of the gorilla population from reports and previous sightings, cleared the way through the forest with machetes. However, it was still a hard slog up and down endless mountains to reach the gorillas. The forest seemed to close up behind us as we passed. On sighting the gorillas, the guide stopped us so we didn’t scare them. From here the guide could get a feel for the particular family and work out the best way for us to view them without disturbing them. Unfortunately, he had told us to stop right on top of an ant hill. When we started creeping towards the gorillas I was completely covered with giant ants, all of them exercising some kind of death grip on my clothes and skin. We stopped and my dad helped get them off me. The guide came back to get us to tell us how to approach the gorillas ahead, but he noticed something directly behind. He instructed us to turn around very slowly. And then we saw our first gorillas; a female and her baby walking across the clearing, right there, within metres of us. Prior to the trek, we'd been told not to go any closer than seven metres from the gorillas and not to move if they approached us. This gorilla obviously missed that briefing; the guide had to yank me out of her way before she marched straight past us with her baby to join the rest of her family. We observed the gorillas until the silverback showed he was a bit sick of us and they move deeper into the impenetrable rainforest. Uganda was much more than the gorilla trek, but the trip into the deep dark African continent in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was a definite highlight for me.