African Gorillas - Awesome Experiences

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Rwanda and Uganda gorillas

One of David Attenborough's most famous sequences showed him luxuriating as an honorary gorilla, leading his audience to marvel at their peaceable and gentle demeanour. Well, we hate to tell you, but it was only half-true at best - sorry David. They are big - really big - and they won't hurt you deliberately, because they regard humans as puny gorillas who pose no threat (assuming they have not encountered poachers before). But since big male gorillas will kill any other gorilla which poses a threat to their territory or tribe or dominance, you would be well advised to project your introverted side, and keep your distance.

You trek for 2-4 hours to see them. They give you a walking stick, which you use with one hand while you hold your guide's hand with the other, especially if it rains and the mud becomes slippery. With these precautions, the intrepid traveller is perfectly safe, and the sight itself is incredible.

If time is short, do it in Rwanda, a country torn apart by appalling inter-tribal genocide in 1994. The violence then came like a sudden storm, but after strenuous efforts at reconciliation and atonement, the country is peaceful now and making excellent progress. Human rights may still have some way to go, but many other things are improving steadily, with the help of a growing tourism industry which we are happy to support.

If you have more time, Uganda will allow a similar experience, along with a more expansive safari experience. Having met the gorilla family in Rwanda, I will definitely go back and pay my respects to the Ugandan branch in a future adventure.

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