Primate Safaris - Gorillas: About Us
We have been organising gorilla tracking safaris for over 10 years and our gorilla experts can all talk to you from personal experience. Here’s just a quick outline of our experiences:
John has tracked gorillas in both Rwanda and Uganda. Having seen so many wonderful sights all over Africa he was concerned that the gorillas might not live up to expectations. Happy to be proved wrong, he admits that nothing could have prepared him for being so close to a 440lb silverback male. He says the hour with the gorillas felt like ten minutes and at times he felt scared, excited and awe struck. To sum up, it was a real privilege to have seen them.
Richard’s experiences of gorilla tracking go from one extreme to the other. In Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park he faced a long, tough hike through dense vegetation before a successful sighting. Then in Rwanda’s Parc National des Volcans, fully equipped with strong shoes, walking stick and gardening gloves, he found his gorilla family just a 10 minute stroll from the start, digging up the local farmer’s potatoes – hardly the gorilla trek he was expecting! Richard has also visited chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kyambura Gorge and Tanzania’s Mahale National Park and seen a number of different lemurs on a trip in Madagascar. We like to consider him something of a primate expert!
Alice saw the gorillas in Bwindi, Uganda, where she says the hour spent with 30 mountain gorillas (5% of the world’s population), exceeded all expectations. She describes sitting on the forest floor with these huge, formidable primates all around as “a humbling and exciting one-off experience”. Alice has also tracked chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains, Kibale and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda (link to Mweya Safari Lodge). One of her most memorable moments was seeing a female chimp wearing a grass “bracelet” that a male had tied for her at Mahale.
Jo spent two months travelling between Uganda and Rwanda, during which time she was fortunate enough to see mountain gorillas in all three destinations; Bwindi Buhoma, Nkuringo (Uganda) and in the Parc National des Volcans (Rwanda). Jo will happily share her knowledge about the difference between the treks and terrain, to ensure your experience is as special as hers.
Francis has tracked Ugandan and, long ago, Congolese gorillas, and chimps in both Uganda and Tanzania. Although mightily impressed with the power and beauty of the gorillas that are in many ways so similar to us, he was just as awed by the chimpanzees he saw. The speed and power of our closest relatives is astonishing, and one of the most exciting events he saw was chimps successfully hunting a monkey.
Victoria has tracked the gorillas three times. Once in Uganda (Habinyanja Family) – a very tough, steep climb where the gorillas were unsettled and on the move which made it all the more exciting! The highlight of this track was that she got to see how quickly they can move in the dense, pristine forest and the ease at which they can scale a tree! She has also tracked the gorillas twice in Rwanda’s Parc National Des Volcans. Here the highlight was watching the grooming of a silverback by another gorilla and seeing four mischievous juvenile gorillas playing together, tumbling up and down a slope for over half an hour. She has also tracked golden monkeys in Mgahinga National Park and chimps in both Kyambura Gorge and Kibale National Park.