The Gorillas of Rwanda
Probably the most exciting part of our trip was the Gorillas of Rwanda. We flew from Nairobi to Kigali where our
guides picked us up and drove us 2.5 hours north close to the border with Uganda to a lodge near Volcanoes
National Park. The next morning we went to the park headquarters to meet a ranger who guided 8 of us to see
the Gorillas. We walked for an hour to an hour and a half, first through farm land and then into the forest to see
the gorillas made famous by Dianne Fosse. It was raining lightly--after all, we had come to see the Gorillas in the
Mist. The gorillas are guarded by soldiers who radio their location to the ranger. We were permitted only an hour
with the gorillas and were not permitted to go closer than 15 feet so as to avoid giving them human diseases. The
gorillas we were visiting were a group of 15 gorillas headed up by a 450 silverback.

First, we saw a young gorilla come through the bushes. Then we walked to an opening and there before my eyes
emerged the silverback. This picture was taken moments after he emerged.
I was the person closest to the Silverback and took the above picture no more than ten feet from him. Seconds
later he charged our group and specifically came by me and swung out his arm withing a fraction of an inch of
my arm. According to the guide, he was merely showing who was in charge. Although I was having too good a
time to flinch or be fearful, I did get the message. For the next hour, we stood in fascination and watched the
gorillas eat, groom, and play. Jackie said she observed every behaviour described in Fosse's book.