For those of you that follow me on Instagram ( @trevormccallpeat ) you would have seen that I have shared quite extensive information around my Gorilla trekking experience. In this blog, I would like to try and describe what it is like to be face to face with a wild mountain gorilla.
The first fact I want to mention is that a gorillas DNA is roughly 98% that of a human! Now, take a moment and think about that fact. How remarkable is it that we are so closely related to mountain gorillas. It’s quite a difficult fact to comprehend, well it certainly was for me until I came face to face with a Gorilla first hand.
My guests and I were fortunate enough to do 3 different Gorilla Treks, I highly recommend this and the reason is that once simply isn’t enough. Seeing a Gorilla, well actually any animal for that matter in the wild for the first time can be very overwhelming. I found the first day was absolutely incredible and craved more time face to face with these magnificent animals. It was only towards the end of the second trek and the entire third trek that I managed to sit back, put my camera away and really take notice of how these animals interacted with each other. Not only the interaction but to sit a mere couple of yards away from an individual as it went about its daily business was spectacular. It was only really at this point that I truly understood the fact about the DNA.
Just like us humans, I found it amazing how expressive the gorillas were. It’s almost like you could see the thoughts running through their minds, you could see what kind of mood they were in and to see emotion on their faces was phenomenal! I found myself just sitting staring at them and yes that may sound silly, but I’m sure anyone who has had the experience will be able to relate.
There were a few stand out moments, one was with a beautiful female who was about 20 years in age and the other was with a silverback that was 17 years of age and just coming into his prime. I say these were stand out moments because they were two moments where my guests and I did not have to move. The gorillas actually approached us and then sat down and went about their daily business and it is tough to put into words but there is a definite connection when they stare at you, it’s almost a moment where you are wondering what they thinking and they wondering what you are thinking.
Apart from being so close and looking at their facial expressions, it was amazing to be able to see each and every detail on them, from the wrinkles on their faces to the detail of their fingerprints, its very difficult not to humanize it, but to be able to just be in that moment with these magnificent beasts are memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life as will my guests for sure!
Until next time,