Saturday, June 16, 2012
I took this photo of a baby mountain gorilla, sitting just 2 feet away from me, during a previous trip to the Virunga National Park in Rwanda. Normally you aren't supposed to be so close but this guy crawled out of the brush and surprised me. A trek to see the gorillas is a highlight of any visit to Rwanda (or for that matter, Africa), though the tiny country also has chimpanzees and other endangered primates that are worthwhile to visit too.
While on the trip I used the Bradt Rwanda guidebook and highly recommend it. It was the work of Diane Fossey that first got me interested in the great apes. I fell in love with the romantic story of Diane Fossey and her mountain gorillas, as told in Woman in the Mists , by Farley Mowatt, and Gorillas in the Mist, written by Fossey herself. By the time I took my trip, I had already worked with chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans--everything but gorillas--so my visit to Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas was a way of coming full circle for me.
Are you planning a trip to Rwanda? I stayed at the Serena Hotel in Kigali and highly recommend it. For more, see my previous entries on Rwanda, and stay tuned for more of my photos from this beautiful African gem this week.