Most of the time the gorillas were either eating or lying around.
This little one was playing just behind one of the silverbacks.
The hike itself was not very hard. There were some challenges but in general the hikes we choose to do on our own (back home) are usually tougher. We had been a little nervous about the difficulty particularly after hearing form others. An Italian couple who hiked with us said that their hike in Uganda the previous week was definitely harder, and most of the people who had told us about it being difficult actually went in Uganda. Maybe its the location, but we would prefer to believe that we are just very fit instead. //. Betsy had briefly worked at the Indianapolis Zoo while in vet school and met Dr Jan Ramer there. Jan is now working at the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project which serves the populations in Rwanda, Uganda and the D. R. Congo. Jan gave us a tour of the facilities, explained their work and shared with us so much information about the gorillas and the work that MGVP does, which also includes helping with the health of the gorilla trackers and guides. Unfortunately, gorilla poaching still occurs, and within the last couple of months, government authorities in Rwanda twice recovered baby gorillas. The MGVP helps take care of them until they can be turned over to other facilities. Jan took us to a shelter that was temporarily housing one of the baby orphans.
We can't remember her age (maybe 1 year?), but we were told that gorillas generally nurse until 3 years, and they were feeding her human baby formula. They limit contact with the gorilla so we were not allowed inside the shelter. Therefore, we had to stand on Jan's car to be able to see inside.
We are big fans of the MGVP and so if you want to learn more, check out gorilladoctors.org. // Our third and final day at Volcanoes National park and we visited the Susa gorilla family. This is the largest gorilla family, of about 33 individuals and getting to see them is considered the hardest trek. It was certainly a good hike, but only a little harder than the previous day, steeper and maybe 2-1/2 hours in, but with significantly less mud. This group was a bit more active. Two male youths, who were twins, were chasing each other, wrestling and biting, and would often run near us, twice even hitting Hugh while running past.
This mother may look fierce, but she is actually yawning.
This family had 3 silverbacks- the dominant one was sleeping, and this one was walking around.
And yes, we were really there; these aren't someone else's photos.
Don't you just love the hats! - Hugh & Betsy
Location:Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda