This was our third and final trek to see the gorillas. I’m thinking I should take more movies to record the sights AND sounds. However, I did record them on my phone since some of the sounds were in the dark. After Uganda we fly on to Kenya where we are supposed to see ‘The Great Migration’.
Gorilla Trekking in Uganda
Those gorilla spotters mentioned earlier, whose job it is to track the gorillas, had a difficult time conveying to our group where this last family of gorillas was located. It may have been due to difficult phone connections. Regardless, we hiked miles in the wrong direction and had to come down and go on another hike. Once we found the gorillas it started off a bit slow, as we only saw one lazy silverback eating in his bed. Apparently they make new beds every night as they amble through the jungle.
The photo above was taken on a very steep hillside, which makes it look like I’m at near eye level with the gorilla. He was really about 30 feet off the ground.
Apparently a constant diet of plants is not conducive to a trim figure. However, their strength is something we can only imagine. The gorillas never did more than a leisurely stroll through the jungle or slowly reach for the next branch to eat. We had guides that were to keep us at a safe distance, but we were often quite close. Not unlike the crazy tourists in Yellowstone who try to approach the bison for selfies.
After the silverback turned his back on us, we were directed downhill to see the rest of the family. Once again, humans walking around seems to be a non-event for the gorillas. We would try to get them to look at us, try to get a reaction, but nothing. We are not allowed to shout out, so everything needed to be subtle. But still, no reaction.
No Exercise Regimen
It is possible or even likely this is the same gorilla we had seen earlier eating in bed. I can sure see how someone could become very complacent about the gorillas. They seem so calm and slow moving, hiding their massive strength. This lazy pose of the silverback was not a momentary thing. He was lounging like this for much of our visit.
We all had plenty of time to photograph this giant silverback gorilla. The normal mode of operation for many photographers is to take the larger scene first then move in closer and closer for more and more detail. The feet appealed to me so I zoomed in and of course took maybe a 100 photos of the feet. In the full size photo, the foot prints are very apparent.
While hiking down the trail returning to the jeeps from our final visit with the gorillas, the loud shrill of what I believe were cicada was astounding to me. So I recorded them. We had to listen to their shrill sounds for hours. You will hear the faint voices of some people near me speaking, drowned out by the cicada.
I’m sorry I have no video nor explanations for the next recording. It may have been a murder for all I know, certainly sounds painful in parts. I blended three recordings, one after the other for the following (and last) recording. These were recorded at night, while we were trying to be sleep. Normally a snoring roommate is the biggest problem, but not in Africa. We were given whistles to use in an emergency to call the spear carrying locals should a problem arise in the night.
Extra-Long Longhorn Cattle
This is just about my final photo taken in Uganda. These are not wild animals, these are their cattle. The large horns of the Ankole cattle vary in size and shape. Not surprisingly, these cattle are well suited for drought, poor grazing conditions and minimal water. What enterprising Tucumcari, New Mexico cattleman would not jump at the chance to be the first in the state to have a herd of these Ankole cattle. All I can assume is their meat is not the best and the amazing size of the horns would certainly present transportation problems. Here is a link to learn more: Ankole Cattle
Photo by: Ankole Horns
Next Stop is Kenya.
Just to try and keep you interested, I’ll show you a photo of the biggest zebra herd I’ve ever seen…. Thank you for your interest in my travels and photography.