Anyone who has looked into the intelligent eyes of a gorilla reports it to be a profoundly disconcerting, and deeply moving experience. The sometimes long and often arduous trek through the forests of Rwanda or Uganda culminates without warning when the guides spots a scrap of dark, coarse hair through the lush foliage. Gradually, the dark lumbering shapes materialise into a high, creased forehead, the grey swoop of the big male’s back and all of a sudden, you meet the warm brown eyes of one of the most threatened animals on earth.
Visits to these dense rainforests, amongst the few remaining places in the world to see mountain gorillas, are tightly controlled. The single hour that you are permitted to spend with these huge, sensitive animals feels like a privilege. In turn, the cost of your permit helps to keep them alive. Their natural habitat remains raw and largely free from human disturbance, making your brief visit all the more special and humbling.
Although the most high profile experience, this is by no means all there is to do in Uganda. A safari here can include some very out of the way wildlife enclaves, unusual birdlife and great scenery. Make the most of your time in Uganda, or combine gorilla trekking with a safari in Tanzania or Kenya.
Posted by: Amanda Mitchell