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Congo - The Virunga Mountains

Location: Virunga, Congo

This was where we had our encounter with the Rugendo family of Mountain gorillas. They were a family made up of the Silverback, 4 or 5 adult females, a couple of Black Backs (sub-ordinate males), several rat bag little ones, and even a tiny week old baby. There are only about seven or eight hundred of these left in the world, but numbers are increasing apparently. It really was an amazing experience.

We had quite a few guards sifting around. We weren't sure whether they were guarding against gorillas or people!

3 Feb 2006, 10:50PM

This is some of the scenery on the drive in - beautiful volcanic soil plus lots of rain makes for really good growing conditions.

.....lucky it was only a mock charge, this dude is BIG!

It was difficult to capture all the action on camera - it was pretty dark under the trees and things happened quick. This is shortly after Sharon got charged by the Silverback.....

Eventually he rolled over on his back and went to sleep...notice Sharon still looks a little wary though!

He is pretty chilled out really, and he started to relax once he has established the fact that he was the man

Our happy little party walking back home - we had plenty to talk about over dinner that night!

These little guys were hilarious - they were the only ones who could get away with tormenting the Silverback, and were constantly swinging around, breaking stuff and falling out of the trees.