The final two gorilla treks were here in this National Park. These we did two days in a row. The first of those was to track the Suva group, one of the largest and definitely the furthest up in the mountains. Apparently, they had done us a favor and moved quite a ways down the mountain. You could have fooled me. It seemed like we walked forever… in the rain, of course. I’m glad I spent several months climbing stairs to develop some stamina. Fortunately, I never did have sore muscles, but slightly thinner air made this first hike a real grind, for some of us that is. We started at about 8,000 feet and ended just under 10,000 feet, according one one climber’s altimeter. This altitude was quite a different experience for me. As we hiked, I sometimes felt like I couldn’t get enough air. But as soon as we would stop to rest, I was immediately fine. But it was work! And some of my ‘friends’ did point out that I was the oldest female on this hike. Gee, so helpful!
Since these two hikes followed one another all the photos include both the ‘S’ group and the ‘K’ group. I wrote down the name of the K group but I can’t find it. Anyway, it starts with the Suva group and somewhere morphs into the K group. I just don’t know where.
This is one of three silverbacks that live peacefully together. I’m not sure I have the groups straight so if I’m wrong, I’d appreciate it if someone from my group of travelers would correct me. The Suva group arrived here from the Congo and never returned. So they don’t know exactly how old the oldest dominant silverback is. But, according the the ranger, when he is too old to lead, he will relinquish his position to number two without any real disruption to the group. Amazing.
Fortunately, on the Suva hike, the rain stopped just before we reached the gorillas. And the second hike managed to take place without any rain at all!
This mom has twins! You see a head pop up on each side of her. They are not the same baby. They are healthy and doing well. It is unusual for gorillas to have twins so everyone is happy that they have both survived.
Most of the photographs that follow are of youngsters and babies. They are hard to resist.
These silly little things were circling each other but with their backs to each other. They went round and round…. turning every once in a while to be sure they each knew where the other was. Taking pictures was difficult because everyone was laughing. And you have to be quiet…. it’s hard to be quiet and laugh at the same time.
Being a gorilla is such hard work. It’s time for another nap.
a few more of the twins…
I brought a wide angle lens just so I could catch any possible group photos. But did I remember to take it out of my pack before we walked the last 100 yards? Of course not.
It’s hard to groom another with two little ones blocking your view.
I’m going to post this since there are so many. I’ll be finishing up the gorillas soon, I hope.