Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

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!

DPP_0482DPP_0484DPP_0485

 

DPP_0489DPP_0491

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.

DPP_0492DPP_0493DPP_0494DPP_0495DPP_0496DPP_0497DPP_0499DPP_0500

Most of the photographs that follow are of youngsters and babies.  They are hard to resist.

DPP_0483

DPP_0502

Hard to tell where this little one begins and ends!DPP_0503DPP_0504DPP_0506DPP_0507DPP_0508DPP_0505DPP_0509

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.

DPP_0510DPP_0511

Being a gorilla is such hard work.  It’s time for another nap.

DPP_0512DPP_0513DPP_0514DPP_0515DPP_0516DPP_0517DPP_0518DPP_0519DPP_0520DPP_0521DPP_0522DPP_0524DPP_0525DPP_0523

DPP_0526

a few more of the twins…

DPP_0527DPP_0528DPP_0530DPP_0531DPP_0532DPP_0533DPP_0534DPP_0535

DPP_0544

DPP_0536DPP_0537DPP_0538DPP_0539DPP_0540

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.

DPP_0541DPP_0542DPP_0543

It’s hard to groom another with two little ones blocking your view. Smile

DPP_0545DPP_0546DPP_0547DPP_0548DPP_0549DPP_0550

I’m going to post this since there are so many.  I’ll be finishing up the gorillas soon, I hope.

Advertisements

One thought on “Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

  1. The gorillas hair looks so soft in many of your photos, a lot like mohair. I didn’t see that on the gorillas in Bwindi. Their hair looked much more coarse. Maybe it was due to the rain as I can see some of your photos the gorillas still looked wet.
    Beautiful shots by the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s