A group of wildlife aficionados luckily stumbled upon a family of mountain gorillas at the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (BINP), a biodiverse, mountainous area in southwestern Uganda, East Africa.
BINP is a sanctuary for almost half of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas known as the Bwindi population. They feed on roots, leaves, and fruits from the park’s numerous tree and fern species.
It could take a day’s drive just to get to the village near the park. The more challenging part is the diverse trailheads, but there are no roads inside the park itself that could be traveled around on foot, thus the coined terms “impenetrable forest”.
The paths may be steep and go through thick vegetation. Travelers are advised beforehand to be fully equipped with standard hiking gears, adequate food and water supply, and even raingear.
Gorilla tracking is the park’s main tourist attraction generating huge revenue for Uganda Wildlife Authority. While curious and audacious travelers willingly pay $600/day to obtain a permit, there is no guarantee that they could meet gorillas in the flesh.
However, it is not the case for this incredibly lucky wildlife enthusiast, along with his team, who managed to score a rare face-to-face encounter with a small family of friendly mountain gorillas.
A video footage shows him sitting quietly in a submissive posture while looking at the ground most of the time and trying to avoid direct eye contact with any of the mountain gorillas. Meanwhile, the young gorillas can be seen touching the man out of curiosity while one adult gorilla observes close at hand.
It is a renowned fact that gorillas, especially young ones, are typically curious about human presence in their territory although they seldom approach humans as they are generally very shy and reserved. Hence, this is a very unusual and astounding discovery, not just to the team but also to the rest of the wildlife enthusiasts around the globe.
Nonetheless, it is still crucial for the trekkers to never do any provoking gestures such as direct eye contact or purposely getting at a very close proximity with the mountain gorillas as they may perceive it as a threat resulting to a potentially dangerous response from them.