Saturday, October 19, 2013

October 19: Day 6 Gorilla Trekking

We have just checked into our hotel in Malahide Rwanda. We are 7km from the Congo border.

We had the most exciting day! It was amazing to have the opportunity to trek for the Gorillas in the Volcano Mountains of Mahahura Rwanda. We left our hotel at 6am and made our way to base camp check in. Our climb began around 9am. The broke us into 3 groups with low, med and high elevation climbs. We all trekked for over 2 hours until we saw the Gorilla 's. Our group reached 3010m in elevation.

Team climbing up to 3010m

The gorilla experience surpassed of our expectations. Many of us got with inches of them. They were so calm yet playful. They allowed us in their environment and did not see us as a threat except Kenny! One of the Gorillas while passing them literally punched him in the stomach. Wow! Lucky Kenny stayed on his feet and he was the only one in his group for this to happen too. We all joked the Gorilla was asked him to come along with the family as perhaps they thought he would fit right in.

We each saw different families and only one group a day get to observe that family for one hour. As they say time flies when you are having fun. The hour was up in no time. Their is a hierarchy in the family. Their is one older silver back male who is the head of the family and has ‎a few partners which he fathers until he can no longer lead the pack. Once that happens another male takes over and the elder gorilla still stays with the family until his passing. They life span is 35 to 45 years of age. Their gestational period is the same as humans. 9 months.

Big Boy Silverback!

Most of the pics we have uploaded to the blog we have not zoom into them which will give you a great perspective on how close we got to them.

We enjoyed a night of rest and relaxation at a "resort "‎ called Paradis. Today for the team is some more "r and r" before the 6 hour trek back to Gashora village to start week 2 of the build. I am unfortunately heading back to Canada as duty calls. Rick H. has graciously volunteered to continue the blog in my absence to keep us all up to date on their progress of the build.

Best of luck team! I will miss you all!‎ I know you guys will hand over an amazing project completed at the end of the week to Covaga and their members of the Gashora village.


Marianne Thompson
DWC Volunteer Participant
Rwanda, October 2013

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