Nikon D3x, 70-200mm f/2.8, 1/400 @ f/4, ISO 800
We arrived in Rwanda yesterday morning, and after a nice lunch we drove a few hours to Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in the Virunga Mountains. My group of travelers enjoyed the warm reception, and even more enjoyed the very comfortable accommodations. After our bags exploded from our journey from Kenya, we all met up for coctails on the verands, followed by an excellent dinner.
We woke up early this morning at around 5am with a knock on the door, followed by a pitcher of freshly brewed coffee. What a way to wake up! We ate a quick breakfast and made our way to the Parc National des Volcans headquarters, and there we met up with our trekking guides. We went through the necessary safety discussion, were allocated an intended gorilla group to hike to, and then drove to the trailhead.
Without getting into too much details, the trek was short but very very challenging. We mostly covered a very steep slope that was covered with stinging nettle, and had to work slowly but deliberately to the Sabyinyo group of gorillas. The Sabyinyo group is reported to have the largest silverback gorilla, named Guhonda, at roughly 220 kilos. That is some serious weight. We caught up with the group as they were feeding in the canopy, and we waited until they came down to move onto other feeding areas. The area we were in was lush with bamboo, and many of the gorillas could not be seen without significant intention.
After the gorillas came down, we did get our hour with them and I have to say that it was both magical and photographically rich. At one point Guhonda walked into our group of 8 photographers and brushed by one of my travelers as he passed through. There was much more going on than I can write about right now, but suffice to say that this is one of the richest safari experiences one can imagine. I only have had time to quickly crank out this 1 image that I have included in the blog post, and I know that I have at least 10 good images that I will be happy with from today. We have 3 days of trekking for gorillas, so more photo opportunities are ahead!