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Getting to know the gorillas of Uganda

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As Published in Africageographic Blog

There are less than 900 individual mountain gorillas left in the wild. Yes you read that correctly, less than 900 left in the whole world. If you have been to a zoo or safari park and think you may have seen one, sadly you are wrong, the species you have seen is the western lowland gorilla. No mountain gorillas are held in captivity.

Mountain gorillas live in the Virunga Mountains and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Most people go to Rwanda to see them in the Virunga volcanos, however I decided to make the trip to Uganda, which has many other national parks I wished to visit along with Bwindi. The name is a bit frightening to be honest; impenetrable forest does not sound too inviting, yet this was our destination and we were incredibly excited about it.

Having learnt how few gorillas there are left, I understood why it was so costly to visit them – US$ 500 per person for one hour with the gorillas. But being very interested in conservation, I was desperate to learn how these beautiful animals were being helped and what had caused such horrifyingly low numbers.

Upon reaching the impenetrable forest – on some questionable roads that even our Land cruisers had a tough time negotiating – I became bitterly disappointed with the landscape set out in front of me. Don't get me wrong it was scenically beautiful, but where was the forest?

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