Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mzungu in the Mist

One of the many highlights while on my lap of Lake Victoria was to visit the Mountain Gorilla's in Congo (and Mom and Dad - sorry for not mentioning we did this in Congo:) The deal is that you drop some serious coin for an hour visit with the gorilla's in their natural habitat of Virunga National Park (just over the border from Rwanda). After passing up on previous safari's (Kenya's Masi Mara, Tanzania's Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, as well as several scuba sessions) and other expensive adventures in Africa, I decided to cash in my extra pennies as well as my unborn child's college savings (oh yeah, and my parents 30th birthday gift that covered all expenses also helped:).

I was a little worried that it wouldn't live up to the hype, but when I saw that 500lb silver back drop a deuce within 3 feet of me I knew that it would be a moment I would never forget.

Upon leaving the DRC myself and the other guys I had been traveling with discussed the huge upside Congo has with Gorilla tracking and tourism industry as a whole. Sure enough 2 weeks later (and many of you may be aware of this) 1 silver back, 1 pregnant female and 2 other females were all shot to death (for no apparent reason). The Gorilla's that were murdered ended up being from a different family than the one we visited, but it was still a shock to see the pictures on the cover of Newsweek.

The articles and pictures are mind numbing....

The good news is that the community seems to be rallying around a massive campaign to put an end to these meaningless attacks.

And a thanks to my traveling buddy Dave Johnson for this great pic of the Gorilla's...what are the chances that my damn camera battery would have taken a shit on me 15 minutes into visiting the Gorilla's.


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