Agashya family welcomes us to share a moment in the jungle
I didn't know what to expect. It was a long walk through difficult terrain. We were encouraged to hire porters to carry our bags and help us along the more difficult spots. These porters were once the poachers in these jungles, now they support themselves and their families by helping us get to experience the wonder of these magnificent creatures. As we got close to our Gorilla family (The Agashya family) I started to feel electrified and giddy. Was I really going to spend an hour with Gorillas??? Our family was one of the largest with 21 members and 3 silverbacks. Gorillas do not kick out the alpha once he gets old. His sons, though stronger than him, respect his place in the family until death. We turned a corner and our amazing guide Roger warns us that the gorillas are close and then suddenyl I am 4 feet away from the giant alpha silverback.!!! I was initially shocked, how were we permitted to be so close???, other Gorillas were grazing only a few more feet away, I was certain we were going to be attacked but we were barely acknowledged. I am in awe of how tolerant and accepting these Gorillas are. We watched lovers flirt and a little chest-beating to show prowess, we watched children jump and play. We saw young ones fall out of trees and giant silverbacks lie on their backs and play with their feet. This was the experience of a lifetime. I cannot even begin to explain the feelings that this trip left me with or the warmth in my heart at being able to have this experience. I am ever greatful of the guides, guards and porters that all made this an epic day to remember.