Finally My Dream Gorilla Safari in Uganda S7 EP.34 | Pakistan to South Africa
He's munching on leaves. Have been waiting for him to look at us. So that we could capture him on video. Finally, we are able to have a good look at this baby. Assalam Alekum and Welcome Back to the Channel From Bwindi Impenetrable National Park It's located at the border of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. Gonna check another item off our checklist today.
A much anticipated adventure... The Gorilla Safari That's why we are walking towards the national park. The lodge was not too far away; just a few minutes away. Had a great breakfast early in the day.
All ready to enjoy the safari and make some great memories. Let's see. Gorillas don't stay at one location. So once we reach the park, then we'll know how long this safari is going to be. Sometimes, it can be a two hour long safari.
Or it can be up to 5 hours long. One important thing is that gorillas can be seen around the border areas of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. I chose to visit this park in Uganda because it is very safe.
The security situation is good and the prices are reasonable. Rwanda has relatively higher prices. Congo is probably the cheapest but the security conditions there are not good. You know the country's facing a civil war.
I might not come back at all if I go there. And I'm not going to Congo at all. That's why we are in Uganda. We have almost reached the gate.
Right next to the national park is a village. And here's the gate. It's a world heritage site. You can see rangers on duty here.
And over there... That was the welcome song for us. We are a bit late.
But we were still able to record the good-bye song for you. We were also given a briefing. There are almost 60 to 70 tourists which will soon be divided into groups. During the briefing, we were told that the national park was developed in 1991. And before that people used to live here but they were relocated.
So, now there's just wildlife and gorillas. The gorillas found here account for half the population around the world. Other than that, the one in Rwanda is called Volcanoes National Park. Whereas, the one in Congo is Virunga National Park.
However, most of the concentration is over this side. There are four entry points here. We are entering from Rushaga. Similarly, other tourists may be coming from other gates. We were told that we will be given one hour with the gorillas. But if someone wants to spend more time with them, then there is a special group with 4 hours.
The permit for that costs 1500 USD. We paid 700 USD for ours. That's still a significant amount. However, 1500 USD is a bit too much. Anyways, soon we'll be put in a group and then we start trekking.
That's Mr. Moses, our tour guide. Your company is called Wild Visit Uganda. Right? Yeah. So, we're ready. Do you know the group? And everything? I'm expecting that you are gonna enjoy the experience. Hopefully. Looking forward to it.
The environment is good. Everything is okay. Rushaga is the best place. Right? Yes. Moses has made sure that we start our trek from some nice place. Thank you, Moses.
Let's see which group is ours. How many people are normally in a group? 8 or 9? Yes. It's supposed to be 8. He was telling me that gorillas have different families located at different points. So there will be groups of 8 or 9, each visiting a different gorilla family. We can go now. The guide is waiting. You can also get a porter here.
I don't think we need one though. One can carry their own luggage. To support the local community, the minimum fee is 20 USD. This is our group.
With us, we have a team of rangers. They have guns; AK47. We have Foster. Nice to meet you. We have Asumta. She's a student of wildlife. So feel free to share with us.
Our trekking has started. We are 8 tourists in this group. Two porters. One guide. Leading the group is a ranger with AK47. And two of them are at our tail.
So, there's a total of 12, 13 people in this group. We were told in the briefing that... The gorilla family we are gonna visit is called Busingye. Busingye means peace.
They have named the gorilla families themselves to identify one family from the other. We don't know how much time do we need to get there. There are 17 members in this family. So it's a big one. Hopefully, we'll have enough time to experience. The forest is really beautiful. We can even feel it in the sounds.
I'll try to be silent in between so that you can listen to the jungle sounds. Slowly... This patch is full of ants.
It can have serious consequences if they bite you or get inside your clothing. Many many ants... Don't stop. That's why you just have to keep walking.
I have put my socks over my trouser. So as to prevent any ant from going inside my trousers. That's fine. Actually some trekkers already start at 7 am.
And they are the rangers of this park. They go and locate the gorillas. And then share their locations. So, the tourists don't have to trek a long way.
And you may also spend the whole day looking for gorillas in vain. That's good. Not sure about the gorillas but the jungle is really beautiful. This jungle walk experience is amazing.
That's a call for the trekkers. And they are gonna reply the same way. Then we'll go there. No walkie talkies here. Wonderful The path is not easy...
But the scenery is just too good. These leaves have tiny thorns. That's why they ask to come with gloves... So that you can push these away as you walk through them.
The gorillas have been feeding from here. So we are very close? Very near. When the trekkers are following the gorillas, they mainly look at the vegetation... They look at the leftovers... And they look at their droppings.
So when the vegetation falls facing up, that's where the gorillas are going. When they fall facing down, that's where the gorillas are going. So they keep following that... the three things...
The poop, the leftovers and the direction of plants. Until they find where they missed it, they start the morning fresh trail. And they find the gorillas. Thank you. Welcome But there are flies that follow the gorillas.
Because they want to feed on the poop of gorillas. As we'll get close to the gorillas, we'll see a lot of flies. As soon as the gorillas out down the droppings... The flies just go ahead and feed on it.
No mosquitoes. As I told you they are 99% vegetarians, they mostly eat plant leaves. The bark of some plants, roots and fruits.
During the fruit season, they go up the trees. That's why we recommend people to bring binoculars. And to bring the big lens. When they are up in the trees.
And... They are selective sometimes. At a point, there's a certain plant they want to feed on.
So if they want a certain plant, they just go in an area where that plant is. However, almost all the leaves and plants here... We have over 200 plants. And gorillas feed on them.
Either alive or dead. They feed on the wood when the plant is dead. Or they feed on the leaves or the bark or the roots of the plants. After a hike of almost 1 hour, we have finally spotted gorillas. Take a look. There's one over there.
It's the whole family. They just told that we have one hour with these gorillas. We are being taken to a safe point up close where we can easily observe them. It's compulsory to wear the mask here. This is a new rule after Covid.
There wasn't such a rule before that. Quite slippery. That's how close we are now. There's a baby gorilla over there. Here we have a Silverback which is what they call the leader of the group.
Every family has one male leader. And everybody else includes females and children. So the one we have here is the silverback. I'm trying to capture him on camera.
So the silverback is called so due to the silver mark on his back? Yeah So the white colored mark on his back is the reason he is called so. Quite a big beast indeed. Don't worry He's peacefully munching on leaves. I've been waiting for him to look towards us so that we can capture him on camera.
They simply turn their faces away from the tourists. Finally we are able to get a good look at this baby. The rest of them are trying to avoid us. Or maybe that's just how they are. We are allowed to speak but not too loud. Let me show you some behind-the-scenes.
That's how we are trying to film here. some people are making videos from here. Maintaining a safe distance from the gorillas. A baby is sitting up the tree while the silverback is at the bottom whom I'm trying to photograph. But they are constantly moving. Rangers here are trying to make more room for us.
Yes. Thank you. Finally we have taken off our masks. What an experience it has been. I mean we were really close to them.
I probably expected that it would be from some distance. But the animals walk towards on their own. Even the guides don't stop them from coming near. It was awesome. As I told you before, we took a 700 USD permit to come here.
70% of that amount goes towards the maintenance of this park. They have a huge staff including rangers and other experts, for the protection of parks and gorillas. 10% of that goes to the government and the rest goes to the community. But I'm not sure how much they pay the rangers. Quite expensive... But... A very unique experience indeed.
There's nothing like this. Now, we have a rather long walk back. We'll capture some shots along the way if we find something interesting. Finally we are back. It's 11 am now. Roughly, one hour of trekking for each side and one hour with the gorilla.
And 1 hour is just too short a time. I mean you are really absorbed in watching the animals and photographing them. Each group visits only one family of gorillas for one hour only. So gorillas know that they will be visited for one hour by the people. And after that they will be unbothered for the whole day. That's their daily routine because there's a lot of tourism here.
And it's not even the peak season. It's quite possible that each group has a few more people during the peak season. They have named every gorilla so that they can identify the gorilla and their family.
Just like human beings, gorillas have different faces. All of them might appear to be the same to tourists who visit them for a very short period of time. But that's just not the case.
The trekkers who spend the whole day with them... They know the family they are looking after. They are fully aware of the gorillas and their habits.
And since gorillas see them everyday, they don't come close to tourists and don't threaten them. The trekkers and rangers stay with us throughout the safari. Lets head back to the lodge.
We are back in the lodge. Couldn't show you this area as it was already dark when we got here yesterday. So lets have a short tour of the lodge. It's a very beautiful lodge.
It has the same vibe as that of the jungle. Dense trees all around you. You actually feel that you are staying in a jungle area. Let me show you our room. That's the entrance.
And... Such an amazing and tidy room. Sorry that you have to see my stuff scattered everywhere. The staff has cleaned the beds and everything but they can't do anything with the luggage. That's our balcony. Going there.
A great view of the jungle is offered by this balcony. You can sit here and peacefully enjoy these awesome views. The best thing about my travels so far in East Africa is... No matter where you go in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda...
You get to have top class lodges. Great services. I mean you get the premium services at these remote locations that you may not even get in big cities. Of course you have to pay money for that. The tourism here is quite expensive though. Our package cost us 1500 USD.
Out of that, 700 USD went for the permit of gorilla safari. Then I have a 2 night stay in this lodge. And one night stay by Lake Mburo.
Full board lunch, breakfast and dinner... all inclusive. I took the services of tour guides from Wild Visit Uganda. I have already shown you Moses, a thorough gentleman.
I have added a link in the video description if you want to contact him. We still have whole day in front of us. Gonna enjoy this place some more. Would also like to capture some scenery and share with you.