The World Of Apes

Let’s wander in the world of apes.
The great apes. 
Matching 98% DNA with humans. 
And sharing common ancestors with us.
DNA  precisely determines the way any living thing looks and acts. Thus, apes are the closest
animal relatives of humans.
My adventure genes now tracking gorillas in their natural habitat.
A wish came true. Or I shall say this has been the last wish of my travel wishlist, until now.
I was exuberant being with mountain gorillas in dense forests of Uganda.
Why do I say mountain gorillas?
Because they are the special ones who are found only in the forests of three African countries, Uganda,
Rwanda and Congo. And none in the zoos in whole world.
I was told that the gorillas seen in zoos are the low land gorillas only.
Mountain gorillas are critically endangered species. Merely around 860 mountain gorillas are
left on planet. And almost half of the population of mountain gorillas resides in Uganda.
That is the reason I chose Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a World Heritage Site in Uganda.
Traveled by taxi from Entebbe hotel to the Bwindi forest which took around eleven hours.
I had researched on the elaborate arrangements in forest ensuring safety of gorillas, and visitors as well, while almost ensuring that travelers get to meet gorillas up close. That is why they charge massive fee for entry permit. Only few visitors are allowed each day. Four forest trackers, one guide and two escorts with each group of eight visitors.
All arrangements are proficiently managed to facilitate trek through forest for tracking gorillas.
This allows each visitor to spend quality time with gorillas but keeping at specified distance.
Of course gorillas are at liberty to touch humans if they feel like. As one brushed my body as he
passed by suddenly. And I chuckled waving at him. No loud talk or noise of humans allowed.
Only gorillas have the right to make sounds.
Gorillas behave gently not causing any harm usually to humans. They get aggressive only when feel
threatened. Else they just keep busy in eating leaves and fruits. Vegetarian buddies. Do not need even
water as leaves moist their bodies perfectly.
Immensely intelligent. Gorillas use innovative tools for their needs. They behave absolutely like humans.
Very emotional too. All clearly seen and felt by me through their gestures. They use hand gestures a lot
for interaction. And scream to signify alarm or threat.
One hour was allowed to be with one group of gorillas. I closely observed their behavior. Then followed
my emotional goodbye.
After my heartwarming moments with mountain gorillas, my quest took me to different part of Uganda to meet other apes, the chimpanzees. Also fondly called chimps, they match similar DNA with humans, just as gorillas.
So now I was on my journey to Kibale National park at 10 hours drive.
In fact before I embarked on my mission of tracking chimps, I was in somber mood as I was clearly told by guide and forest authorities that they do not guarantee of spotting chimps. Or chance may be that I spot many chimps and spend good time with them. And I will call myself the fortunate one that I came across many chimps and happened to be up close with them for more than an hour. Felt privileged meeting them in tropical forests of Africa.
Chimps live mostly in forest canopies but do come on ground. When I happened to be in forest they not only came down but spent lot of time as family get together. Caressing. Interacting. Few took a short nap too.
As food they prefer fruits but they eat variety of food like leaves, insects, eggs and sometimes even small animals too.
Kibale National park is also a famous research site for chimpanzee study.

I found so many similarities between the gorillas, chimps and the humans.
These apes give birth to one baby, or sometime may be twins,once a year.
They resemble many features and facial expressions with large hands and toes to clasp.
Emote like us and use sounds to communicate.
Make gestures. Laugh. Cry. Play. And fight hard too.
They have thinking minds like us.
Meeting the great apes, with whom we share our forefathers, has been such joy which will remain with me lifelong.
Spread the love

56 Comments

  1. Very interesting and insightful article. I didn’t know that Gorillas share 98% DNA with us human beings. Also when you told me that you would be travelling all the way to Uganda, I has this thought in my mind that I can very well see one of them in some zoo but now I came to know that this is not possible and one has to travel to Africa to see them. WoW!

    • Thank you for reading. Yes this is fact that anyone who wishes to see mountain gorillas has to travel to one of the three African countries and not only this be ready to pay huge permit fee, months in advance, as very limited visitors allowed.

  2. I think it’s a great experience to have an am so pleased with the amount of staff they had on hand to escot your group. Not only to help to ensure your safety but to also ensure the safety of the gorillas. I can see why some would complain about pricing but it’s so necessary when so much could go wrong.

  3. Wow! This is so exciting. I always love your off-beat and unique adventures. I love that humans have to behave appropriately in Gorilla’s kingdom and we are not allowed to act as if we own the Earth.

  4. This is amazing!!! I remember going to an orangutan sanctuary in Malaysia. It was beyond interesting. They are so like us, it’s frightening! The emotions and facial expressions especially. What a great reminder of how we are just animals too.

  5. This looks like such an incredible experience. I bet it was awesome to get so close to the Gorillas and spend time with them.

  6. Wow, I didn’t know there were mountain gorillas and low land gorillas. Thanks for sharing the info, a dream to go on a safari!! I can’t believe how close you were to them, its incredible!

    • Thank you. Being close depends more on gorillas because humans are not allowed to go that close but gorillas can come closer on their will and that is what happened they came closer to me and I was delighted.

  7. Hi Indu. Truly loved reading your post and meeting these wonderful mountain Gorillas here! Thanks to you. I am glad when you say “none in the zoos in whole world”. Animals should be in the wild which is their home. Its amazing how you made all this effort to get to them and fulfil your wish list! Good luck for more adventures 🙂

  8. Isn’t Uganda such a beautiful country? I went there last year and went on a Nile tour, but didn’t make it into the mountain forests. What an amazing experience to see the gorillas so close – it must have been just a little bit scary though!

  9. I don’t think a lot of people travel to Uganda, atleast from India.So it was a fresh change to read about a new country and learn about a new species of Gorilla.

  10. Oh wow talk about a dream of a lifetime. After years of watching documentaries and reading about these amazing animals it would be such a dream come true to visit them. I recently read this week that Koko the gorilla that learned sign language has recently died at the age of 40 – what remarkable creatures they are.

  11. This really seems like an awesome experience being so up close with the gorillas. I am glad I got to know more about them! I won’t feel that much scared if I ever happen to meet them. Would love to have this experience too!

  12. Seeing the mountain gorillas in Uganda is definitely on my bucket list! You are so lucky for having experienced this. They are amazing creatures for sure

  13. Oh wow! That is so awesome! Thank you for showing me these beautiful beings. What an experience to watch them so up close and personal. Definitely a once in a lifetime deal.

  14. Hi there I am so happy I found your blog, I really found you
    by mistake, while I was looking on Askjeeve for something else,
    Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks for
    a remarkable post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to browse
    it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be
    back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the fantastic job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*