Hiking and Hacking Through the Jungle to See Congolese Gorillas

There are only about 700 mountain gorillas in the world; half of them are spread across a range of mountains straddling the Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. Last month, rebels in eastern Congo killed and ate 2 gorillas living in that country’s Virunga National Park. Then amazingly, about three weeks ago, the rebels responsible for the slayings promised to stop killing the animals.

Travelers braving the 4+ hour hike into the park, shooting pictures of their experience with the gorillas, and then hiking back out, is one of the best ways to create awareness of these animals’ situations and bring them back from the brink of extinction. That’s where Mark Inns comes in.

Mark is a guy form the UK who decided to take a 16-month break and travel the world. One of his stops included a visit with these threatened, majestic creatures. Traveling with a local guide, Mark encountered a mountain gorilla family: a Silverback, 2 females, 2 infants, and 2 younger males. Here’s what he saw:

If you want to learn more about these animals, Wildlife Direct maintains a great blog updated regularly by a local wildlife conservationist: lots of news — and lots of pictures.