Photo of the Week: Mountain Gorilla at Bwindi National Park

A Gorilla & its Young one at Bwindi National Park Uganda

The mountain gorillas are endangered apes found only in 3 places in the world. They have 98% of human DNA and the male develop a spot of silver hair on the back when they grow old, earning them the name “silverback.” Though usually very calm and gentle animals, the males have been known to display aggressive, territory-marking behavior if they feel threatened: roaring, barking or standing on their legs and thumping on the chest, producing a disarming thudding sound. The mountain gorillas have a mysterious, mesmerizing aura, maybe due to their resemblance to humans and beautiful, long black fur.

Bwindi is nicknamed “The Place of Darkness” due to its dense canopies and thick greenery. It has earned UNESCO World Heritage distinction due to its exceptional ecosystem. Many more endangered species have found sanctuary here, including the verve monkeys, the red tailed guenons and the forest elephants, the smallest species of elephants. It’s a bird haven – hundreds of colorful birds both big and small fill the air with melodic cries, or fly about in search of food – an unlucky prey, an inviting fruit on the tree.

The beauty of Bwindi is best captured through a nature walk – any of the 6 hiking trails takes you through incredible scenes of plummeting waterfalls, more ape encounters, fascinating trees and flowers, dramatic rising and falling mountain ridges.