Trekking for Mountain Gorillas

Lida with a Mountain Gorilla Snacking on Bamboo in Volcano National Forest, Rwanda

Lida with a Mountain Gorilla Snacking on Bamboo in Volcano National Forest, Rwanda

There are about 700 mountain gorillas in the world, all of whom live in the forests of Rwanda and Burundi. If you wish to have the privilege of visiting them you must pay $500 for a permit plus the cost of 4 wheel drive transport. But that steep price comes with a veritable guarantee of a sighting since the daytime trackers follow each family’s movements and communicate their coordinates to the guides of the 8 person groups.  (These trackers also perform the function of deterring poachers, something they have been doing successfully for the past 10 years).

There are 8 gorilla families (out of 30)that have become sufficiently habituated that humans can safely approach them.  We spent an hour with family 13.

Agashya, the silverback patriarch of  the family has 9 wives and 15 children. We saw about half of the family: the children swung from vines, climbed trees, played in water, beat their chests and everyone spent a lot of time eating bark and bamboo.  A baby nursed and the grand silverback seemed to pose for our cameras.  We were often no more than 10 feet away.  It was thrilling!

Our tracker. (The gun is to deter illegal poachers)

Our tracker. (The gun is to deter illegal poachers)

Agashya, the silverback patriarch of family 13, "posing" for a photo.

Agashya, the silverback patriarch of family 13, "posing" for a photo.

Agashya Eating Bamboo.

Agashya Eating Bamboo.

One of Agashya's 9 wives nursing her baby.

One of Agashya's 9 wives nursing her baby.

A young mountain gorilla climbs a tree.

A young mountain gorilla climbs a tree.

Mama gorilla snacking on some bamboo.

Mama gorilla snacking on some bamboo.

–Lida

Hanky Panky CEO, Lida Orzeck is currently in Kigali, Rwanda with the International Organization for Women and Development, a medical humanitarian organization that brings volunteer surgeons and nurses to operate and care for women who suffer from obstetric fistula, and at the same time, train local surgeons in these surgical skills.

 

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About Hanky Panky

Over 30 years ago, in 1977, designer Gale Epstein created a hand-made lingerie set for her friend, Lida Orzeck, crafted out of embroidered handkerchiefs. The original designs were the inspiration for the company name, Hanky Panky. Blending traditional with modern glam looks, Hanky Panky is a fashion favorite of countless celebrities.
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One Response to Trekking for Mountain Gorillas

  1. Sherri Rosen says:

    The gorillas are magnificent, but it must have been awesome and inspiring to be there with them