High above our heads they were, up in the trees, loudly ripping off the leaves and moving swiftly from one branch to another. This was a surprise to us: all the pictures we had seen showed relaxed gorillas sitting on the ground surrounded by juicy, leafy vegetation.
Pieces of wood came raining down on us. It was more an acoustic entertainment than a visual one, since we could barely see them. But they must have felt like pleasing us and moved on to a clearing where they settled in the high grass.
There is nothing more soothing then watching these beautiful creatures. Peacefully sitting and munching away, then move a few meters and continue eating. The silverback was out of sight but felt very close. His continuous chest – beating impressed us. Whether it had the same effect on the boss of the wild group, we do not know…
Finally Makara showed his black face by sitting up. Just his head could be seen. He looked over his shoulder straight at us, the mesmerized tourists. We had prepared for this moment: just look, forget about taking photos. So between the two of us, we took turns looking and clicking.
Just when this magic hour was about to end, the silverback left his cozy place and gathered his family to move on. Kindly they paraded in front of us, in full view. Our gasping and many “uhs” are clearly audible on the video, the perfect dubbing.
What a sight: the young ones playing with each other – unwilling to move; babies swaying on the backs of their mothers and older boys who needed a bit of persuasion from big daddy! A gentle spank gets them to obey. At last, the impressive stature of Makara, checking that nobody was left behind. If this does not bring you to tears, what could?