Primates Safari: Uganda & Rwanda - Day 7

Cloudy skies, temperature 68 rising to 79 after the hike. Altitude at the start of our hike was 7624 feet hiking up to 8136 feet where we made contact.

Today we trekked to visit the Kwintoga Group of mountain gorillas, which was expertly led by François and Edward – François was one of the original porters for Diane Fossy. At an age of 70, and with more than 30 years of service with the Volcanoes National Park, he is still going strong and provides an amazing look into gorilla behavior. Edward, also a seasoned ranger, has worked with National Geographic and was great at getting us into position. What a perfect team!

The Kwintoga Group, originally from Congo, consists of 22 individuals including 3 silverbacks (all brothers), and one baby less than 6 months old. Three years ago, the lead silverback died and a fight between the brothers finally determined the leader. We encountered the group having a leisurely time feeding and relaxing. The shooting conditions were challenging with heavy cloud cover. Our normal ISO was in the ranged from 2500 to 6400. I selected my D4 and a 70-200mm as my primary gear set. Although I had my D810 with me, I could not use it due to the low light conditions.

After we cleaned-up at the lodge, I took the group to the local farmers market for an authentic Rwandan farm-to-market experience. We’re looking forward to another great day trekking for mountain gorillas tomorrow.

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