I am always amazed at the gorillas. Their eyes are so intuitive. They possess a certain knowing. These gorillas were at the very top of the Bisoke Volcano at 3,711 meters (or 11,504 feet). The hike starts at 5,000 feer, through the jungle and seven foot stinging nettles. We stopped many times and drank a lot of water. Once we found the gorillas, we left out bags and backpacks with the porters. We then traveled through the top of the volcano hand over hand on top of the slippery nettles. I fell off several times, but the guide had a firm hold on me. When we finally reached the gorillas, they were resting and eating. Moving around was almost impossible. There were no certain footshold or comforting positions. At that altitude, the air was thin and exhausting. Nevertheless, we made it up to the top and down in one piece. All the porters are very well trained to get you there and back safely.

Photographs of gorillas in Rwanda by Shirley Kleppe

gorillas in rwanda

gorilla happily resting

gorillas at Bisoke Volcano

gorillas eating

gorillas resting

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