Mountain Gorilla

Gorilla IR_47

The tour group consisted of a small group of tourists, a guide, my porter, and a guy with a machine gun that trailed us. They explained that sometimes the gorillas got violent, and it was necessary to have protection along with us.

In US dollars, a typical Ugandan family (two parents, six children) needs $3,240 to $5,100 per year to survive.

A photographer traveling to see the gorillas, would need a good camera body, a backup body, a long lens, and a wide lens. Bonus points for a macro lens and, if you’re weird like me, an infrared camera and an ultraviolet camera. It’s not unusual for someone to be carrying upward five years of a family’s salary in gear alone in order to see the gorillas for one hour.

Shortly after we got back, an American woman was kidnapped from a national park in Uganda and held for ransom.

The guns were not for protecting against the gorillas.