Posts Tagged ‘rwanda’

Meet the Zoo’s Gorillas

Thursday, April 29th, 2010
Kibibi means "little lady" in Swahili. Photo - National Zoological Park.

Kibibi means “little lady” in Swahili. Photo – National Zoological Park.

At the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, our family of Western Lowland Gorillas is growing. Its newest member, Kibibi, born at the zoo on January, 10, 2009, can be found climbing and playing near her mother, 28-year-old Mandara.

Kibibi, who is getting bigger on grapes, bananas, and sweet potatoes, is known for her inquisitive nature. She spends her time hanging out with her acrobatic brother Kojo, but always seems to have her mom in sight.Gorillas are fascinating creatures. Whether you’re watching them at the Zoo, or doing some gorilla trekking on our upcoming adventure in Uganda and Rwanda, there are some simple rules for making the most of your experience.


A mountain gorilla finds a meal in the Ugandan jungle.

First, try not to stare, as a gorilla may see this as aggression and assume you want to fight. Instead, do what the gorillas do – check them out from under lowered brows and glance away quickly as your eyes meet. To avoid intimidating a gorilla, crouch down and make yourself smaller. Try to treat gorillas as you would a small child – avoid sudden movements and loud noises.

For more information on gorillas, see the Zoo’s primate page, or check out our interview with our Mammal Curator, Kris Helgen.

Ready for an adventure? Click for more information on our Uganda and Rwanda Gorilla Safari. Limited space is still available.

What’s the most amazing thing about primates? Please share!

Photo: Gorilla Trekking in Central Africa

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Sometimes, saying “I’ll never be the same again” is a good thing. Gorilla trekking  is a life-changing experience. Little compares to the magic combination of the rainforests of Uganda and Rwanda, up-close views of these endangered animals, and a unique understanding of the 740 mountain gorillas still make their homes in the primeval forests of central Africa. We’re sure you’ll never be the same after this.

What could be more magical than a baby mountain gorilla?

A Dream Come True for a Wildlife Lover

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Amy Chelovich is Marketing Manager for Global Adrenaline, where her focus is on marketing adventures around the world. Her favorite destination is Africa, including Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda. Click here to read more Amy’s bio.

A male silverback and baby Mountain Gorilla

A male silverback and baby Mountain Gorilla. Photo: Global Adrenaline

Growing up in the Midwest I satisfied my desire to see animals “in the wild” by visiting zoos and watching television programs that explored Africa and the magnificent wildlife that calls that faraway land home. But after traveling to Africa twice in the last year, I realize that absolutely nothing compares to the experience of going on safari in the great game parks of northern Tanzania, or tracking endangered mountain gorillas through the bamboo forest and dense jungle of Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda.

The Serengeti safari experience was beyond my imagination. Within a few days I watched a lone black rhino roam the Ngorongoro Crater, observed two lionesses leading 3 of their cubs across the Serengeti plains from the basket of a hot-air balloon, and witnessed the birth of a wildebeest baby. There’s no need for television here where you can fall asleep to the calls of lions, hyenas, and cape buffalo through the night. I even came across a baboon drinking out of the swimming pool one afternoon at our safari lodge!

Gorilla tracking in Rwanda was an entirely different experience. Hiking through lush green forests with expert guides and trackers earned us an hour of quality time spent with a group of 9 gorillas. We watched the dominant male silverback playing with his baby, while adult females were eating and siblings swung through the low branches of nearby trees. As we watched and listened silently in the brush, the gorillas would settle a mere few feet away and go about their daily lives unfazed. Watching this group of gorillas snack and play made me feel like I was watching a family of humans. It was truly indescribable.

Cheetah overlooking the savannah Photo: David Schachter

Cheetah overlooking the savannah. Photo: David Schachter, Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

I will always remember the endless herds of zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, and cape buffalo that grace the landscapes of Tanzania’s vastly abundant game parks, as well as the rush of excitement that surged through my body as an adult female gorilla grazed past me in pursuit of her young. For all of the animal lovers and Africa dreamers out there, this is an animal adventure not to be missed!

Click here to learn about our newly added Tanzania and Rwanda adventure.

Click here to learn more about tours to Africa.

What is your dream destination?