Incredible news safarians! WE are going LIVE from the centre of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda with expert safari guide Brent Leo-Smith. WE are going to be spending time with one of the world’s most elusive and majestic creatures, an animal that has captured the imagination of conservationists, filmmakers, storytellers and safari rangers for decades, the mountain gorilla.
There are only 700 of these amazing apes left in the wild and half of them are only found in the protected region of the Virunga mountain range, spanning the intersection of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. The highly fertile volcanic slopes provide the lush and verdant habitat preferred by these mountain gorillas. Our intrepid explorers will be heading out into the dense jungle on foot for an incredibly intimate wildlife experience in the presence of these astonishing animals.
Volcanoes National Park is located in the northern region of Rwanda. This is the oldest national park in Africa and was commissioned for the conservation of the highly threatened mountain gorilla. Protected by the Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke volcanoes this reserve is one of the only places on the planet where you could encounter the world’s most endangered great ape.
Mountain gorillas are typically non-aggressive and spend their days feeding peacefully on the firm fertile ground of the african rainforest as the youngsters of the troop bound in playful tranquility. It is said that being in the presence of one of these especially impressive apes elicits an emotional experience like no other.
Brent is the only member of the safariLIVE crew who has had the privilege of spending time with these astonishing apes. His experience includes time spent habituating the western lowland gorilla in Gabon. Brent’s excitement for this project is infectious as he is visiting a part of Africa he has yet to become familiar with.
( Safari Guide Brent Leo-Smith, Image Credit: Brent Leo-Smith)
He explains the feeling of seeing a gorilla for the first time as being an awe inspiring and truly exhilarating encounter. Described as being an exceptionally powerful animal he is anxious to explore the dynamics of an already habituated troop. One of the most interesting tit-bits of information is Brent’s description of actually tracking down these iconic animals. He details these apes as being one of the most flatulent animals out there, no doubt attributed to their diet, gorillas may be followed using a keen olfactory sense in conjunction with their tracks and chosen nesting spots.
WE will be going LIVE on this intrepid safari event on Friday the 22nd of July during the sunrise safari between 7 – 8am CAT. Once Brent starts the trek to find these apes WE will go LIVE so you can join him on his quest to find the family that he will be spending some time with. It is hard to know how quickly he will find them as it will depend very much on how close to the road they are at the time. Once with them Brent will spend one hour sitting with them in their natural habitat. We want you to feel the emotion of being so close to a huge mountain gorilla. By answering your questions and describing for you in detail what it feels like, Brent hopes to transport you from your homes to the side of a mountain in Rwanda so that you can get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures.
Make sure you get plenty of rest safarians as the experience could never be complete without your wonderful interaction. Send us your questions and comments on #safariLIVE and . Without you WE could never produce a virtual LIVE safari experience.
This mind-blowing experience is an event which will mean that your normal sunrise safari will be cut short as we whisk you away to the rainforest in Rwanda. However please be assured that this is a once-off event that we are testing and will in no way affect your normal daily safari going forward.
As this is a first-time event, WE do ask you to be patient as there is a possibility of some gremlin invasions. Should our feed from the rainforest fail, WE will bring you straight back to the Sabi Sand where the crew will be at the ready to continue the safari experience.
Once this first time exploration is over Brent will rejoin the crew here at Djuma and continue as normal bringing the African safari’s to you on a daily basis.
WE are in a state of excitement like no other and it’s only because we get to take you, the viewer, on this amazing journey with us!
We hope that you enjoy the ride!
One last thing safarians – please take a few minutes to fill in our survey (click here) and send it back to us as we are super interested in what content you guys like and whether this is something you will find the time to watch!