We have been walking for more than three hours cutting our way through the dense forest, surrounded by tall trees and lush undergrowth. An earthy smell of rotting wood and the sound of creaking branches fill the atmosphere—otherwise, stillness; No signs of animal life so far. Suddenly, the air becomes laden with excitement as one of the trackers tells us that one of the gorilla families is resting nearby.
Ready to spot them, we start walking towards them through the forest, quietly. We keep walking until a sudden roar makes our blood curdle. A stunning silverback appears in front of us, the alpha male of the family. He bares his teeth. His overweighing dominance paralyses us, leaving us in a mixed state of fear and wonder for a few seconds. Before we are even able to make sense of the moment, we realise that the silverback has left and is now lying down next to one of the females and babies of the family.