100th Issue Special: For the Love of Natural Wonders

Coming face-to-face with the silverback in Uganda, spotting petroglyphs in Azerbaijan, and kayaking through a rainforest in Cambodia—some places are best experienced at their rawest.  
100th Issue Special: For the Love of Natural Wonders
A sizeable population of the mountain gorilla can be found in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. Photo by: Onyx9/ Shutterstock

42. Uganda’s Enigmatic Giants

As the rose gold sun peeked over the surrounding hills in 2017, we descended into the shadowy depths of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. We trekked across a hollow jungle floor laden with layers of rain-soaked leaves and ducked beneath twisted, low-hanging branches. After about two hours of hiking through the dense, green forest, my eyes landed upon what I had been anxiously anticipating: a mighty silverback. The statuesque gorilla stood majestically on the trail, his silver-tinted fur catching the morning sun, while he casually consumed handfuls of leaves. I was mesmerised by the beauty. And then, as if on cue, the bushes behind me began to rustle and a second silverback leapt from the trees. Equally terrified and exhilarated, I darted out of the way and watched as the two silverbacks beat their chests, a display of masculine dominance that capped this unforgettable encounter.

­—Alicia Erickson

 

This entry is a part of our 100th issue special: 100 reasons to love travel spread out across 14 varied categories. Read all 100 entries on our digital forum or new National Geographic Traveller India app here.

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