I had my back to him as he came tumbling through the undergrowth, a whole 200 plus kilos of him. Branches and twigs were snapping as he pushed through. I was crouching, photographing a female and another Silverback.
He stopped short of me, I could feel his energy bearing down at my back. I relaxed my body as I half expected him to push me over, but he never. Slowly, I got up, grinning from ear to ear. What an experience!!
Taking the Rangers hand, I carefully retreated to allow the Silverback more space. The undergrowth was thick, we couldn’t move far before coming hard up against bushes. Slowly, I turned to face him, showing no fear, but always respect. I looked down intermittently between photos. I took only seven, and at 70mm, it was tight. I hoped like crazy that they were sharp. When I looked up, he was looking into me, with a mixed look of fascination, curiosity, and a slightly smug ‘I told you so’. After watching us for what felt like minutes, he retreated back into the thick undergrowth that is the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Uganda.
Experiences, not things!
A day in the life of a Wildlife Photographer