I never in a million years ever believed I would get to spend time with gorillas in the wild.
The shock of living the pages of National Geographic magazine, over and over, is what makes this 125th Anniversary Expedition so spectacular. For me, Rwanda marked the final stop in what has been, truly, a life-changing journey, from one superb adventure to the next.
Walking into the heart of the African jungle, pushing aside bamboo and vines and entering the dark and silent world of these last few remaining Great Apes was, for me, a grand finale for this celebration of National Geographic Society.
And what better way to celebrate than to spend a quiet hour with a family of gorillas? Although it was not so quiet: Wrestling gorillas make quite a lot of noise, as you can gather from the video. But to smell, hear, and watch (and sometimes even be touched by) the gorillas of Rwanda, was nothing short of holy, and best of all, was simply to have the chance to stare right into their eyes, and feel that kinship with an animal that is not so different from us.