A typical gorilla sighting

Habitats around Bai Hokou vary significantly from open bais, open mono-dominant Gilbertiodendron forest to mixed forest and dense herb/liana forest. As a consequence, viewing gorillas can vary throughout the day. Gorillas spend most of their time on the ground but also a substantial amount in trees. Trees can provide fantastic views of several members at the same time, although sometimes the gorillas can climb up to 25m or more, making viewing more difficult. Western lowland gorilla groups can be quite spread, often limiting visitors to viewing one or two individuals at a time. However occasionally visitors are treated to spectacular views of the whole group when they visit bais. Several of the gorillas’ staple foods are found in dense vegetation, particularly during the dry season (Nov-Feb). Consequently, visibility can be restricted. Visitors may have to walk significant distances both in reaching the gorillas and during observation time. Vegetation can be extremely dense with thorny vines; visitors may have to cross water. The forest is a naturally dark, making photography challenging. Charges and displays are a natural part of the gorillas’ behavioural repertoire. If the gorillas charge, it is important not to move, and remain quiet, with eyes averted. While following the gorillas, moving quietly through the forest, is essential to ensure optimum viewing.