Wednesday, 20 July 2016

WE present: safariLIVE gorillas in Rwanda



Incredible news safarians! WE are going LIVE from the centre of the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda with expert safari guide Brent Leo-Smith. WE are going to be spending time with one of the world's most elusive and majestic creatures, an animal that has captured the imagination of conservationists, filmmakers, storytellers and safari rangers for decades, the mountain gorilla.

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There are only 700 of these amazing apes left in the wild and half of them are only found in the protected region of the Virunga mountain range, spanning the intersection of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. The highly fertile volcanic slopes provide the lush and verdant habitat preferred by these mountain gorillas. Our intrepid explorers will be heading out into the dense jungle on foot for an incredibly intimate wildlife experience in the presence of these astonishing animals.

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Volcanoes National Park is located in the northern region of Rwanda. This is the oldest national park in Africa and was commissioned for the conservation of the highly threatened mountain gorilla. Protected by the Karisimbi, Mikeno and Visoke volcanoes this reserve is one of the only places on the planet where you could encounter the world’s most endangered great ape.

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Mountain gorillas are typically non-aggressive and spend their days feeding peacefully on the firm fertile ground of the african rainforest as the youngsters of the troop bound in playful tranquility. It is said that being in the presence of one of these especially impressive apes elicits an emotional experience like no other.

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Brent is the only member of the safariLIVE crew who has had the privilege of spending time with these astonishing apes. His experience includes time spent habituating the western lowland gorilla in Gabon. Brent’s excitement for this project is infectious as he is visiting a part of Africa he has yet to become familiar with.

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( Safari Guide Brent Leo-Smith, Image Credit: Brent Leo-Smith)

He explains the feeling of seeing a gorilla for the first time as being an awe inspiring and truly exhilarating encounter. Described as being an exceptionally powerful animal he is anxious to explore the dynamics of an already habituated troop. One of the most interesting tit-bits of information is Brent’s description of actually tracking down these iconic animals. He details these apes as being one of the most flatulent animals out there, no doubt attributed to their diet, gorillas may be followed using a keen olfactory sense in conjunction with their tracks and chosen nesting spots.   

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WE will be going LIVE on this intrepid safari event on Friday the 22nd of July during the sunrise safari between 7 - 8am CAT. Once Brent starts the trek to find these apes WE will go LIVE so you can join him on his quest to find the family that he will be spending some time with. It is hard to know how quickly he will find them as it will depend very much on how close to the road they are at the time. Once with them Brent will spend one hour sitting with them in their natural habitat. We want you to feel the emotion of being so close to a huge mountain gorilla. By answering your questions and describing for you in detail what it feels like, Brent hopes to transport you from your homes to the side of a mountain in Rwanda so that you can get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures.

Make sure you get plenty of rest safarians as the experience could never be complete without your wonderful interaction. Send us your questions and comments on #safariLIVE and questions@wildearth.tv. Without you WE could never produce a virtual LIVE safari experience.

This mind-blowing experience is an event which will mean that your normal sunrise safari will be cut short as we whisk you away to the rainforest in Rwanda. However please be assured that this is a once-off event that we are testing and will in no way affect your normal daily safari going forward.

As this is a first-time event, WE do ask you to be patient as there is a possibility of some gremlin invasions. Should our feed from the rainforest fail, WE will bring you straight back to the Sabi Sand where the crew will be at the ready to continue the safari experience.

Once this first time exploration is over Brent will rejoin the crew here at Djuma and continue as normal bringing the African safari’s to you on a daily basis.

WE are in a state of excitement like no other and it’s only because we get to take you, the viewer, on this amazing journey with us!

We hope that you enjoy the ride!

One last thing safarians - please take a few minutes to fill in our survey (click here) and send it back to us as we are super interested in what content you guys like and whether this is something you will find the time to watch!

38 comments:

Kitty Korners said...

Thank you ALL for everything you do to share your beautiful world with all of us. To think that you are expanding our program to include one time visits to other areas is amazing and I hope it is successful so that we can also visit other areas in the future.
I have one favour to ask - PLEASE make replays of each drive available in HD on youtube (or somewhere) so that those of us who miss a drive can keep up. The highlight replays are nice but do not include any of the banter and valuable information provided by the presenters.
Shamsun

SimonB said...

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome! Can't wait ;-)

SimonB said...

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome can't wait ;-)

Colleen Rides said...

Extra special, should be exciting

Donna Potgieter said...

Wow...that is going to be an amazing experience...All the best to Brent and the WE team in bringing this viewing pleasure to us safarians. Regards, Donna from South Africa

Donna Potgieter said...

Wow...that is going to be an amazing experience...All the best to Brent and the WE team in bringing this viewing pleasure to us safarians. Regards, Donna from South Africa

bornfree said...

Brilliant...so looking forward to this...good luck Brent and the team and thanks for the opportunity to share these special moments with you...

Janie1 Gus said...

Amazing!!!! I certainly hope I can swing watching - somehow. I'm back in the work force and getting up at 4:30 AM is no picnic so watching at 1 AM is going to be a huge challenge. I did not say "impossible" though!!! LOL

naomi h said...

Thank you Graham and Brent and everyone else for making this possible. Brent (learn to whisper :-) since we all know you can't sometimes contain your excitement:-)

Kathie Robinson said...

WE keeps on going 'where no man has gone before' with live experiences for those of us fixated on our screens. Awesome and exciting. Thanks!

Ladoo Johnson said...

Omg ~I am so excited~I love gorillas. Thank you so much WE! <3

Ladoo Johnson said...

So exciting! I love gorillas ~Thank you so much WE! <3

Ann McGaw said...

In 2010 I did this exact trip. It was difficult as the climb up was at 5,000 feet to 7,000 feet. Hard for me to breathe, but they all waited on us. You have a guide to take you to the group you are to visit. There are rangers with the gorillas at all times so Brent won't have to "search" for them. Spending an hour with a family of 21 including a 3 month old baby was the most exciting thing I have ever done. I wish I could stay up that late, but not possible. Look forward to the video. Ann from Indiana.

ruthindavie said...

You can see replays by joining Djuma Djunkies Video Page on Facebook.

Johan Snyder said...

Fantastic, I'll be watching

Vicky Sanders said...

EXCITING!! I am thrilled for this opportunity, and cannot thank WildEarth enough. The timing is great as well as I just watched the documentary, Virunga. The only way this could be any better is if I was sitting there with Brent seeing these marvelously interesting creatures. Thank you, thank you. Vicky, New Mexico USA

Yannitha said...

I would love to go to the jungle with WE not only for the apes but for pygmy elephants, tigers, bears or jaguars. It`s great that you expand and where ever you take us we will follow and be excited. Amazing news... I hope there will be an archive because I won`t be able to watch it on Friday but fingers crossed for a great experience and a wonderful hour with this awesome creatures

Andrene Smith said...

Did you hear that.......thats me screaming! Thanks WE for making this wonderful experience possible. Brent will do an amazing job!

Mary Jones said...

I am truly thankful that I found SafariLive and have been riding and walking along with you for 1 year now. It has been my only way into your incredible world and I've enjoyed every moment. Can't wait to watch Brent on this new adventure. ❤

Anita Fiorillo said...

I'd love to know how WE decided on Rwanda rather than Uganda for this new adventure. I did a gorilla trek in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in 2005 with my family and it was absolutely incredible! Perhaps it's easier to get to Virunga than to Bwindi. Can't wait to see this. (I'm MaggiesMom on WE chat.)

Mary Jones said...

I am so thankful that I found SafariLive and have been riding and walking along with you for over a year now. I've enjoyed riding and walking with you and enjoyed every moment. I'm excited to see Brent on this new Adventure.

Mary Jones said...

I am truly thankful that I found SafariLive and have been riding and walking along with you for 1 year now. It has been my only way into your incredible world and I've enjoyed every moment. Can't wait to watch Brent on this new adventure. ❤

Jan Veader said...

WE is going above and beyond with this Live Drive! Thank you, thank you, thank you! <3

Marcelle Southey said...

WE - It is amazing what you do for us. We are incredibly privileged and it is much appreciated. Thank you!

Gelin said...

Wonderfull!!!!

Gelin said...

Wonderfull!!!

NaturesEye said...

I am stoked for this!! A dream come true. I have visited Rwanda a few times to see these Gorilla families and was awe-stuck & privileged each time.
Awesome choice - hope all goes well in the unforgiving environment there.

Linda Brown said...

Omgosh. ...I have always wanted to do this ! Thank You WE !!

Linda Brown said...

Omgosh. ...I have always wanted to do this ! Thank You WE !!

Laura Craft said...

Im so happy u are bring this to us,I hope I can stay wake! I love Brent and all our guides! They are Intelligent,kind n funny,I hope safarilive never stops! I have learned so much from this drive everyday and i truly love the animals and pray that they stay free and wild! TY so Much!!!

Gogi said...

I can't believe it.....one of the many things I have always wanted to do.. ...thank you so much for bringing this once in a lifetime experience.....way to go WE....doing a great job as always....long time viewer of WE since 2010.

Laura Brown said...

Awesome, Awesome and did I say AWESOME!!!!!! Such an exciting event to be included in!!! Thanks Wild Earth and Brent Leo Smith!!!!

Ann McGaw said...

I had the opportunity to do this trek in 2010. It was the hardest physical thing I've done because it is in altitude. We were at 5000 feet and climbed a hill 2000 feet high, jumped across a ditch and walked 40 minutes to spend an hour with 21 family members. IT WAS AWESOME! I was within a couple of feet of a silverback: there were 3 in the group. Also a 3 month old baby and others. It was amazing. I wish I could stay up for it but the time difference just doesn't do it. Thank you WE for this experience for all who can watch. Looking forward to the video. Ann from Indiana.

naomi h said...

Thank you Graham and WE. Awesome news! WE simply the best!

redmerlin777 said...

What can I say? Graham's vision for WE continues to be realised. He and all the WE team as well as the dedicated Volunteers, world wide have captured my heart and respect. Thank you for another adventure undreamed of in my youth.

Hermione said...

I am really excited!

Hilary Ann Pavid said...

Dear Louise
, How blessed you are......... Amazing Brent is to be visiting Virunga. I was immensely privileged to visit Virunga in 2009. The experience was deeply moving, almost spiritual. We spent an hour quietly watching them in all aspects of family life. One is not allowed to use flash photography at all but I managed to obtain some very special shots in spite of the low light. Be warned however! There is a particularly pernicious form of red ant which crawls up ones trousers and has a nasty bite. My friend and I both wished we had smothered our legs in Vaseline! Have a wonderful time as it is truly an experience of a lifetime.
Kindest regards from David ( piano player at St Martins and a great admirer of your mums superb voice)
P.S I am having supper with your mum tonight

Ellen Gabbert said...

Much luck and love your way Brent WE are all behind you. Amazing to think just how close our DNA matches. 98% I think it is. Buckle up the rest of our WE team as usual we are behind you also in Wendy, Rusty or whichever one has not expired yet. We are belted in with some hot coffee.