It took a long time for Spanish primatologist Magda Bermejo to win the trust of the Ndzehi people, which had worn thin as they’d watched western lowland gorillas in the Congolese rainforest being poached, hunted for trophies, or shipped off to zoos. But once she’d earned their respect, the Ndzehi packed up their whole village and moved with Magda to Lossi, home to the largest population of gorillas in Congo, to help her with her research. Their intimate knowledge of the rainforest and gorilla-tracking skills proved invaluable to Magda’s work.
There are today estimated to be 20,000 of these intriguing primates in Congo’s Odzala National Park, where two ecolodges — Lango and Ngaga — have just opened to give travelers a chance to see these rare primates in a pristine and little-known wilderness.
Sophie was a guest of Go2Africa on this trip; all words and photos are her own.