I spent a thrilling hour with a family of mountain gorillas in the Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda. Exuberant bright eyed youngsters roughhousing around the placid adults, while in the corner, half under a bush, a huge silver back gorilla lay on his tummy, cradling his tiny newborn in one hand while grooming it tenderly with the other.
Mum sat upright looking on with pride and maybe slight concern? I was so overcome by the privilege of seeing these magnificent creatures so close that I wanted to investigate the environmental protection. Rwanda is awash with high profile conservation projects, but I was interested in a small British charity called ICGP. They are building a stone wall 2m high and 1.5m feet wide all around the Parc des Volcans to keep out crop-raiding buffalo. The beekeepers that once placed their hives in the forest trees are now under the wing of ICGP and use the wall instead. Other than the National Parks, the entire country is cultivated and occupied.