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Safari Guides are rarely close to a Wi-Fi hotspot, but Passage to Africa has made it possible for its guides to regularly post blogs far away from the computerized world. These outpost missives reveal experiences you just canʻt find on Google. Meet guide Sandor Carter, who reports sighting silverbacks in Rwanda.




Photo:  Young mountain gorilla


This year, there’s been an unexpected increase in mountain gorilla numbers in Rwanda. One of the groups that usually lives on the Congo side of the mountains has slipped over the border. There are 22 of them, 4 of them silverbacks.

Seeing them is one of the miraculous pleasures of safari: a one or two hour trek through the cooler morning air, and then an unforgettable glimpse of black fur.

You generally see the silverbacks first. The dominant males of the group are always out in the open, reassuring the others with their visibility. Then the others come into view: the black backs — the immature males — showing off like adolescents in most species; the mums, and the young.

It’s always a very moving and humbling encounter. There are only 750 of these big apes in the world. They’re uncannily human. And they simply don’t survive in captivity. But they’re thriving here, and it’s one of the success stories of conservation.


A PASSION FOR AFRICA:  About Sandor Carter: 



Sandor’s first career was seven years with the British Army. A graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst he went on to see active service as a troop leader in the Middle East during the First Gulf Conflict of 1990/91. In 1993 he was employed by Elephant Back Safaris and it was there that he learnt the ropes of the safari business, as a camp manager, guide and elephant mahout. This is also where he met Passage to Africa founding partner Michael Lorentz. After seven years in Botswana Sandor moved to East Africa where he both guided and managed two of the most remote camps in Tanzania, Greystoke Mahale and Sand Rivers Selous. In 2005, after twelve years in the field, Sandor was invited to join Ker & Downey Kenya Safaris, established in 1946, the oldest safari company in Africa and where he is also a partner.

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