Reunion with Alan Root after 25 years

Alan Root, the famous international wildlife photographer visited the Kahuzi-Biega National Park after 25 years passed over.

25 year ago, I met Root in Kahuzi-Biega when he came here for the production of the famous film “Gorrilas in the Mist”. His aim was to film a silverback gorilla charging towards the camera. One of the habituated silverbacks, called Mushamuka, was selected to play this task. I was working with him as the guide for three months.

During the filming, Mushamuka bit Root’s right thigh and he had to be flown to Nairobi to be hospitalized for three months. Then he came back here, joined me again and started tracking and filming Mushamuka group again for another three months.

Root successfully completed the filming and went back to Nairobi where he lived. At that time there was no internet and I lost his contact.

So it was like a miracle for me to hear from Radar Nishuli, the current KBNP’s director that Alan Root is here and he is looking for me. It was unbelievable for me. Radar said to me “Get yourself ready and guide Root your fellow to Cimanuka group tomorrow”. Early in the morning, I went to Hotel Horizon where he was lodging and and met Root.

After the long 25 years, Root is now 75 years old and I’m 49 years old.

Root recognized me immediately despite the 25 years behind us and we both shouted. We drove straight to Park headquarters in Tshivanga, met Pilipili, the gorilla tracker of that time and went straight to Cimanuka group where we filmed several members of gorillas.

We went back to Tshivanga and shot some pictures for our souvenirs. Root’s mission was to come and photograph gorillas while using his GPS for the data because in the future he plans to bring several millionaire people who will be visiting gorillas in this area, namely Kahuzi-Biega National Park and Volcano National Park.

Life is really short and the world has become a village where people shall meet soon or later.

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