The gorillas of Uganda choose their home for seclusion and inaccessibility and the aptly named, world heritage-listed Bwindi Impenetrable Forest certainly fits the bill. Trekking this national park of ancient forest and volcanoes in the Virunga mountains can be slippery work and breathtaking for reasons other than the spectacular scenery, but to spend an hour with the great primates is worth every muscle twinge and laboured breath; here is an animal with which we share more than just a near match of genetic code. Sit near these beautiful, overwhelmingly familiar relatives and you’ll witness protective, aloof silverbacks overseeing their family, placid but vigilant mothers tending their babies and playful, curious infants learning their new environment and family relationships. You’ll understand how the family operates, so readily can you read their behaviour by comparing to humans. But looking at their face and actions in such close proximity is the real spine-tingler; so close is the empathic connection, you only have to experience their personable nature to understand that our intrinsic link is one that’s far from missing.