Virtual Gorilla Field Trip Lets You Hang Out With Them From Your Coronavirus Lockdown

Get up close and personal on a virtual gorilla field trip.

Virtual gorilla field trip will help you feel like you’re breaking free, traveling the world

How about a virtual gorilla field trip to help you break out of your coronavirus lockdown situation?

It’s now possible thanks to my friends Ulrico Grech-Cumbo and Amy Montalvo. They are part of the Habitat XR team that travels the world capturing VR virtual reality films of the most incredible landscapes and creatures.

For the best experience, click that 4-way arrow that lets you watch the video in full-screen.

The Habitat VR team went to incredible lengths to create this virtual gorilla field trip.
The Habitat VR team went to incredible lengths to create this virtual gorilla field trip.

Last year, Ellen Degeneres hired their company to get this incredible footage of gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

No easy trek

They spent three days doing crazy hikes to get to the gorillas.

Amy told me the hike was insane!

Can you imagine hiking with all this gear up difficult mountain trails just to make this virtual reality gorilla field trip possible?
Can you imagine hiking with all this gear up difficult mountain trails just to make this virtual reality gorilla field trip possible?

“It was basically vertical. The hardest workout I’ve ever done. We experienced searing heat, freezing cold, rain, hail, mist and crazy mud. We slipped and fell so many times. And it was all totally worth it!”

Of course, it was totally worth it to see amazing scenes like this. Now you can experience them, too, through a virtual gorilla field trip, courtesy of  HabitatXR.
Of course, it was totally worth it to see amazing scenes like this. Now you can experience them, too, through a virtual gorilla field trip, courtesy of HabitatXR.

Laying the ground work

This project was long in the making. Grech-Cumbo says, “I had visited both the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund offices and the Rwanda Development Board in 2018 to show them our work. I persisted with communication for many months to explore working together.”

Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi put the money behind the project to make the virtual experience with the gorillas happen.
Ellen Degeneres and Portia De Rossi put the money behind the project to make the virtual experience with the gorillas happen.

“One day, I got a call from the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, about working with them and The Ellen Fund on a VR experience.

The next thing we knew, we were 4,500m up the side of a jungle, stinging nettle everywhere, harsh sun interspersed with rain and hail, but most importantly amongst a family of 24 gorillas!”

I can only imagine how amazing it would be to view this movie through a VR headset!
I can only imagine how amazing it would be to view this movie through a VR headset!

So many ways to enjoy the gorillas

This is a kick.

This is what it was like for Ellen Degeneres to see the Gorilla VR movie she commissioned for the first time.

Obviously, the ultimate would be to view the video through a VR headset. The good news is that even if you don’t have one, you can still get an incredible up close experience by viewing the non-VR video.

I especially like how you can toggle 360-degrees. Better look behind you! There just might be an amazing gorilla making her way over to say, “Hey!”

Is this the kind of news you like to see?

If you want to stay informed but are struggling with all the bad news reported in traditional media, you might get some good tips from my TEDxTalk, “How To Watch The News And Get Inspired.”

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Virtual Gorilla Field Trip Lets You Hang Out With Them From Your Coronavirus Lockdown

by DarynKagan time to read: 2 min
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