A woman has recounted the moment a silverback gorilla ran at her and knocked her over while she was on her honeymoon in Rwanda.

Gemma Cosgriff, 29, was observing gorillas in their natural habitat with her husband Damian, when he captured the gorilla pushing her over on video.

The Melbourne local had been advised to act submissive and avoid eye contact with the massive animal.

"I was like 'don't look at him, don't look at him'," Ms Cosgriff told 9News.


The video shows the tour group observing the group of gorillas when a 300kg silverback gorilla suddenly moves and begins thumping his chest.

The animal rushes towards Ms Cosgriff and reaches his arm out, pushing her over into the long grass.

Fortunately, the gorilla then walks away, followed by a smaller gorilla, as a tour guide helps her to her feet.

Ms Cosgriff was wearing a bright pink shirt which she believes may have made her stand out to the gorilla.

The theory could be correct according to Melbourne University anatomy and neuroscience lecturer Varsha Pilbrow.

"There is someone who looks slightly different, she's got a different coloured shirt... it could well be that the gorilla had been noticing her before that," she told 9News.

Dr Pilbrow added that there didn't appear to be any signs of aggression from the gorilla towards Ms Cosgriff in the video clip.

The 29-year-old was shaken, but not seriously injured from her close encounter, which she says might have been thanks to the gorilla's soft hands.


"Even though it's really big, it's quite cushiony like a pillow, so that didn't hurt at all," she said.

There are only 800 mountain gorillas left in the world and are found in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.