Our Safari Consultant Allana Botha – Gorilla trekking in Uganda and Rwanda” – July 2012
Queen Elizabeth Park/Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda/Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda
Little did I know what a whirlwind adventure awaited me. After an overnight in Entebbe, Uganda greeted my senses with its old world charm. My drive from Kampala to Queen Elizabeth National Park meandered through villages and green hills, banana plantations, small crop farms and eager children calling ‘hello’. Enterprising ‘bike taxis’ and stall keepers of a ll merchandise highlighted the road ways as we crossed the Equator.
The beautiful plains of the Queen Elizabeth National Park left me speechless with its never ending vistas. Prolific Uganda kob and topi with elephant and tree climbing lions made for fabulous game viewing. Ishasha Wilderness Camp was welcoming after a hectic day offering a peaceful haven along the river, until the evening when a lion came roaring through the camp! The camp staff was attentive and the food was sumptuous!
We continued onwards to Bwindi National Park. Climbing up mountain passes we viewed red tail monkeys, black & white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys and r’host along the roadside. The valleys and sights were just breathtaking. Arriving at Gorilla Forest Camp was mesmerizing with the forests and rumbling skies in the late afternoon.
There was great excitement the morning of our gorilla trek. We were trekking the Habinyanya family. We met with our guide and trekked for two hours. The guides, trekkers and porter s were just great. Any tiredness from the trek faded immediately on sighting our first gorilla. The lazy sounds of them munching away and rustling leaves made one aware that they were all around us. The guide cleared the vegetation for better viewing an d seeing our first silverback was breathtaking.
The Gorilla Forest Camp was wonderful to return to. The ladies enjoyed a massage before dinner at our camp. The staff was exceptional as was the food.
The next day we climbed and curved through mountains and valleys to the Rwanda border. We cleared customs and continued onwards to Gorilla Mountain View Lodge with Sabyinyo Volcano in the background. In the evening w e enjoyed a cultural show.
The following day brought the excitement of a golden monkey trek. This was different than the gorilla trek as we hiked through farmlands and a bamboo forest. These delightful creatures were all around and quite at home with us being there.
The following morning I left our group and went onwards to Kigali which is a clean, developing city. After a very emotional visit to the Genocide museum, I did some last minute shopping at the local market before leaving for the airport to connect with my return flight home.
An amazing journey and adventure!
– by: Allan Botha