Post #16. My Uganda & Rwanda Adventure: Nature Safaris. Gorillas & David. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. 4 May 2012.

May 30th, 2012 | Categories: Uncategorized | Tags:

-David With The Kahungye Family of Gorillas In The Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park-

-Gorillas In Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park-

Friday 4th May, David’s Big Gorilla Trekking Day.  Bwindi  Impenetrable Forest National Park

Today we trekked to spend one magical hour with a family of Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi.

These critically endangered primates live in family groups of between 8 and 25 individuals. A number of these families   have been  habituated over a period of 5 years each to tolerate human presence for a brief period every day.

In this southern part of Bwindi are found the Nkuringo,  Nshongi, Kahungye and  Mishaya families. Only 8 visitors per day are allowed to track (trek to) each gorilla family.

I prefer to use the word “Trekking” to see the Mountain Gorillas because I think “Tracking” might suggest we are packing the best bows to go hunting which is NOT what is being done.  We hiked/trekked to the family to spend a very magical hour observing them.

We had an early start (at 0745) from the Camp, walking to the nearby park headquarters, where we receive a briefing and selected our porters for the day.

Then we’re off on a drive of about 1 hours through a stunning,  forested road to the point where we  we registered, were briefed on the rules and started our gorilla track.   A wonderful thing about the  Gorilla trekking in Uganda is that each group of 8 guests goes to a different and very separate point to be briefed and start their trek.  This makes the experience feel very unique,  non-touristy and special.  It is very  different in Rwanda and I will discuss this when we get to my Rwanda treck.

The trek can be strenuous because of the steep slopes and the high altitude.  Our trek was quite strenuous because we went through very dense rain forest where we had to watch every step we took to avoid our feet falling through into mud or water.  Plus, much of the way was up hill.  It was invaluable to each have our own personal a porter helping to guide our every step.  The cost is only about  $15 per person.  Plus, this helps employ local young men.  My porter was wonderful and a local student.

Initially, we walked along established paths,  our ranger coordinating with the advance trackers by radio to guide us in to the gorillas last know location. As we got closer to where the gorillas were,  we left the paths and our rangers and porters began hacking our way through the slippery underbrush.

Then we started see fresh Gorilla droppings!!!  We were all never so excited to see shit 😉

Our porters stayed back as our privileged party of 8 and our ranger approached the gorilla family to spend our magical hour with them.

The hour passes all too quickly, and then it’s time to reluctantly make our way back to our waiting vehicles.

After the Gorilla tracking, we will transfer to the nearby Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge. The facility has 8 luxury stone bedrooms.  Views from the main balcony area stretch across to Rwanda and the Virungas as well as all the way across the border towards Goma in the Congo.  Each room has its own twin basin en suite bathroom, with hot and cold water, as well as electric lights, plug points and a cozy fireplace.  The main lodge offers plush finishes with turned wood, and commissioned artwork from Ugandan artists adorn the walls throughout.

For those particularly weary after two days of hiking, an indulgent and relaxing massage by a trained masseuse may be just the ticket.

Overnight: Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge, 1 night

Daily Meal Plan: Full Board

Communications: Wifi available but only in the main lounge area, mobile telephone coverage available.  My dongle did not work well for wifi in my room.
http://www.wildplacesafrica.com/gorilla-lodge/

As  time permits,  I  will post more details and many photos from my trip!

NOTE:  My journey is my “DavidTravel Research Trip” to know the destination and design the right trip for each client’s preferences.  I do not recommend staying one night at each lodge as I am doing.

#visitUganda2012 #myuganda #Gorillas#Deluxe #Luxury #Rwanda#myUganda http://bit.ly/JR8jF3

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4 May 2012

 

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