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April 15th 2003
Published: August 19th 2007
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Isn't he beautiful?!  Isn't he beautiful?!  Isn't he beautiful?!

(One of our many gorilla shots)

...had a 200kg Silverback Gorilla throw a tree at you? No?! Well, we have.

You want more details?!?! Well, OK then...

We spent an awesome hour watching a family of gorillas in Ugandas Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. There was the mighty silverback, blackbacks, females, juveniles and a three month old baby. They were wandering round the undergrowth feeding, and we were hacking our way through the undergrowth trying to watch them. There were three people in our group (a maximum of six are allowed to watch any one group per day), along with a guide, three trackers and three armed guards. The hike into the forest was not easy, but well worth it. We would have paid again the next day to see the gorillas a second time if we had the cash on us! Hopefully some of the 50 or so photos we took will come out. The ones of a female towards the end should be ok, she came out of the bushes and sat in the open in front of us munching away on some nettles, as long as our heart rates slowed enough to hold the camera steady. We could go on about our gorilla experience all day, but there are other things to write about.

Almost as soon as we crossed from Ethiopia into Kenya the wildlife turned up, nothing really exotic, but enough to keep us staring out of the windows in eternal hope. We saw impala, baboons and monkeys, loads of birds, bat-eared fox, black-backed jackel, giraffe, Grants and Thomsons Gazelles and some other gazelle type animals that we couldnt identify.

We have also been to the Queen Elizabeth National Park here in Uganda. We went on several games drives and saw hippo, warthogs, Defassa Waterbuck, Ugandan Kob, a Spotted Hyena, Fish Eagles, baboons and elephant. There was a large group of elephant close to the side of the road, from old saggy females down to surprisingly tiny babies. There was an adolescent male strutting his stuff in front of the truck, flapping his ears, trumpeting, stomping on the ground. Then he seemed to realise that we were bigger than him, although he could have inflicted some damage with those tusks, and started backing away, still flapping and trumpeting like some tough beast, right into a tree. Our campsite there was pretty amazing, basic, but when you can sit there and have hippo, elephant, waterbuck, warthogs and Maribou storks almost wander around you, the rest pales into insignificance.

We leave Kampala this afternoon to go down to Jinja so people can raft the "Source of the Nile". From there we go back into Kenya and the parks at Nakuru and Naivasha, before heading on to Nairobi.

Further messages to follow, when we have been on more game drives. Bring on the big cats!!!

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