Arriving at the Bwindi and the Gorilla Forest Camp
I left Albert, Ben and the rest of the Kyambura Lodge staff behind at 8:00 this morning, and started the journey towards Bwindi and the gorillas. Arthur had suggested a more scenic route; which I happily accepted although it was an hour longer. We found a small group of elephants just after setting out but other than lots of topis we mostly saw beautiful open plains.
We stopped at a supermarket in Kihihi (Pronounced Chi-hi-hi) to stock up on a few energy bars for the walk and made it to the Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp by 1:30 p.m. Arthur once again insisted on me eating lunch. I obliged and had delicious Thai chicken salad and sole. Most yummy!
I am very excited to be here, and while I don’t want to jinx anything, some fellow guest were returning at the same time having seen a family of 19 gorillas. So chances of actually hanging out with them are good.
Beautiful lodge that is one of only two lodges inside the forest. Tented style again and it’s quite chilly here. I have just declined the two heated water bottles – we’ll see if I regret it later, but I have been quite warm the previous two nights.
Arthur had arranged “a walk” around the place this afternoon; which unfortunately turned out to be one of the charity runs that we sometimes experience. It wasn’t sold to me that way – more of a practice walk for tomorrow. He left me with a local guide who took me to four places in three hours. The local medicine man was the only one who did not ask for money. While it was fun to visit the local school, the Pygmies and a banana distillery, and while I totally understand why they do what they do, the approach put a damper on the whole thing and it’s another little thing that I think A&K could have handled better.
Returned to camp at 5:30 p.m. and have since tried to get a somewhat reliable internet connection, so I can send the girls at home a sign of life.