Uganda Gorilla Trek Day Seven 2017

It’s gorilla day! I am super worried about making it to the end but I am sure that I will!

We started the day bright and early at 5:30am and headed down to the wooden hut for breakfast. We were greeted by a plate of banana, watermelon, pineapple and mango to start. I even had my first hot chocolate with milk in it since I’ve been here and it was so good! Breakfast then arrived which was a sweet pancake and a Spanish omelette, it was really good and I am so happy I had it since it set me up for a really tough day.

Before leaving we picked up our packed lunches which consisted of egg sandwich (for me), a boiled egg, biscuits, a pancake, a banana and some mango juice in a carton. After this we set off on our great adventure to go and see the monkeys! We travelled by foot to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and then met our guide Obed and we were briefed about rules such as not running away if we are charged at and not looking them in the eye.

 

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A friend and I practically matching with our specially carved gorilla head walking sticks before trekking off to see the gorillas!

I found the trek extremely hard and really struggled when physically getting to the gorillas since we had to cut through stiff vines and they were slippery too. I had a little cry but did eventually get to the gorillas! The gorillas were an amazing sight to see, climbing on tree trunks and baby ones swinging from vines onto their mother’s backs.

We were finishing up our one hour session with the gorillas when we came across a silverback alpha male having his lunch in the bushes of the rainforest.

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Shortly after we stood there gawking, the mother and her baby came to sit beside him and she put her arm around the child.

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It’s amazing to see such similarities to us humans from them thanks to evolution. Our time with them had to come to an end after a few brief snaps but as we trekked back through the rainforest we were hushed by Obed and told to look across the forest. At first, I could see nothing, then Obed pointed towards something large and grey in the distance. A forest elephant!

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They are extremely rare to see and we are so lucky to have got to see one. They do not live in herds in the forest since the space is not practical for them.

When we arrived back at the briefing point, Obed gave us a little speech about how proud we should all be and then gave us a certificate congratulating us on conquering the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park Gorilla Trek.

Soon after, we returned to camp and collected up our things to head to NRE Camp where we would spend our first rest day. On the coach everyone was buzzing about the gorillas and were excited to have our first day to ourselves since arriving. However, we had a long way to go before we reached there and had to spend a night at a hotel in Kabale before we travelled further.

We had arranged to stay at a backpackers lodge, but upon arrival were informed that there was no room and instead were taken to Highland Hotel. The horror hotel as I now know it. If you watch, or have ever seen American Horror Story Asylum then that is all I have can describe the bathroom walls of the Highland Hotel as resembling.

The beds were uncomfortable and the shower was simply a single stream of freezing cold water which I did brave as I felt utterly grotesque after that trek through the rainforest.

For dinner we went to a café where we had beef quesadillas and passion fruit juice which I must admit is extremely sour. We finished dinner with another fruit salad and then headed back to the rooms for bed. A mad day but well worth it! Sad, however though, since it was also our last night with Owen and Vienney who we hugged and wished well for another time.

 

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