Category Archives: Uganda

Mountain Gorillas at Mgahinga National Park

Mountain Gorillas, Jungle VIP!

Seeing the endangered mountain gorillas in Uganda, was one of the much awaited highlights of our biking tour – although we did not take the bikes into the forest/jungle here!

The Mgahinga Gorilla National Park is part of the Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area, bordering Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. Mgahinga Gorilla and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks provide a home to half of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas in South Western Uganda. Currently the population of the mountain gorillas stands above 300 in Uganda

Farmers right next to the Gorilla forest

There is a fast population growth leading to increase to intense farming around and up to the protected areas edge that leaves no buffer zone at all. The border between the farms and the jungle is like drawn with a ruler – dense forest starts from the side of the crop field. This population sometimes suffer negatively from results of conservation activities like wildlife crop damage which infuriates them and sours relations.

They will also carry you, if needed!

The farmers are also not allowed to enter the jungle and look for the gorillas. This is a job for special rangers, who daily look up the area where the gorillas are and visit them daily regardless of tourists. Just to keep the friendly connection alive.

Gorillas are strictly protected by law. We were told about a man who had shot a gorilla dead in self-defense – being sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Walking sticks in good use

They are not called mountain gorillas for no reason. we started our climb on the side of the mountain, entering a dense jungle led by the rangers and helpful assistants ensuring that we actually can reach the gorillas.

Through the jungle

We used walking sticks to help the climb and to maintain balance but as soon as we were close to the gorillas, these walking sticks were collected from us. The gorillas may mistake the sticks as weapons and act accordingly. We did not want that as some of the are BIG! And all of them are strong!

Gorillas allow you right next to them. Closest I were, was 1-1,5 meters!
Now I’m the king of the swingers, Oh, the jungle VIP -Jungle book
Packed lunch after the gorilla trek and ready to rumble again!

 

The Beautiful People of Uganda

The People in My Mind

As many say, it is the people that make the travel worth while. I do subscribe to that view as well. It is always fascinating to meet different people from different cultures and although one meets only a small number of the people in any country, somehow in one’s mind a picture starts to form.

I like to take pictures of people and usually people are happy to pose for me as well.

African Song and Dance Surprise

Surprise Performance

During our stay at the Katara lodge in Uganda we were very privileged. A surprise performance was given by the kids at Kichwamba Orphanage, Rubirizi district Uganda.

To raise funds,  this fantastic team of kids are doing an African dance and song performance. They entertain the visiting tourists at their local hotels and other venues. As Covid-19 has greatly reduced tourism in the area and the orphanage relies on charitable contributions, they need all the help they can get.

Their website can be foud at https://kichwambaorphanage.org/

Recorded at Katara Lodge, Uganda June 2021.

Uganda – The Pearl of Africa

The Pearl

Why is Uganda called The Pearl of Africa? It is commonly believed that the originator of this reference to Uganda was  Sir Winston Churchill who described Uganda as The Pearl of Africa in his book “My African Journey” in 1907.

What is known for fact is that he at least made it famous but he may have borrowed the phrase from Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the Wesh explorer. Yes, this is the man who also famously said: “Dr Livingstone, I presume”, when he found missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone looking for the source of the Nile.

Lush, green landscape after the rainy season

Having now toured the country right after the rainy season, the scenery was magnificent everywhere. Green and lush, animals I had only sen in books and zoos roaming free. And of course, the great people! Clearly the Pearl of Africa ingredients!

Another friendly face!

Uganda (or Buganda) and the British have a long colonial history, which for the purposes of this blog, I will skip. Then again, my trip was made considerably easier by the fact that English is now widely spoken in Uganda.

I will write more about the trip soon…

In the mean time, do check my YouTube and Facebook

 

Stopped for a drink and a photo by the crater lakes – Pade, Jussi and myself plus three XR 400’s