Gorilla Money Shots

Part eight in a continuing series of photos from my Ugandan adventure, and what you’ve all been waiting for—gorillas!

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The morning of my 39th birthday was spent in the company of these mountain gorillas. Here’s their benign leader, the silverback.

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There are three distinct gorilla families that roam Bwindi, but I’m betting this one has the cutest baby!

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Hey jerky, wake up… I’m paying for this! As you can see, the gorillas are quite acclimatized to human contact. In fact, when our hour with them was done, they promptly up and disappeared…

Bound for Bwindi

Part seven in a continuing series of photos from my Ugandan adventure…

Instead of taking a non-stop 13-hour bus ride to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, we chose to hire our own car and driver. We chose wisely.

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This is our only sighting of the bus, which only stops for gas and flat tires. Travellers with weak bladders pray for flat tires…

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Captain Greybeard surveys Crater Valley, near Kibale—and the end of the paved road.

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The windy dirt path that followed was fresh with debris and mud from recent rain…

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… But backseat boys Sean and Ray took it all in stride. 😉

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The rough ride loosened something under the hood of our truck, forcing a stopover only half an hour from our destination.

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Damn, these kids have more hair than me!

Murchison: Day Two

Part six in a continuing series of photos from my Ugandan adventure…

A definite high-point of our trip was the game drive we took through Murchison Falls National Park on our second day there.

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We barely got out of the campsite when we came across this hippo, literally chewing up the scenery.

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This herd of water buffalo wasn’t staring us down; their collective eyesight is apparently crap, so they were merely checking out our collective scent.

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Among Safari-types the words ”big five” invariably come up in conversation. Leopards are particularly hard to spot, so we were saddened—but excited—to come across this fresh kill…

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… And uniquely privileged to see this leopard, hanging out in a sausage tree. Yep, you heard me… A sausage tree.

Murchison: Day One

Part five in a continuing series of photos from my Ugandan adventure…

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Sean flew in just in time to join us on a Red Chili Murchison Falls Trip. Fortunately for us, the point of departure was right around the corner from where we were staying.

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The mighty Murchison Falls. Flanking Sean and Ray are Stephan and Karin from Switzerland on the left (not sure about the spelling) and Ronnie from somewheres or other on the right.

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My best “come hither” pose, under a protective layer of mosquito netting. I gave up on the netting after sweating through the first night—it was so stifling that I couldn’t feel any breeze from the fan directly beside my head!

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As our base camp was located in Murchison Falls National Park, we had all kinds of wildlife right outside our banda, including a family of wild boars and this maribou stork.

Jinja

Part four in a continuing series of photos from my Ugandan adventure…

Having secured our Bwindi Park permits for my birthday, Ray and I had another day to fill before Sean’s arrival. We chose to visit Jinja and the surrounding area.

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To get there we had to make our way to the taxi park in downtown Kampala. Taxis in Uganda are a little different from their first-world counterparts—as many as fourteen people cram into these little vans, which head off in a particular direction making stops along the way. And the taxis don’t leave until completely full—Ray and I offered to buy up some empty seats on ours to expedite our departure, yet we still left with every seat taken.

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Yours truly at the source of the Nile.

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Nile tilapia, a local delicacy—the fish is fried up and served whole, making for a bit of a challenging meal. I found out later that I was supposed to crack the head off and suck out the brains… Um, no thanks.

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For our journey back to Kampala Ray and I decided to splurge on a more spacious coaster bus, which as you can see was still fairly cramped.