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Rwanda and Kenya Photos

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I have processed the photos I took in Rwanda and many that I took in Kenya. Haven't done anything about a trip report yet.

Here's the itinerary
2 Gorilla treks in Rwanda first (Supposed to be 3 treks but I arrived too late to do the first one.)
Campi ya Kanzi 3 nights 26th till 28th January 2007
Offbeat Meru 3 nights 29th till 31st January 2007
Sosian 3 nights 1st till 3rd February 2007
Joy's Camp 3 nights 4th till 6th February 2007
Little Governors 4 nights 7th till 10th February 2007

http://www.pbase.com/cjw/kenya_2007
http://www.pbase.com/cjw/gorillas_in_rwanda_jan_2007

I guess I did do a little bit of a trip report. I wrote this before we left:
I can't believe we really made it to see Elsa's grave. Sandy cried like a baby the whole time we were there.
(And she did!)

I also wrote this up to put with the pictures. (I wrote this after I returned!)

January 2007 was my first trip to Rwanda to see the mountain gorillas. It was an amazing experience, to say the least. To learn more about how the gorillas live, eat, etc., check this out: http://www.gorillafund.org/mountain_gorillas/life_facts.php

I visited the gorillas on two days. The first day was the Hirwa Group and each group of trekkers is limited to 8 people and 1 hour with the gorillas once you find them. We found the gorillas deep in a dark, dense, bamboo forest. It was pretty exciting to see them after the rough, muddy trek up the mountain. There I was, kneeling down amidst the bamboo, taking pictures. The silverback (the big male "boss" of the group) got up and started walking towards me. I stayed squatted down and tried to "duck walk" out of his way without success. He walked right past me and as he walked by, purposely bumped me with his shoulder. It wasn't a hard bump but it did knock me over (my feet were all tangled up in the vines on the ground). Wow, very cool! Once I got up off the ground, everyone was looking at me with questioning big round eyes so I thought maybe I should have been scared. Maybe it was it the jet lag? stupidity? I don't know but I was totally ok. The gorillas went off to another spot in the bamboo. We got to follow them and I started taking pictures again. After awhile, the silverback got up again and started walking towards me. The tracker/guide was near me so he grabbed my arm and tried to pull me out of the way but the gorilla kept coming. This time he reached out and grabbed my thigh as he walked past. Very cool again! I don't know why he picked me (I swear, I wasn't flirting).

The Mountain Gorilla (species: Gorilla beringei) is one of the most endangered species and there are only appx 700 mountain gorillas alive IN THE WHOLE WORLD! They are severely threatened by poaching, loss of habitat, human disease, and war. Also, an important fact about the Mountain Gorilla is that none have ever survived in captivity. So if this species is to continue, we must protect their home in the Virungas and Bwindi Mountains.

After the gorilla trek, our tracker made us an ambassador for Rwanda and the gorillas. I'll take my appointment seriously and urge you to make a donation or adopt a gorilla through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (same website as above). Better yet, visit the beautiful country of Rwanda and see the gorillas in person!

I hope you enjoy the photos.

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