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Rwanda and Kenya Photos

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Mar 20th, 2007, 08:56 PM
  #1
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Rwanda and Kenya Photos

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_...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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Mar 20th, 2007, 10:51 PM
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Cindy, nice photos, especially of the gorillas. (If you can set up such nice photo layout work, you can do ProShow Gold).
How did you like Lil Gov camp? We were there in Sept 2006. Who was your guide/driver, do you remember?
And, of course, when/where is your next safari?
regards - tom
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Mar 21st, 2007, 12:27 AM
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I really enjoyed your galleries,the gorillas , the ones from Kenya and the other africans.

That ground hornbill is quite a cath.I really like the elephant family interaction,beautiful.

Thanks for sharing.

Paco.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 01:32 AM
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Thank you for sharing your photos. The gorillas are amazing, wondrous!
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Mar 21st, 2007, 07:18 AM
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Lovely pics, thank you so much for sharing!
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Mar 21st, 2007, 07:52 AM
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Wonderful photos-love the gorilla foot and all the babies! You really got a lot of good shots.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for sharing your photos. I enjoyed reading your descriptive captions. Looks like Shaba had really dried out by then. What a difference a couple of months makes. Looking forward to your report.
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Mar 21st, 2007, 11:33 AM
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Hey Cindy-
Your photos turned out great!!

I hope you'll keep adding to them as I'm sure you've got lots more that turned out just as nice.

Brings back some fond memories.

I think we'd better start on that trip report sometime soon! We can tag-team our way through it if we have to. And I guess I should start since I got over there first. ;-)

Sandy
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Mar 21st, 2007, 04:02 PM
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Looking forward to reading about all of the camps. I think you had an admirer in the Hirwa Group.

Wonderful gorilla shots, including the foot. You had some excellent views and managed to get some great pictures when you weren't being courted.

The other photos were beautiful too. Those Eurasian Rollers are not so easy to see and you caught one with nice colors. The topi was absolutely majestic. So many good elephant shots, including the attacker. Yikes!

The ground hornbill shot you labeled "Good catch" was an outstanding catch for you too. There was indeed both a frog and a snake. Not to be viewed by the faint of heart.

Interesting perspectives on the lion shots with eyes and feet. You even had the flying dik diks and oryx babies!
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Mar 21st, 2007, 05:57 PM
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Thanks for all the comments, everyone! They are very much appreciated.

Tom, I have never understood what people meant when they said MalaMala was "tired". Until I got to Lil Gov Camp. That doesn't mean there was anything wrong with it. It was a great camp. The tents were great (maybe a little too close together), the beds were very comfortable, the bathrooms were very nice, the food was ok to good, the vehicles were in good shape, the guide was excellent. But I now know what "tired" means. I also wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

Next trip is in July to Botswana. Doing the mobile camping again with Charles Glatzer. Here's the itinerary
25 July 2007: Motsentsela Tree Lodge
26 July 2007: Moremi Game Reserve (Xakanaxa area)
27 July 2007: Moremi Game Reserve (Xakanaxa area)
28 July 2007: Moremi Game Reserve (Khwai area)
29 July 2007: Moremi Game Reserve (Khwai area)
30 July 2007: Khwai Community area
31 July 2007: Khwai Community area
01 August 2007: Savuti
02 August 2007: Savuti
03 August 2007: Chobe National Park
04 August 2007: Chobe National Park
05 August 2007: Chobe National Park
06 August 2007: Motsentsela Tree Lodge
07 August 2007: Departure
Looking forward to that trip as well. And it won't be hot like it was in Oct05!



The guide was Samuel and I couldn't have asked for any more than we got from him. Perfect in every way.


Sandy, start that trip report and we'll see what we end up with!

Cindy
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Mar 29th, 2007, 08:56 AM
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Hi Cindy,

I really enjoyed your photos, especially the elephant sequence but they are all terrific, great job!

And... another trip just around the corner...so, so envious!
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Mar 29th, 2007, 09:19 AM
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I'll be at Campi Ya Kanzi in a few months, any tips or thoughts on drivers, food, tent, etc?

Thanks.
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Mar 29th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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Cindy

Yellow throated Longclaw.
Great pictures.

Matt
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Mar 29th, 2007, 06:47 PM
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Thanks Carla and Matt!

tacos10 - we had a tent near the small waterhole (2nd one from the end) and it was a great spot. I don't think Sandy even slept at night because she was listening to everything walking near the tent to get to the water. One morning, (very early and still dark) we could hear something walking outside and we strained our eyes to see through the darkness and it was giraffes. One giraffe was bent over and looking in the tent. Very cool! We also heard lions several times at night.

Game drives - we went on game drives with at least 4 people that I can remember and enjoyed every one. They were all very knowledgable and I don't think I would recommend one over the other. So just go and have fun!

BTW, the food at CYK is very good and it is family style seating (all at one big table). Luca is very passionate about Africa and his projects and I really enjoyed the dinner conversations.
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Mar 30th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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Thanks for the info.
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Mar 30th, 2007, 08:13 PM
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I'll have to see if Mala Mala looks "tired" to me in June. But since I've never seen it "awake" I might not know the difference.

The maintenance men for our building came in and put new cabinets in our bathroom last week. They also painted the walls. I thought it smelled a little like paint but I never even noticed the lighter, brighter bathroom walls until 2 weeks later when my husband called my attention to it. So I might not have the powers of observation to know whether Mala Mala is awake or tired.

Anyway, I am looking forward to a wildlife report from Little Governor's and the other places, especially those I had not heard of before you and Divewop were planning your trips.
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May 6th, 2007, 08:03 AM
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I've added a few more pictures if anyone wants to take a look.

atravelynn, you're getting closer to your trip! After seeing Kaye's photos I sure would like to have another trip there this year.
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May 6th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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Loved the pics. Going on safari and gorilla trek in June.
Question: For gorilla pics, did you set the camera on auto or manually program each shot? I'm not a confident photographer although my pics come out to my satisfaction and I don't want to spend a lot of time working with the different settings - I'm afraid I'll miss a shot! I have a Nikon 50 DSLR.
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May 6th, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Cindy, I really enjoyed those pictures. I particularly like the cheetahs and the zebra kicking. Nice job! If I hadn't voted for your gallery already, I would do it again!

Chris
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May 6th, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Jill, I did use the Program mode so I would have RAW files. I believe it's the same as automatic. I'm not as proficient in manual as I should be and I was afraid I would miss too many shots while trying to get the exposure right.
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