Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda trip Report

Mar 8th, 2005, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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This report is incredible. Touched by a gorilla. Lucky Divewop!!!

Can't wait for the next installment.

Once you're done with the narrative, could you possibly tell us your fitness level? I'm still contemplating a gorilla trek and all practical details are of interest to me.
Leely is offline  
Mar 8th, 2005, 05:05 PM
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Thank you so very much for sharing your trip. You really made it come alive for all of us. We were all with you.

What a thrill to have been that close and even touched by a gorilla! Absolutely thrilling.

Will you be posting pictures? Hope so.

JanGoss is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 04:27 AM
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All I can say is "WOW!"
Kavey is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 07:34 AM
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INCREDIBLE ...Thanks for posting yor experience with the gorillas. I must admit that I was a bit afraid for your safety. We are friends with the American couple who survived the 1999 tragedy in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Your photo's sound amazing, any chance you'll post them some where??
I can't even imagine being touched by a gorilla, WOW.

wallybrenda is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Your trip report is fantastic! Thank you, thank you, thank you. May we have more please?
dreaming is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 08:09 AM
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Thank you for the thrilling conclusion of your gorilla trekking. How wonderful to be touched by a gorilla! I wonder if the gorilla is telling his buddies about his amazaing experience touching one of the human visitors!

What a great account of some remarkable experiences!
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 08:18 AM
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I've done treks with women in their mid 60s and a man in his 80s! Everybody made it there and back. The slowest people go in front and they set the pace for the group. One of the most memorable viewings had a relatively young, but extremely out of shape man, in front. We took about 5 hours to get to the gorillas. His slow pace made us arrive at a perfect time.

You can hire extra porters (at about $10 each) to really help you along and almost carry you.

I've only gone in the months of June-Aug and have found that the temperature in Rwanda was lovely for hiking, probably due to its elevation. Uganda was truly beastly hot and the heat was an obstacle at this time of year. (But I'd still return to Bwindi, even with heat.)

I bet Divewop would encourage you to go also if you are in decent shape. I don't do marathons, mountain climb, or body build, and had no trouble. I am 45.
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Sorry for the 3 in a row.

So now is it on to Uganda for you, Divewop?
atravelynn is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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Thanks, you guys, for all the kind feedback. It really was an incredible trip and experience.

Leely, atravelynn is correct is saying that all types of people from all walks of life go on the treks. Polly, my roommate was 68 and she can still tackle almost anything.

The slowest person does set the pace. I think if you take reasonable care of yourself, you shouldn't have a problem.

The porters and guides are there to help. I didn't need one but several people on the treks used them to carry their backpacks and help them up and down the rough spots.

wallybrenda, I saw that N.G. special about the Uganda thing a year or so ago. At first I was a bit nervous too but being accompanied by military guys w/ guns helped set my mind at ease.
I'm so glad I did it. Both Rwanda and Uganda are amazing places.

As far as pics go, I've got two of the
1 gigabyte cards full of pics as well as 11 rolls of slide film I need to sort through. As soon as I weed out the good from the bad, I'll try to post some on line.

Uganda and the rest of the report to follow sometime in the next day or so.
divewop is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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What an amazing experience and a great report. Thansk for sharing it - I can't wait to see your photos.

RuthieC is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 02:58 PM
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Thanks, atravelynn and divewop, for the fitness info. I'm actually *only* 35 and a runner, but I live in SF and am unaccustomed to hot weather.

Sounds like I could handle it, though.

I am eagerly awaiting the rest of this report.
Leely is offline  
Mar 9th, 2005, 05:10 PM
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I just wanted to add my special thanks for divewop for the photographic suggestions and again for the great trip report!!!

sunny_days is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Divewop, this is a very interesting story. I have been to the Amahoro B-group as well, I think it was february 22th of 2005. I think it was the same black back that wanted to play with me, grapping my leg with both his arms for an instant. Even more impressive was the charge of the alpha male, Charles. He watched us from a distance of about 20 feet, when suddenly he started banging his chest en running towards us, screaming. Fortunately, he stopped at approx. 10 feet away from us. We bended our heads down, as we were told. It took hem about a minute before he rushed away with a lot of speed and power. It really shows how humble we humans are, there was nothing we could have done against the power of this 200 kg- silverback.

I must say this was an experience I can recommend to anyone.
Martijn is offline  
Mar 12th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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I was with the Amahoro "B" group on the 18th of Feb. and on the 19th I did Group 13. We just missed each other by a few days.

It's amazing that the black back wants to touch people like that. And you are so correct in saying how "humbling" it is. Those silverbacks are just massive.

When we were with the Susa group, we were mock charged by a huge black back that stopped short of 5-10 feet from another girl and me. For such huge animals, you don't realize how quick they can be until they are right up on you!

I hope you'll be writing up a trip report of your experiences with the gorillas as well. I'd love to compare notes.
divewop is offline  
Jul 24th, 2005, 10:34 AM
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What would the weather be like in September? I you could only go to either Uganda or Rwanda which would it be? We are considering a trip in September 06. Would October be better?

Awesome trip report. It has almost made my mind up to go.
24Lisa is offline  
Jul 25th, 2005, 06:49 AM
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Just have to add my WOW as well. A Gorilla trek is a possibility for me next year, so all of this info is just fascinating as well as helpful. What an incredible experience. I think I would bust out crying, tho, upon seeing the gorillas. I am such a wimp!

I'd like to know, weatherwise, is there a recommended time to go? I prefere it to be not so hot...Thanks and really anxious to see your photos!
cooncat is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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Divewop, this is an AMAZING trip report. You write so well. I can't wait for the next part!

My travel buddies and I are planning a trip to Rwanda and Uganda for next August. It will be our 3rd trip to Africa. After reading your trip report, I cannot wait!!
KRGfromSD is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 10:25 PM
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Thanks so much for your report - I agree with Kavey and the others...WOW!
welltraveledbrit is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2005, 03:44 PM
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We are a senior couple planning to do a gorilla trek in Rwanda in late July 2006. Is it really necessary to go with a group like Volcanoes or will be be OK by ourselves? How do we get from Kigali to Ruhengeri? How likely is it that we will encounter the gorillas on a one day trek? Is it possible to get the permits from the states?
Frontier is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Has anyone stayed at the Taita Hill Lodge or Salt Lick Lodge near Tsavo West National Park? We plan to use our hotel points for extra time in Kenya, and these are the lodges which they use. Is it possible to visit the Masai villages in this area? We plan to visit in July 2006.
Frontier is offline  

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