Uganda Trip Report

Feb 24th, 2006, 08:07 AM
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Uganda Trip Report

Thanks to everyone on this board who took the time to answer my questions while I was planning my trip to Uganda. The following is my trip report from a 9 day trip in late January (booked with Great Lake Safaris).

Day 1

Arrived around 9pm in Entebbe, where I was met by a driver from Sophie’s Motel (located about a ten minute drive from the airport). Since I was leaving early the next morning for Ngamba Island, I was looking to save a few bucks on accommodation my first evening. Sophie’s was fine – very basic but clean and only 35$ (which included the ride from the airport). A/c would have been lovely, but I wasn’t expecting A/C for that price. Just happy to be in Uganda, and despite the long plane ride (Atlanta – Amsterdam – Entebbe) I still couldn’t sleep because I was so excited about seeing the chimps the next day.

Day 2
After an early morning breakfast (I was perplexed as to why we had to eat breakfast in total dark!), Alyce from Great Lakes Safaris picked me up and drove me to Ngamba Island’s office, where I was to meet with the Director, Lily, prior to leaving for the island. After about a 30 minute one-on-one talk by Lily about the problems facing chimpanzees & the history of Ngamba Island (and double checking my medical records – one of them was not an original – she was asking for the original – all I could think was Sweet Jesus, if this woman doesn’t let me play with the chimps I will literally have a coronary), I was off to the island. The water was extremely choppy and all of us on the boat were drenched from head to toe by the time we arrived. (Side note – I thought I had read to avoid the water in Lake Victoria, and after I returned and did a quick google search, I am now convinced that I have bilharzia since I was drenched in the water for about an hour.) Ladies, from personal experience I can tell you that you really might want to think twice about wearing a white t-shirt on the boat trip, as if the water is choppy, you may arrive on the island looking like you entered the Ngamba Island wet t-shirt contest. Every single inch of me was soaked & I was very glad I had clothes to change into. The tents on the island were great – very comfortable. They each have fantastic porches, however, mine was constantly swarmed by tiny insects (as in, I felt like I had to hold my breath while unzipping the tent or else I would have been sucking a bunch in) so I didn’t end up using it at all.

Next to seeing the gorillas, Ngamba Island was the highlight of my trip. Watching the various feedings was quite entertaining (upon arrival, the alpha male of the juvenile group promptly started chucking rocks at us), however, the high points were definitely my two chimp walks with the juvenile chimps. If you go to the trouble / expense of getting all the vaccinations in order to have the one-on-one with the chimps, I highly recommend that you sign up for two. My first “chimp walk” wasn’t really a walk -- since the youngest juvenile chimps are now four, all of them feel comfortable in the main forest area and generally run off and play on the typical chimp walks. Thus, Stany, the head caregiver, suggested that we use my first chimp walk to just hang out with seven of the juveniles in their main area. As soon as I walked into the area where they were, I immediately had a chimp jump up on me and give me a giant hug, followed by more chimps wanting me to hold them. Stany and I sat on the ground and played with them for awhile – several times “chimpanzee fisticuffs” broke out over who would get to sit in my lap. I always had one in my lap, one or two trying to get in my lap, one trying to untie my shoe, one grooming me, etc. The experience is hard to describe – they were all just so sweet and affectionate, I could have stayed there for hours. We eventually walked down to the water with them, and I alternated giving Nakuu and Pasa piggyback rides. All too soon, my time was up and I had to say good night to them.
After the first chimp walk, I had a dinner that was quite good and was off to bed. I bolted upright in bed several times during the night after waking up to the sounds of the chimps screeching (or whatever the technical term is for the noises they make)...just made me more eager for my next chimp walk the following morning.

Day 3
The day started with coffee and tea being delivered to my tent around 6am. At 6:30, Stany arrived at my tent with coveralls, and we were off to watch the morning feeding. (I was the only overnight guest.) After everyone had been fed, we were off on my second chimp walk with the same seven from the night before. As soon as I saw Pasa and Nakuu, they both immediately jumped up in my arms. I made a good faith effort to carry both of them, although they probably weighed about 80 pounds combined, which is about 75% of my body weight, so, after it was clear we wouldn’t be moving anywhere fast as long as I tried to carry both Pasa and Nakuu, I handed Pasa off to Stany. Nakuu alternated between riding piggyback and sitting on my shoulders. Most of the chimps ran off as soon as we got into the forest, although Pasa and Nakuu stuck close by the entire time (actually Nakuu never left my side –she did jump off my back at one point, ran and hid in behind some trees, and then bolted back out and jumped up on my back again as soon as I walked by…sneaky devil.. ). We walked through the forest, over to the shores of the lake and watched everyone play, while Nakuu hung out with me and Stany. I always hope for a moment or two on every trip that sort of “defines” my trip – last summer it was being given a crash course on driving a stick shift in the Jordanian desert by a Bedouin while singing along to his Frank Sinatra tape – this trip it was sitting on the rocks at the shoreline of Lake Victoria with not another person in sight, talking to Stany about politics in America and Uganda, while Nakuu fervently worked on unlacing my shoes. It was just so peaceful yet odd considering I had Nakuu with me…exactly the kind of travel moment I live for.
All too soon, we had to head back. I showered, had an awesome breakfast, watched the morning feeding, and then sadly had to leave for Entebbe.
I arrived back in Entebbe luckily completely dry – apparently our virtual swim there the previous day was unusual. When I was dropped off at the dock in Entebbe, I was hoping to see someone from Great Lakes but no one was there and I realized I hadn’t actually confirmed w/them what time they’d be picking me up. There were a number of people hanging out in the area – several of whom pointed me in the direction of a woman with a “phone booth.” I got a hold of someone at GL and just sort of hung out chatting with people for the next half hour or so. (There seemed to have been a miscommunication between GL and Wild Frontiers – the company that runs the camp on Ngamba Island, and I actually enjoyed talking to everyone in Entebbe, so I didn’t really care either way, and it got me accustomed to being called the word I would hear over, and over and over again…Mzungu!)
I finally arrived in Kampala at Hotel Africana. I was really too tired at this point to go wonder around Kampala – in hindsight, I wish I had, but I just had a beer at the hotel (which was a little run down but had a big sitting area in the back of the hotel), and had a really really really (did I say really?) bad dinner at the hotel (if you are thinking of eating there…abort!). I was, however, thrilled to have internet access, so that was all I really cared about at that point.

maxwell is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 08:11 AM
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Day 4
Early morning departure for our 12 hour journey to Kisoro. We first went to pick up the other three people in my group – a couple from Holland and another female traveling alone, which was nice. They stayed at the Olympia Hotel – GL’s budget option on the trip in Kampala. This hotel appeared to be in the middle of nowhere – none of them stayed there on the way back and had their reservations switched to the Blue Mango, which supposedly had a great pool, lots of interesting people milling about, and is centrally located. It took us almost 12 hours to get to Kisoro. The drive was beautiful, however, and everyone on our trip was quite humorous, so it didn’t seem that bad. As we approached Kisoro, we noticed a great deal of smoke. At first, Martin our guide, thought it must have been a plane crash at the airstrip, however, as we got closer we realized it was a refugee camp. (We later learned that a few days earlier approximately 30,000 refugees had fled from the Congo.) That was my first time seeing a refugee camp in person – quite sobering to say the least. I saw only a few tents – most people were just living out in the open fields.

I stayed at Travellers Rest in Kisoro (famous for Dian Fossey’s numerous stays there), and the rest of the group at a hostel just around the corner whose name I cannot recall. It (their hostel) was apparently very uncomfortable and a bit dirty – they considered trying to switch to Travellers Rest, but in the end decided just to hang out and have meals at TR and keep their original reservations. If you book with Great Lakes and use the budget option in Kisorso, be wary of this hotel! I thought the food at TR was especially good – it is currently (as of Jan of this year) being managed by a Dutch (?) couple who wanted to live in Africa for a year. (Apparently the previous manager ran off with all the money, or something like that.) There were so many well prepared and tasty dishes – even fresh peaches for desert! (Yes, in Uganda there is someone growing peaches.) They went out of their way to make sure I had plenty of veggie options (not a meat eater) and I actually had to tell them they were preparing way too much food for me. The rooms at Travellers Rest are very basic but there are comfortable sitting areas inside and out to enjoy a drink.

Day 5
Bright and early departure (hour and a half ride) from Kisoro to the Nkuringo office in Bwindi. This is my only (very minor) complaint about Great Lakes – up until right before the trip, we were definitely told that we’d be staying in Buhoma and starting from there. (My only issue with this (1) I could have done w/o the extra driving – and (2) I just like people to be up front with me, as we were definitely told we had permits for Buhoma. From what I gathered, they hadn’t gotten the permits in time.). The other six people that we would be hiking with were also staying at Travellers Rest. They had two extra women in their group that did not have permits (one of whom was hacking up a lung over breakfast, so I was a little annoyed she’d even attempt to go gorilla tracking.) The two “extras” in that group went ahead and made the trip to the Nkuringo office in an attempt to talk the park officials into letting them hike – although I felt bad for them, I was relieved that they didn’t let Sicky into our group and exceed the allotted numbers. Our hike only took about an hour and a half. The terrain was incredibly steep, however, we were there on the third consecutive day without rain so this helped tremendously in terms of how slippery it was. We never saw more than seven gorillas at one time, and only caught a glimpse of some of the younger ones, but it was absolutely thrilling nonetheless, and just whetted my appetite for more. I knew in advance that the majority of my photos (digital) would be blurry b/c of the poor lighting, thus, at a certain point I just stopped taking photos unless there was a burst of sunshine and enjoyed the view. The guards announced throughout the hour how much time we had remaining, and when they announced we had one minute left, as if on cue, the gorillas we were viewing all got up and left (strolling less than 2 meters from us)! We hiked for about 20 minutes and stopped to eat lunch, and were back to the Nkuringo office in about an hour.

That afternoon, I walked into town with one of the other women on the trip. We soon had a small crowd of people following us (just lots of “mzungu give me money!”). A charming 14 year old latched onto us and acted as our interpreter. Although anyone who travels in the developing world is accustomed to seeing people in less than ideal (that’s an understatement!) conditions, I am always more than a little overwhelmed when I have women with babies that are clearly sick or underweight standing in front of me. I also ran into a bit of trouble with some man from the UN – I snapped a photo of a UNHCR truck (there were no people standing near it). As soon as I snapped the photo, he bolted over – visibly agitated – and quite frankly freaked me out. He seemed convinced I was either a journalist or with an NGO – it’s certainly the first time that I’ve ever felt like telling someone I’m a lawyer would be a good thing. After we finally convinced him I was just your run of the mill tourist, he suddenly didn’t care about the photo and told us to have a great day. Hmmm. After the combination of the agitated UN guy and feeling a little helpless about the sick babies, we decided it was probably time for a beer and headed back to Travellers Rest. Dinner was great again and I went to bed stuffed and happy.

Day 6
Long drive to Queen Elizabeth National Park today. If I had to do the trip over, although I realize Queen is one of the most popular destinations in Uganda, I personally would rather have seen other things in Uganda (or another day of gorilla tracking) since I had limited time in the country and we really saw very few animals there. Based on guide books and trip reports I was not expecting to see all that much, but we really saw very little. I stayed at Mweya Lodge – great food, great rooms and an absolutely fantastic terrace overlooking the Kazinga Channel with an amazing incredibly strong breeze. It was hot as hell and that was about the only cool place to hang out so we all spent a good deal of time on the terrace. I was dying to sleep with the door to my room open just to get some more air, but knew (in addition to being stupid), I’d have a lot of explaining to do to Martin, our guide, if I was mauled by one of the warthogs during the night. (I have no idea if warthogs will maul you but it was hot as hell and I was a little loopy).

Day 7
Early morning game drive (didn’t see much!) and then back for a wonderful breakfast. After lunch, we went for the boat cruise on the Kazinga Channel. This trip is especially great for birders – which seemed to be about two thirds our boat – however my little group definitely didn’t fall into that category and we spent the latter half of the boat ride being entertained by the birders rather than the actual birds we were seeing. I think we were going a little loopy at that point because it was just so hot, so we were all a little relived when the two hours was up. (It was very interesting – lots of hippos, etc, but we would have been content with an hour.) Martin took us back out after the boat trip on an unscheduled game drive in an attempt to find some lions (this was just one of numerous times he went out of his way for us). Well, we never found the lions, and ended up staying out way after dark (I had the pleasure of attempting to use the little hole-in-the-ground outhouse by the entrance gate to the park in the pitch black…yikes!). Although we didn’t see any lions, our guide certainly got an A+ for effort.

maxwell is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 08:12 AM
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Day 8
On our way to Kyambura River Gorge the next morning, we spent some more time trying to find something other than warthogs and cobs… (by this time I was ready to tell everyone I’d just send them photos of my Kenya trip and let’s call it a day!) but, finally…we found a lion! Considering we had seen very, very little, we were thrilled – in fact, I wish I had a video of our reaction to seeing three hyenas – you would have thought we had seen all of the big five posing together. (The only reason we even found the lion was b/c our guide started calling men he knew who worked in the park who could point us in the right direction.) After snapping a few photos we headed off to Kyambura River Gorge. I hadn’t done my research into this little hike so had no idea what to expect (we were hoping to see lots of chimps) but we only spotted one during our two hours. It was interesting, but if people routinely don’t really see anything on the hike, I definitely think it could be skipped (especially when it’s so hot and you could be sitting on the terrace at Mweya in the breeze…ah, the breeze…).
We headed off to Fort Portal after that (about an hours drive from Kibale, where we’d be chimp tracking the next day.) We all stayed at Rwenzori View Guest House. Ndali sounded great, but when you tacked on the single supplement, it was really more than I wanted to spend, and, I was having so much fun w/the other three in my group, it would have been a little lonely without them. Rwenzori was fine (although they attempted to make the two of us traveling alone share a room when we first got there! A little odd…) – very basic but clean, and great food. We all walked into town (about 20 minutes) that afternoon to check email, however, the entire town was without power -- since it was out at Rwenzori, you’d think this would have registered with us before we started walking. We took boda boda rides back to the hotel, and since I am quite possibly one of the most uncoordinated people you could ever meet, I decided I was fine with my driver assuming I was a woman of ill repute and refused to sit on it like real lady. Fun, although speeding through town on a motorbike without a helmet, over potholed roads doesn’t make me feel incredibly safe.

Day 9
Chimp tracking in Kibale today – loads of fun. The chimps put on quite the show for us once we found them – absolutely thrilling. The next most entertaining bit of Kibale was Charles, our guide on the hike. He insisted we all take multiple photos of him with a chimp in the background, while he chanted “chimpanzees! chimpanzees!” (his enthusiasm for his job was definitely admirable) and then inspected each of our photos (he was NOT pleased with mine for some reason and made no secret of this). He then instructed us one by one to take some more of him. After a long lunch in Kibale we went on a 3 hours swamp walk. We did see some monkeys, and if you are a birder you will get a lot more out of the swamp walk than we probably did. (with all due respect to any birders, we just weren’t really into birds and when our guide for the walk appeared with the big bird bible, we sort of suggested (and then followed through with our tip) that we’d be incredibly grateful if he would please not point out any bird that isn’t, um, well “big” (I believe that was the technical term we used.)

Day 10
Last day…back to Kampala...our guide was nice enough to wait around for us in Kampala while we copied our photos onto CDs for each other (this took forever! They had to put them on actual old school floppy disks first), and then drove me to the airport in Entebbe (everyone else had another month or so of travel in Africa…). One the way to the airport, we picked up someone from Great Lakes, who had asked me to mail something for them back in the States. I was a little shocked when she handed me not a letter, but a heavy box that was already wrapped/taped up. With visions of me spending the rest of my life in a Ugandan prison after being implicated in some drug smuggling scheme (I may have possibly watched “Brokedown Palace” recently), I politely asked her in a very vague way whether she had just handed me a box of drugs. I didn’t honestly think for one minute it was anything illegal (absolutely nothing about her indicated she’d ever in a million years be involved in anything like that), but still, I wasn’t thrilled about someone I really did not know handing me a pre-wrapped package to put in my luggage!
I took a quick peak inside and decided it wasn’t going to result in me going to jail, and shoved it in my luggage. I was hoping for an uneventful flight home, but little did I know I would soon be in the fetal position in pain while over the Atlantic Ocean with a group of flight attendants standing around me trying to figure out what to do with me, but since that’s not really part of the trip report I’ll spare everyone the details…

The entire trip really was just fantastic, and I was quite sorry when I left that I did not have more time in Uganda. The people and country are wonderful, and I would definitely recommend using Great Lakes Safaris.
maxwell is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Thanks Maxwell

The report brings back lots of great memories. Martin was my guide in 2003 and I am happy he is still with GL!

climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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Great report. I have much to say and little time.

I hve seen Brokedown Palace, among other movies and there is NO WAY I would have taken that passage.

I am glad I didn't try to make it to Queen Elizabeth Park. I hear except for the tree climbing lions, it can be dissapointing.

PLEASE tell me you got a few good pictures of chimps. I didn't even get one when I hiked through Nyungwe in Rwanda.

Mzungu, Mzungu, your t-shirt is wet! Kidding. My wife had whole villages of kids chasing after her outisde of PNV in Rwanda.

I am not much of a bird viewer either. Just point out the big ones or the really colorful ones
waynehazle is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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Thanks, you hit some of the same places as I did on my trip to Uganda in August 2003. I had lunch at Travelers Rest, and I remember that I finally was able to access the Internet in Kisoro. You were lucky to see a chimp in the gorge at Queen Elizabeth, even if it was only one -- we didn't see any, nor did anyone else I spoke to at Mweya (I stayed there too and really like the view from the pool).

thit_cho is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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Great report, maxwell. I appreciate your candor and your sense of humor.

Thanks. I really hope I can swing Uganda soon...soon...soon.
Leely is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 09:11 AM
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Wayne, I did get a bunch of photos of chimps in Kibale (although none especially good - even though there were tons around us..was having lighting issues again), but lots of great shots of the ones at Ngamba...
Michael, Yes we were all wondering why anyone would really want to pay extra for the gorge hike, if you rarely see any chimps! I am curious what our other option - the "Bat Caves" - had to offer.
maxwell is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 09:47 AM
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Great trip report, maxwell! Full of funny details.

What was the temperature like in Kibale? Was it still very hot? How long did was the drive from QENP to Fort Portal and from Fort Portal back to Kampala?

I'm glad you peaked inside the box!

Will you be posting photos? Thanks again for this very entertaining read.
Patty is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 09:57 AM
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Patty -
The temperature in Kibale was nothing like in Queen (very warm, but really not bad at all) and the drive to Fort Portal was about 4 or 5 hours maybe. On the way to Fort Portal we stopped at an equator spot to take a picture - because of the giant hat I was wearing that obstructed my view, I walked right into the cement and so was a little out of it on the way to FP (spent the trip laying down in the back of the land cruiser) and it might have been more like six hours. (The great thing was that after I hit the ground b/c I hit the sign so hard, other than our guide, everyone else in my group was too busy snapping photos of my mishap to see if I was ok!
The drive from Fort Portal back to Kampala wasn't bad at all - maybe four hours, and most of it is on paved roads.
I have all my photos up but they are on the Sony Imagestation sight...I don't think a link will work like w/the Kodak sight. suggestions???
maxwell is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 10:00 AM
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Great trip report.
Thanks for sharing. Glad you had a great time.

Don't you just love spending time with those little chimps on Ngamba? Such personalities. I think that is one of my most memorable moments.

Did you take the fast or slow boat over to the island?
divewop is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Thanks, maxwell. I'm not familiar with how Imagestation works but I've seen others who have posted links to their Imagestation albums here, so there must be a way and you must find it!
Patty is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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ok - will work on getting them up there really soon...(i promise!)

divewop, i took the fast boat over, and yes, the chimps...i just could not get enough of them. I was a little choked up when I had to leave them.
maxwell is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 10:13 AM
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OK because I really, really want to see your pics, I just went and created a single pic album on Imagestation. To the right of your album you should see an arrow with the words Share Photo. Click on that, insert your own email address and hit send. Open your email, copy and paste the link here. That should do it
Patty is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 10:15 AM
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awesome thanks! I'm skipping out of work for the day but will get the link up when I'm back in over the weekend
maxwell is offline  
Feb 24th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Maxwell, I think the reason that many pay for the gorge hike in Queen Elizabeth is because "rarely" does not equal "never," and if I recall, its not that expensive (maybe US$20), so its like the lottery -- small fee for potential, if infrequent, large reward.
thit_cho is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 10:12 AM
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very true Michael, didn't think of it like that...although someone needs to visit the bat caves and tell me if there is anything there worth seeing!

Patty, here's the link - there are WAY too many blurry gorilla & chimp photos, however if I deleted all my blurry ones I wouldn't have that many left of the gorillas and chimps
maxwell is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 10:48 AM
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hi max, remember me? haha- you also emailed me at virtualtourist. i believe i hooked you up with greatlakes. i read just about all of your report. some of it pretty funny.
oh about the bwindi minor complaint. this happened to me there. i was supposed to stay in some kind of octogan banda. as it turns out-other people had it. there was some kind of communication mix up. i ended up across the driveway-road in a huge tent. no problem really-i'm easy like that. i always say:
its africa,things get F-d up anytime.
i also would skip queen eliz. beautiful place, tons of buffalo. not much else there-all got poached out. hope they stock it up one day. also the road net-work, not much in the way of that.
the chimps are great arent they! i am going back to kibale for 5days in march.
good stuff, lets hope you go back.
tuskerdave is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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Your report was a highly entertaining read! I hope you have fully recovered your health and glad the unpleasant ride home was not the defining moment of the trip. Interesting that you search for a trip's defining moment. I try to hear a quote-of-the-trip.

Did you ever find out why you ate breakfast in the dark?

Ngamba is indeed such a special experience. Glad you had so fun with the chimps. Your description captured the essence of the encounters very well. You mentioned the chimps untying your laces. It gave me chills when Indy, the chimp, undid my laces, then licked my frayed bootlace to try to put it back through the eye. After that insightful move, I could have been discussing politics with him!

Did the Ngamba staff indicate to you the future of chimp walks now that so many of the young ones are growing up?

Your warning on getting soaked on the ride to Ngamba is a good one that I had not been aware of. It's important to know that can happen for your camera's sake as much as for your own modesty.

Glad you saw the gorillas and the wild chimps in Kibale and that each was a special encounter.

In QE, my guide gave the stat of a 45% success rate of seeing chimps in Kymabura Gorge.

Not to pry, but so that others might avoid a similar fate to yours on the return flight, have you any idea what caused your illness? Was it the Lake Victoria drenching in your opinion?

Finally your account of a non-original record almost dooming your time with the Ngamba chimps serves as an excellent warning as to how strict they are at Ngamba. They told me about turning away people who came all the way to Uganda for the sole purpose of being with the chimps. And added that begging and tears did nothing to change the decision. While I was there, the cameraman for a documentary starring Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, was turned away due to lack of documentation. (Yes, I'm name dropping, but it is such an odd combo of people and places that I can't resist.) Anyways, your account may impress upon others considering Ngamba just how important all the medical paperwork is!

Welcome back.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 11:36 AM
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hey Dave - yes thank you for hooking me up w/Great Lakes - I recall that I did hear about them initially from you, so thanks for that great tip. have a great time on your next trip; I definitely hope to get back there - want to go to murchinson falls - although I think Ethiopia and Kili are next on my to-do list.

atravelynn - Reading some of your comments on Ngamba was what prompted me to look into going there in the first place, so thanks!! and I totally forgot about Nakuu licking the lace to get it back through! It really is just an experience that is hard to describe. No idea about why we ate breakfast in the dark but it was definitely a budget place so perhaps they were saving some pennies...(although couldn't we have had a candle, something?)
As for the future of the chimp walks, Stany said that in a few years only some of the calmer females would be able to go out, and it probably wouldn't be a standard offering. (When I first saw the juveniles, I was shocked at how big they were - I was definitely expecting babies.) Although it is great if they don't have baby chimps that need rescuing, however, having the one-on-one w/the chimps certain gives you a new appreciation for them that can't be gained just by looking at them. I have no idea what caused the drama on the flight home. I thought my appendix was ready to burst or something and then the beet red blotches started forming..and spreading...yikes! I was back to normal in about 24 hours though. I still need to go to the dr re the Lake Victoria "swim"...very sad commentary that I put the needs of my clients over my own health back home.. Supposedly you don't feel any effects of it until much later. (And I'd name drop Johnny Rotten too...very cool!)
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