Africa Safari Articles
> Uganda and Rwanda
SAFARIS: TREKKING A PINNACLE OF UGANDA TOURISM.
Gorilla Safaris: Trekking a
Pinnacle of Uganda Tourism
by: Jakke Gibson Roberts
Uganda “The Pearl of Africa” is
small country in the Eastern and Central Africa bordering Kenya in
the East Tanzania and Rwanda in the south, Congo (DRC) in the west
and Sudan in the north.
Uganda has a unique description
which cannot be close to the truth….situated in the fertile heart of
Africa, astride the Equator boasts of wide diverse of landscape,
from rugged snow capped mountains, the vast flatlands stretching to
the horizon, Uganda offers visitors a wealth of breathtaking scenery
, with range of broad savannah, rain forests to arid – semi desert ,
plenty of wetlands and abundant fresh rain forests. It is within
such charming climate that has natured and protected the mountain
gorillas that still survive on earth.
It is estimated that not more
than 600 still survive on earth and that those still surviving live
in the environs of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in south
western part of Uganda.
Every visitor coming to Uganda
would wish to get into contact with these gentle giants moreover our
distant cousins. Uganda should treat gorilla tracking as the
pinnacle of the tourism industry in the country if they are to
continue attracting more numbers of tourist visiting the country and
increase passes to visit these gentle giants. Below is my gorilla
Having slept in dream world of
tomorrow experience, I woke up so early by 5.00 am and took shower
to enhance my energy. Shortly we were briefed by the park guides
what we were likely to go through before meeting the forest beasts
and most important as to how to conduct ourselves once we are in
vicinity of gorillas.
We set off under dense under
growth and faster we moved, in the jungle under dense layers of
canopies. The terrain is hilly but all covered with thick forest. We
would stop to wait for those who needed to catch their breath. It
took us about 5 hours to get near them. Closer the gorillas got. Our
guide signaled that he has seen waste (poopoo) and this was sign
indicating to us that we are almost seeing them. Shortly started
seeing fresh under growth beaten. Continued hiking in the jungle
following some beaten tracks. We came across some monkeys and many
bird species in the jungle. The Forest truck was narrow, overgrown.
As a result we could not see far ahead of us.
So no sooner had we moved in a
bit open place but with thick ferns and orchids, could already view
a few of them sitting majestically and motionless in tree branches
watching and waiting for us.
Our efforts and determinations
were about to pay off. We came across a small river and crossed it
in one leap. Now we really came close. We were tired but very
excited; we moved down and crawled closer to the gorillas in total
silence. They had finally come into full view-over 14 of them-an
Two silver backs sat next to
each other at the head of the group, while the others huddled
together closely behind and continued their silent stares. Once in a
while the juveniles could move in play some manner almost coming
closer to where we were while the adults broke into a low grunt and
moved closer. Meanwhile each of us was fidgeting to take a snap of
life time as to many of would be their last chance to see these
The bigger silverback suddenly
stood on all fours and stiffened, indicating we had probably moved
One of the gorillas appearing to
be stubborn refused to sit with the group or even join them when
they began moving further away. He continued to sit by himself in
the bush and watched us. We also watched him, and waited for him to
join his family. Eventually he left the bush and sat in the path
just behind us. We left the path so he could move ahead of us and
join the others, but still refused to move. When our patience
finally run out and we decided to follow the other gorillas before
they disappeared out of sight, Finally he moved and followed closely
behind us. Whenever we stopped, he too would stop and move whenever
“He is trying to show the
silverbacks that he too can lead. He wants to make sure all is well”
ranger guide explained. He soon and went to join his family who were
already moving ahead and disappearing under the thick leaves. For
one hour, we had watched infant gorillas playing on their mother’s
bellies, juvenile gorillas somersaulting on tree branches, and male
gorillas shaking the ground with their chest thumps. For one hour,
we had sat entranced by the sight of the gorillas, so massive that
one us thought a gorillas paw to be a head. It was an hour well
spent. We continued pondering over our time with the gorillas long
after they disappeared out of sight.
Finally it was time to retrace
our steps back to the vehicles. Three hours of climbing awaited us.
But we didn’t mind. Our mission had been successfully accomplished.
We were happy and done.
Not even the torrential rain
which poured half way into our journey back, could erase our
spirits- no wonder this forest is at times referred to as rainy
forest. It is a memory I still savor and linger in my dreams.
It is to this emphasis that the
caretaker of the habitat of these distant cousins Uganda Wildlife
Authority should continue playing a pivot role to conserve for the
future as their motto spells. Company offering trips to East Africa
– Kenya Tanzania and Uganda plus Rwanda called Travel Hemispheres,
arranged our tour package. And can be reached on this email:
Our email address is
Jakke Gibson Roberts
About The Author
Jakke Roberts has travelled to
many parts of the African Continent. He is a photo journalist and a
Have you gone on vacation to Africa
and would like to share your experiences with others on this site?
If yes please contact us today by clicking here
and we will gladly contact you with instructions on how to submit