Tracking Gorillas in Uganda
I’ve been on many beautiful hikes but this one had a special purpose!
Uganda is home to 300 mountain gorillas, the largest of all gorilla populations in Africa. We landed in Kampala and drove across to the west of the country bordering Rwanda and DRC, stopping at 0 degrees latitude to stand on the equator which cuts across Uganda.
Our mission was to hike through the Biwindi rainforest, high up in the misty mountains, to track and see these majestic animals in their home habitat. The forest is labelled as ‘impenetrable’ due to its density, I had never hiked through so much lush vegetation it was like walking inside an emerald.
Led by an expert local team we ascended into the forest with trackers ahead of us to find the gorilla family we were visiting. Within 3 hours we had located our family with a male silverback, female and two infants.
Staying at a safe distance we watched them, as they watched us, whilst continuing their daily play and search for food. The encounter lasted an hour which felt like minutes, fixated on these creatures we were slowly led back to our path for the hike back. Tourism helps fund the work the national park does to care for the gorillas and with responsible travel and strict Covid safety precautions, this is still possible.
We continued the trip with a visit to Queen Elizabeth National Park to for a spectacular safari and boat ride on the Kazinga channel sailing past hippos and crocodiles that live in the waters. The lodges we stayed in were clean and the local food was delicious and fresh. Our last day we drove to Kampala the capital city a bustling vibrant change from the quaint villages we had driven through.
My final view of this nature rich country were in Entebbe, by the shores of the vast Lake Victoria waiting for our flight home to Dubai.