East Africa – Day 19

Uganda 6 August 2015

I have not been able to upload photographs to my, blog without wifi or decent band width but will add photographs to my blog post as soon as I can.

We are having the most brilliant time in Uganda with ever great. Our trip was organised by our local ground agents Avian Watch Uganda. Everything is going really well with Robert, our fantastic guide (who knows all the sites and calls and can whistle birds in) and Paul, our driver and fixer, for who nothing was too much.

We had stayed at Queen Elizabeth National Park, in a lodge next to The Channel, which runs between Lake George and Lake Edward. These all form part of the Albertine Rift Valley.

For the morning, we had a change of plan. Instead of Savannah birding, we decided to go for some forest birding North with a guard at Kazinga Forest, which is still part of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Then Digby said goodbye and got a lift with Emmanuel back to Entebbe, for his evening flight.

Then we drove back south to where we started from in Queen Elizabeth,l to then drive South through Ishasha Sector, where we looked for but didn’t see any of the two prides of climbing Lions.

From here we had the long drive to Buhoma, the northern side of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. After dumping our stuff in our room, we went for a walk, where we caught up with a load of endemics and target species.

Buhoma is where Robert is from, so went off the spend the evening at home with his wife and family. His cousin had just died, so I’m sure he was glad to see them. Her cousin used to be a hunter and had been the leader of one of their teams that habituated the Gorillas. It took two years, starting with the first few confrontations being the team being charged by the Silverback and having to sand him off. After a while, the Silverback learns that the team aren’t dangerous or aggressive.

Robert told us to go to bed early as trekking for Gorillas could be tough and steep. I think we were worried about Mum getting up there. He told Mum to hire a longer and better pole and to pay a porter to carry our day pack. There were 11 habituated groups from Buhoma, plus researched ones, plus news with no human contact, plus the ones being habituated at the moment.

Our friend Sue Caola had told us everyone is put into groups in the morning, it’s the old people going to visit the closest groups. I was hoping Mum and we were put into an oldies group!

I was very very excited about the Mountain Gorilla trekking the next day. I was going to present a video for an RSPB competition, which I did some work for before bed.

We all woke during the night, with the torrential rain loudly hitting the roof. Hoping the rain would stop before morning.

Trip list – 585 birds for Uganda it ting and 276 lifers for me

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