Uganda: Gorilla Trekking & More!

Posted Travel

It was two in the morning when I arrived in Entebbe. Despite my attempt at catching up on sleep during the flight, I was dead tired. The excitement of a new city kept me awake. After a long drive, we arrived at the Red Chilli Hideaway, the driver reminded me that I would have to be up early for my visit to Murchison Falls.

In the morning, I forced myself to eat the eggs and toast. It was too early to eat or maybe it was odd colour of the yolks (imagine lemon meringue). We started off to Murchison around seven. Understandably, I slept through most of the ride. I was on a trip with two Americans, Jen and Liz, who worked with refugee groups in Uganda. It was a long ride, but the view was worth the wait.

The guide gave us a quick history: Murchison Falls were named after the President of the Royal Geographic society. A European named Sir Baker decided that this was the source of the Nile and named them. It turned out that this wasn’t actually the source in the end. After heavy rainfall, the excess water from Murchison would overflow into a separate falls, dubbed Ohuru Falls by Ugandans.

Back in Kampala, I stayed at Fat Cat Backpackers on the same street that my grandparents used to live. I also met up with the EWB Uganda crew for a quick lunch. It was nice to see how much progress they’re making and to bounce ideas. I’m thankful for my friend, Alanna, who always has the best advice!

The highlight of my trip was in Eastern Uganda at Bwindi National Park. We spent about 6 hours in the forest (1 with the gorillas). At certain points, I’d look around and wonder how our guides could possibly know where we were. We were surrounded by forest with no clear trail in sight. I was holding onto vines to climb the hills! We visited the Kahungye family, which was the largest with a few silverbacks. They were absolutely terrifying and beautiful. They reminded me of pandas, sitting and munching on leaves. But, if they grew agitated, they made sure we knew who was boss.

We finished the trek sliding down the muddy hills in the rain. I was glad that it only started to rain once we were out of the forest. Our group ended that night with drinks and a tasty meal as we swapped gorilla stories. What a great way to end my visit to Uganda.
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