Given the prices to fly back to NZ I decided to go to Africa instead and trek the Gorillas which I missed out on last time.
+17/12/2013Back in Africa
Flew into Entebbe and had a ride waiting to the hostel in Kampala
Met Jess in the morning, the other person joining the truck in Kampala, then joined the truck at a shopping center in Kampala. First evening was a rainy affair and I got buddied up with Archie, a 70 year old English man who checked out his last tent buddy for snoring.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
The next day was spent mostly on truck until we arrived at the Hippo Camp in Queen Elizabeth National Park where I'd stayed before. The afternoon was a game
cruise across the Kazinga Channel that connects Lake Edward and Lake George. Walking back to the truck one of the guys warned there was a Lion nearby and that we should hurry up. No urgency so most of us didn't believe him. Turned out there was one at the top of the hill and the short cut he'd been going to take would have come out right next to it.
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda
We did a game drive in the morning which was frankly a bit of a waste of time as there's not much to see in this park apart from doing the cruise. We went into the local village where we were inundated with the local kids and ended up playing pool in a local bar.
The afternoon got a bit more dramtic however. One of the guys had $2000 stolen from his bag on the truck so the police were called in and ripped apart the rooms a few of us were staying in but didn't touch the tents. One of the girls didn't do herself any favours by deciding to leave the campsite when we'd all been asked to stay. It was all a bit sad really. Seemed like an inside job and apparently all the people on the tour from the start knew he kept his cash under his seat and it wasn't locked. He'd been warned not to keep it there and to use the safe on the truck as everyone else did so he was a bit naive but, a really sad thing you wouldn't expect to happen.
Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda
The next morning we were off early and stopped in Kalinzu Forest to do some Chimpanzee trekking. For my group this involved chasing our guide through the underbrush for three hours until we eventually found a small group at the end. It was great fun.
The evening we were meant to stop at a hostel in Kabale but there was a wedding blocking off the road so we got upgraded to the campsite Absolute Africa used to use on Lake Bunyonyi. It was awsome, real shame they don't use it anymore.
In the morning me, Jess and, Josh and Mia took a boat across the lake while the others jumped on the truck for a bumpy ride around the hills. It was a lovely way to travel, quite peaceful and our skipper ran a few local errands along the way including giving hos sister a lift.
A bunch more people were joing the truck today, trekking the Gorillas then making there way to Zanzibar. Our day was going to be spent chilling out but there was a fun run on to raise funds for a Maternity ward for the local hospital. We all signed up for the 5km but a couple of the guys and George our tour leader, ended up doing the 12.5km.
Today was the big day and why most of us were here, the Gorilla Trekking. I ended up with Jess, Liam, Josh and Mia, David and Kathryn with Ying added as a last minute addition. We trekked the Busingye Gorilla group. It was steep going and Jess was going to give up at the start but Liam was adament she shouldn't give up. The hour we spent witht he Gorillas flew by. We followed them downhill through the bush with our guides hacking a way for us as they moved on. At one point Josh kept getting Mia to move closer so he could get a good shot and the Silverback reared up and beat his chest with a massive roar. We all fell overselves as we backed up quick as we could, don't think anyone got a good photo. I was especially nervous as Dave had been telling me he'd been warned they go for the tallest person as he's pretty tall himself.
When we got back George had organised a Christmas meal on the lake near Kisroro which was really nice. He'd had a pig slaughtered (was so proud of the video with the head being hacked off in two blows) and had a long table done up with Christmas decorations.
Christmas day in Kigali was a chilled affair. We visited the Genocide Memorial which is a depressing destination on Christmas day but had an alright meal in the evening.
This is the unique part of this route, none of the other overland trucks go under Lake Victoria, they all loop back over the top. One of the reasons I'd gone for this trip is that I wouldn't have to retrack places I'd already been.
We had a ferry crossing in the morning and tried out the local Chips My Eye, which is chips with egg poured on and fried. A cheap Spanish Omelett and really good.
In Mwanza we stayed at a resort on the beach of Lake Victoria.
+28/12/2013Night drive and Morning walk
Grumeti Reserve, Tanzania
The night drive in the Grumeti Reserver was pretty lame. We did see a Hyena just as we left the camp, and a Chameleon but for the most part it was spot lighting Antelope and Rabbits.
The morning walk was much more enjoyable, a pleasant stroll asthe sun came up.
+29/12/2013Lions in trees
The Serengeti was awseome. We saw a couple of Leopards, Cheetahs and best of all some Lions climbing trees. There's an abundance of wildlife here and it didn't fail to impress.
+30/12/2013Big Five Complete
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Rounded out the big five by seeing a Rhino here, even if it was a bit off in the distance.
+31/12/2013New Years Eve
We finished up in Arusha with a decent night out for New Years Eve.
+01/12/2014Lift to Moshi
I got a lift to Moshi in the morning as I'd decided to give Mt Kilimanjaro a go.