My first trip to Africa and I went to Uganda! Without my yellow fever vaccination ( out of stock in China and HK takes 3 months to get an appointment- blimey!) I took a risky move purely to see my dream bird. It was none other than the pre-historic looking Shoebill! I was told it’s a 99% chance of seeing the weird looking bird at Mabamba swamp but we failed to find it in my morning boat trip! The boat ride however, gave us awesome views of a variety of birds including African Jacanas, Malachite Kingfishers, Palmnut Vultures and even a Mamba snake!
I was devastated not seeing the shoebill- how can I leave Uganda without seeing the Shoebill!? My guide David Agenya (Gorilla whisperer) arranged an afternoon hunt and perseverance is in sight! No words can describe my feelings when I saw the Shoebill up-close, bucket list ticked and I can finally move on to my next venture- yup, searching for relatives!
Relatives that share 98.4% DNA with me live in the Impenetrable forest at Bwindi and up the mountains! To see these rare relatives- you need a permit and a very good guide. We’re in good hands as David Agenya is the lead supervisor at the research centre- he arranged everything including a great lodge (The silverback) and personally took us up the hike! For 15 USD, I hired a porter which helped me with my backpack and gave me a push/ pull to get through the damp forest! To penetrate the impenetrable forest, our guards used machetes and after almost a 2hour hike (we’re lucky as in some cases it takes 8hrs), we finally saw our relatives! Yes, mountain Gorillas! We had very good views of the babies and the Silverback and his wives as we spent an hour with the family.
Uganda has much to offer-located at the Equator, the weather is mild, with greens everywhere! No wonder it boasts of over 1000 birds in Uganda and is home to elephants, tree-climbing lions and cheeky chimpanzees and angry hippos, etc! I didnt have enough time to do a safari but just passing through the outskirts already gave me a hindsight of what I have missed! Surely, I’ll be back again for more! Thanks to David Agenya who only whispers to gorillas (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Below are just some of the many birds and wildlife photos I’ve taken at lodges, drive-bys! 😛