Weirdo Goes Tarzan In The Jungle

I literally swung off trees. Mostly to catch myself from slipping down the muddy slopes of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or to frantically leap from beehives, but whatevs. Me, Jane.

I spent my first six days in Uganda on a Topdeck “Troop to the Gorillas” Tour run by Acacia Africa and I can’t recommend these guys enough. I’m not much of a tour person and this was my first (more than three-day) tour, but it was full of awesome people, an incredible tour leader (Elton) and driver (Marc), delicious food, and great ease in knowing what, when and where you’re going next. We covered so much ground from Kampala to Lake Bunyoni, including a visit to Queen Elizabeth Park, chimpanzee trek, gorilla trek, optional day trips to Kigali and we still had plenty of time for some downtime at the lake to catch up on postcards, journals, reading, sleeping, cleaning your belly button, or whatever the hell you wanna do. It’s vacation, after all. TIA.

Mountain Gorilla 1

The biggest reason I was there was to see this guy and about 19 of his family members and the experience was so surreal that it’s been four days and I still can’t properly put my emotions into words. My camera handling was shit that day – whether due to my overwhelming excitement or damp jungle conditions, I don’t know – but most of my photos are blurry. After awhile, I stopped taking photos and just watched in awe, fear and respect.

Bro's not havin' it

Bro’s not havin’ it

Out of the family of 20 that we saw, there were three silverbacks, one of which was notorious for charging. During debriefing, we were reminded more than thrice how to react if a gorilla charges you:

  1. Don’t yell
  2. Don’t look him in the eye
  3. Don’t run away

About two minutes into our first sighting, notorious Rumanza was just chillin’ out by his tree and I guess he wasn’t cool with eight people interrupting his “me” time, so he charged and I did the exact opposite of all of the above. Hey man, all logic goes out the window when a 400 pound silverback rushes at you. I may have peed a little but I blamed it on the rain.

Bring it on, Rumz

Bring it on, Rumz

I like this tree. This is my favourite tree. Leave me alone under this tree.

I like this tree. This is my favourite tree.

I'm shy

I’m shy

Next up, I relax in Jinja in denial by The Nile.