Travel Inspirations & Experiences

Gorillas in the mist


The walk began in the dark. It was mild yesterday morning. We had been walking for several hours when the sun began to set in the sky. My backpack was sticky and wet.

The trackers had located them and we followed their tracks on a muddy and slippery path in the heart of the famous impenetrable forest of Bwindi. Two guides, equipped with guns, to scare away any aggressive elephants or to ward off any Congolese poacher who could still hang out in this impenetrable forest of Bwindi, a mysterious name, like this compact forest, of a shiny green . We progress on the mountainside, the dirt road zigzags between fields of tea and banana trees.

A family of 12 had they announced. Including the lord of the forest, the silver man, a silverback male and a toddler barely 2 months old. Impatience.

Cross the planet to observe some of the 1004 mountain gorillas still existing on earth, scattered throughout the African Great Lakes region, between Rwanda, Congo and Uganda. The idea is a little crazy, but accessible to everyone. And this meeting is so impactful and filled with emotion that it can shake up the course of everyone’s life.

Finally, I see them, lying on top of each other, busy hugging, caressing, time freezes in front of this concentrate of tenderness and complicity. They bask on silky grass, surrounded by eucalyptus trees and gorge themselves on bamboo and nettles in mad innocence.

Scene of absolute complicity between the 2 month old baby and his mother. Total and silent fusion.

My eyes get wet, the emotion is stronger. So I let her speak.

I do not try to meet their gaze to leave them in peace. Just observe them, understand the serenity that animates them. They change places, we follow them stealthily, keeping a safe distance, always with the complicity of the trackers. In Uganda, everything is in place to protect gorillas. Even the batwas, the pygmies who inhabited the forest were moved to let them reproduce. The population is growing slowly, year after year. Miracle of man. A burst of hope in this world that we are trying to mend by all means.

Tear yourself away from this magical moment

But one thing is certain I saw the light dancing in their eyes.

The meeting with the gorillas is the essential moment of the trip to Uganda.

But this country, whose tourism is still in its infancy, is full of promise and harbors incredible experiences to be lived.

Geographically located on the border of East Africa and Central Africa, Uganda is crossed by the Great Rift and presents a wide variety of landscapes: savannas, tropical and equatorial forests, volcanoes silhouetted in the mist , or plains stained with banana trees or fields of tea.

5 hours from Kampala, in the mythical Kibalé forest, you can come into contact with chimpanzees, in various parks including Queen Elisabeth or Murchison Fall, you can observe giraffes, elephants, leopards or hippos.

Near the Bwini forest, understanding the daily life of the Batwa is a highlight. Understand how these pygmies – 30 years ago – were exfiltrated from the forest and ultimately sacrificed to protect the endangered great apes.

At Lake Mutanda, it will be a question of paddle boarding and canoeing in a swimmable lake, a natural wonder a stone’s throw from the tropical forest.

Then in Mburo Park, you can gallop with the antelopes or cycle with the zebras, when the baboons will come to tease you on the terrace of your lodge if you had decided to do some yoga postures …

Uganda, a country for adventurers, still hidden from view, which makes it one of its assets, which will clog your memory factory. The most suitable seasons are July and August, then from December to February, to limit rainfall.

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