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JulieM

Habituation Gorilla Trek - Uganda 2016

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JulieM

Thanks @@Zim Girl - glad you enjoyed my report!

 

The next morning we asked to leave the lodge quite early. We were headed back to Kigali and wanted to have lunch at Hotel Rwanda before heading to the Genocide Museum and then to the airport for our 6.45pm flight to Johannesburg. The early morning mist was a gorgeous send off from our "gorillas in the mist" experience.

 

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Our lunch was a nice buffet meal. It was interesting that there was absolutely nothing to commemorate what had happened at Hotel Rwanda. The Genocide Museum was as harrowing as you would expect, and even though I had read about the genocide in the book "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families", I still couldn't get my head around how such a thing could happen.

 

Heading to the airport, we were sad that our journey was coming to an end, but so so satisfied with what we had done. Time to start dreaming of our next African adventure......4+ months overlanding in a 4x4 from Johannesburg through to Arusha.....2018 can't come fast enough!!

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amybatt

Wonderful trip report and fabulous photos. While I loved the gorillas, the landscape and the locals, the look on your husband's face is priceless. I could feel his joy in watching them through that one shot. Nicely done.

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JulieM

Thanks @@amybatt - I love that shot too. He really was relishing his gorilla experience.

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pault

I saw it.... great start but saving it for a proper read tomorrow brunch (if I don'lt have assigned chores)..

 

It's gorilla month on Safaritalk. Brilliant. :D

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pault

You were massively spoiled (especially gorillas coming to you and Gerard walking to the ranger station with your passports) but after all that weight loss and fitness-gaining I reckon you deserved it. Fantastic. What were you thinking letting them book the Nkuringo group for you? That was very brave but just as well that landslide saved you from your folly, although you seem to have handled the first day very well indeed.

 

Love the photos of the area - so beautiful there. And love your porter and the shot of your husband is fabulous - really captures the gorilla-bliss trance state. The gorilla shots too of course - goes without saying. Babies, silverbacks, females - the full set.

 

Really enjoyed my brunch with you. Great story.

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Zubbie15

Thanks so much for sharing this @@JulieM, even with the price four hours with the gorillas would certainly be special. It's definitely something I'd consider the next time I want to go see the gorillas. And then to have them come to you the next day, how awesome is that!

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JulieM

You are right @@pault - it was very fool-hardy to consider the Nkuringo group! I was so pleased when Gerard had said we wouldn't have to do it! But, I reckon it we had had to, we would have managed it......but how much easier was it for the gorillas to come to us??! :D And I'm glad I added to your brunch experience!

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AKR1

@@JulieM. This is just a wonderful report. I just read an article about a similar trek undertaken by an FT reporter and misunderstood that the 4 hour trek was at the same price as the $600 single permit. I now understand it's $1500p but still agree with you that its a far better deal than two regular permits. Again, thanks for sharing this report and your beautiful pictures.

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Atravelynn

Your info in #11 was very helpful. That wet hairdo in #17 is rather wild. What a stressful situation the landslide created. I hope no one got hurt. The gorillas probably could sense the problem to give them enough warning to get out of the way. Gerard to the rescue when the road washed out!

 

Each gorilla photo is better than the last and your husband shot is nice too.

 

You've given some great insights on the habituation visits. Kabiza Wilderness Safaris--great tip for a habituation trip.

 

Thanks for sharing all of this!

Edited by Atravelynn

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JulieM

Thanks @@Atravelynn!

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xelas

@@JulieM

 

Late to enjoy your fantastic TR and excellent photos. Tohether with Mana Pools, this was what probably many of us would conside "a trip of a lifetime"! Thanks for sharing.

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optig

@@JulieM I just loved all your photos especially of the mist rolling in over the landscape. They're just stunning.The photos of the guide smiling are just lovely. I appreciate your advise about watching the group of gorillas habituate.

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Atravelynn

Leaving us with misty departure shots. 2018 should be very exciting.

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amybatt

Re: "just watching"...I'd commented on someone's photo from their gorilla trekking that I saw on Twitter. They replied to me "especially if you only have an hour" with them, put the camera down and just watch. After a bit of back and forth with her, I learned that she got so caught up in the photography that she left little time to just enjoy and watch the family interact. A great warning for those of us just about to go!

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Atravelynn

@@JulieM, remind us how far in advance you got your permits (I counted a little less than a year) and if you have any other comments on when to get the habituation permits, other than to get them ASAP. Kabiza got the permits for you I assume. Interesting proverb on Kabiza's site: "The eye never forgets what the heart has seen." Well, you certainly saw lots!

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Alexander33

@@JulieM

 

What a way to cap your trip! I'm a little late to your report, but better late than never. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.

 

Despite the challenges with the light on that second day, I'd say you did more than alright. The "pensive" baby and that very last shot, not to mention the artistic hand portrait, are especially compelling.

 

We are headed to Rwanda next July, and I really struggled with the timing of that. Go in the dry season for easier trekking and more than likely have to fight with that dappled, bright sunlight or go in the rainy season and more than likely have a wet, slippery trek but more romantic photos "in the mist."

 

In the end, I think your advice to also just enjoy the moment truly resonates -- though that may prove hard for me!

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JulieM

@@JulieM

 

Late to enjoy your fantastic TR and excellent photos. Tohether with Mana Pools, this was what probably many of us would conside "a trip of a lifetime"! Thanks for sharing.

 

 

It sure was a trip of a lifetime - we are very lucky.

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JulieM

@@JulieM, remind us how far in advance you got your permits (I counted a little less than a year) and if you have any other comments on when to get the habituation permits, other than to get them ASAP. Kabiza got the permits for you I assume. Interesting proverb on Kabiza's site: "The eye never forgets what the heart has seen." Well, you certainly saw lots!

 

 

I just looked up my emails - we bought the permits in late January for our early October trek. I would say as a general rule, if plans are set, then get the permits asap. Yes, Kabiza got the permits for us.

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Atravelynn

That's early.

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