Robin's Adventures

Expedition to Africa
Safari Adventures

Vultures

There were always vultures hanging about. They were usually on the top branches of trees so they could have a good view of what was happening.

Birds of Prey

There was a nice assortment of eagles and hawks. These birds also hung out on the tops of the tall trees.

That's Amore

A female eagle was standing on a tree branch minding her own business, when along came a male eagle who wanted to tango. The female didn't seem to mind, but it was all over rather quickly and the male flew off without so much as a good bye.

Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp

We traveled in our game drive vehicle from Kabali to Bwindi where we stayed at the edge of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forrest National Park. Our accommodations consisted of a tent cabin in a permanent tented campsite.

Staying in the middle of a rainforest means that we are surrounded by all the wonderful sounds of the forest outside our tent. Unfortunately, this time it meant that the biggest spider we had ever seen would manage to drop from the ceiling right at Robin's feet when she was otherwise occupied in the bathroom. Needless to say, it ended badly for the spider and Robin spent as little time as possible in the bathroom for the rest of the trip.

Bwindi Farms

We took a walkabout tour of the farming village at Bwindi. The area had many small fields planted with bananas, coffee, tea, and other food crops.

As we had noticed throughout our travels in Uganda, almost every family had a Uganda \"lawnmower\" in their yard: goats.

Homemade bricks was also a common practice at different places that we passed on our walkabout.

Pygmy Village

One of the stops on our walkabout was the Batwa Pygmy village. Elfas, the village elder, told us about what life was like for the tribe when they lived in the forest. Our guide provided the translation.

The women sang for us and the children danced. Elfas demonstrated hunting techniques and showed us clothing made from tree bark and the traditional fire starting technique of the pygmys.

The forest lifestyle is no longer sustainable, so the government of Uganda moved all of the pygmy tribes into small villages.

Batwa Pygmy Village

Medicine Man

Our walkabout also took us to the hut of the village medicine man. He told us about some of the medicinal uses of various plants that he had gathered.

Our next stop was at a place that made a type of alcoholic beverage out of fermented bananas. They showed us the hollowed log that the farmer used and explained the process.

We also saw how coffee beans were dried and then removed from their husk. Steve had an opportunity to try out the grinder. Perhaps it would just be easier to go to Starbucks.

Grinding Coffee

Gorilla Trek: Day One

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the site of our gorilla trek, was aptly named. It is a very dense, thick rainforest with sprawling vines, prickery thorns, and lots of dead, decaying branches and leaf litter on the forest floor. The lead guide used a machete to cut a path and we followed with porters to help us keep our footing and carry our packs.

We had tucked our pants into our socks to prevent the encroachment of biting ants, but they were also on the trees and we got them in our shirts.

Just when I was hoping that there were no snakes, we came across one. Everyone was impressed by the beautiful markings and stopped to take a picture. At the time no one realized that it was a rhinoceros viper, one of the most poisonous snakes in Africa.