Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fourth night in Kigali

Today will be a short blog. We are tired. The driver Morris picked us up at 4am this morning to take us up to the Volcano mountains and the Volcano national park where the gorillas live - where Diane Fossey once lived. The mountains look like volcanoes and border to DRC, and Uganda. The mist lay heavy on the mountains. The park is situated in the northern part of the country, Musanze region. Ruhengeri is the main town. The road is narrow, leading up to the park and in very bad condition, with big holes all over and people walking along the road. At dusk they are hard to see while walking to pick up water, selling stuff at the market or going to church. Returning back to Kigali, they are hordes, cycle tournaments and small children playing. Our driver Morris skillfully avoided all the dangers.

We took a chance to drive up to the park, since Andy and Greg dared, and despite the fact that non of us had prebooked 5 months ahead, as needed to guarantee a permit to see the gorillas. We were not lucky; there were no no-shows so we took a hike up to the golden monkeys instead.
We walked for an hour and then went around around in a very dense bamboo forest for another hour, with monkeys jumping over our heads, from tree to tree and once in a while touched ground. It was fun and the walk up to the forest was beautiful and reminded me a bit of both northern Italy and Southern France. However Africa is Africa. The air is so special.

We were escorted by three soldiers, two trackers, one guide and one porter with a machete.
See pictures. The group of tourists consisted of 8 and were mostly from Europe. The reason for our heavy protection, they said was that there are both elephants, gorillas and other animals that can attack. I am not so sure about that motivation.

Tomorrow work starts and we will be quite busy for a week.

Pictures above, which of the apes are cutest?

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