The drive down from Murchison River National Park was a very confusing one with deviations due to road work and somehow we ended up on the wrong road but eventually after going the wrong way for a while we got back on track.
We stopped for coffee as usual at 10.30 am and it wasn’t long before we had a group of around 8 people come over to see who we were. They were all neighbours who got together occasionally to have a chat but didn’t drink because they were Seventh Day Adventist. Marcus took some photos with his iPhone and then printed some photos for them using the HP Sprocket Plus which they were delighted with.
We arrived at our campsite at the Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse in the early afternoon so we went straight around to the Ugandan Wildlife Authority office to book in a trek with the Chimpanzees for the two days later which we were successful with. Back at the camp we settled in on a beautiful manicured garden of hibiscus and big trees with loads of different birds including lots of Hornbills with the biggest bills we had seen. The guesthouse is situated on a working tea plantation high up above Lake Nyabikere with stunning views.
The following day we drove into Fort Portal because Pauline was still not feeling great so we found a pharmacy and explained to the young girl Pauline’s symptoms whereby she sold us some antibiotics that she assured us would work however I still did a google search on the drug she had given us to make sure! We also picked up some supplies and had a nice lunch at a local restaurant. The restaurant actually made their own bread and believe it or not it was not sweet so we convinced them to sell us a loaf to take with us. The next morning we were up early and drove to the starting point for the Chimpanzee trek and while waiting struck up a conversation with two girls from Belgium Pauline and my memory fails me who ended up being in our group of only four. We also met Neil and Katie who are English but managing a lodge down in the Bwindi National Park somewhere, all of them were really great to talk to. The guide we were given was gordon and he set off at a cracking pace which made Pauline really struggle as she was still suffering the after effects of her sickness. There were about four groups of trekkers who set off in different directions with their own guide and I have a sneaking g suspicion that the guides have a competition to see who can find the Chimps first! Gordon most likely due to the pace he set found the Chimpanzees first and so the four of us had some quality time with them before the other groups met up with us.
It was a large group of perhaps 30 odd Chimpanzees and quite spread out on the forest floor and in the canopy so it meant the groups could still stay seperate but view the Chimps easily. We spent an hour following them and watching all their antics and and I must say they are a very vocal lot. At one stage the Alpha male decided that we had encroached a bit too close and charged us, Gordon told us firmly to stand still and sure enough he stopped only a metre away from us but it sure scared the Belgium girls!
It was a great experience with the one hour went very quickly and then we had a very casual walk back to the headquarters. Then it was back to camp where we had a lunch of Rolex with avocado and coleslaw washed down with a cold ginger beer. Next we head to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to see the Gorillas.