Today we have a long drive back to Kampala. Along the way, we stop for lunch and take pictures at the equator and visit the Mpigi Royal Drum Makers.

We had fun…
JB and me at the equator.
Remmy really loves his drums. Look at the big smile on his face.
The owner of the shop with the help of his workers showed us all that is involved in crafting ceremonial drums. The methods have been passed down through generations.
We arrived at our resort in the evening. Very quiet spot over looking Lake Victoria. Tomorrow we explore Kampala.
After fighting traffic we finally arrived at Laika ac Gaddafi National Mosque, Kampala
Idi Amin wanted to build the largest mosque in Africa but he never finished it. Gaddafi gave the money for it a couple of years ago.
We wanted to come here because the view from the tower over looks the entire city, a 360 degree view.
We had to become Muslims for the day.
See the squares in the rug? Each square is for a person to kneel and pray. We also had to take off our shoes.
We are in the woman’s section in the balcony.
They did not make Gilles become a Muslim? No clothes to fit him?
All the chandeliers, big and small had this design.
We then climbed 304 steps to the top of the tower. Kampala is the capital city. It has two million people in the city proper and another four millions on the outlying areas. The city was set on seven hills originally but now many more hills have been developed. It is densely populated and the roads are jammed with vehicles. I think that our guide told us that on the original seven hills, a religious building was placed. I think the two towers in the back of this picture is the Catholic Church. Rubaga Cathedral”
See the roads they all lead into the city.
Hilton hotel?
Bank of Uganda?
There were many modern buildings in Kampala.
St. Paul’s Anglican Church
Costco is on the right front in this picture.
This is where you catch a taxi to anywhere in Uganda. The taxis here are more like buses.
catch the traffic…
See those plastic containers, they are filled with grasshoppers.
They are a big source of protein and farmers are making a living harvesting them.
The grasshoppers are cooked in a frying pan or pot with a little oil while they are still alive. The grasshoppers contain quite a bit of oil in themselves. They are eaten hot or cold, a snack, or a meal. A favorite of young and old alike and taste like crispy chicken skin. You might want to use a toothpick after.
We walked through this busy market.
I think we were the only white people in this market. The term for white people is mzungu.
Allāhu akbar (الله أكبر), “God is [the] greatest”.

Our tour ended in Kampala, Gilles and Dominique headed to the airport. Dan, Karen, JB and I went back to Entebbe. We were so happy that we choose Entebbe over Kampala as our home base. Entebbe is quiet and has very little traffic. We had one more day to sight see. We decided to go to the Uganda Reptile Village. Dan appreciates snakes and I do too.

Forest Cobra
Egyptian Cobra
Mamba with eggs. Not the black Mamba.
Snapping turtle
Tortoise eating coconut?
Chameleons, our guide said that we would be lucky to find one of these guys. We found two.
Gaboon Viper, look at its big flat head.
Pond Lilly, the color is awesome.
Blue seed pods of the evergreen perennial, Dianella tasmanica
Very busy rooster…
Turn up the volume….
Don’t want to get in this tank with this crocodile.
This is a boa constrictor. Dan just had to pick one up. See how it is coiling around his arm. Dan was saved by the guide.
The boa peed on Dan. Too bad we didn’t catch that in the video. Even the rooster was impressed!

This ended our adventure in the wilds of Africa. That evening we had our last supper at a restaurant on the water. JB and I shared a Grilled tilapia, the whole fish, head, eyes and all. It was delicious. We then headed to the airport for our flight back home. It was fun reliving this amazing trip by writing this blog. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I highly recommend doing this trip if you feel the urge. You can always do a sedan chair for the gorillas. Sweet travels…..

This morning we had a short drive to Lake Mburo. We will do a game drive after checking into our lodge, then another boat ride and a guided walk through the park. Another busy and fun filled day.

We passed another trade center along the way.
Everything looks so fresh and beautiful.
Another incredible lodge, open air, dining is at the rear.
A cozy spot to relax.
Charging station.
Hand made scooter.
Pool overlooking the park.
Ugandan impalas, right outside our lodge.
Impalas all around.
Impala. What a face and Obama ears.
The stripes may help to confuse predators, a group of zebras standing or moving close together may appear as one large mass of flickering stripes, making it more difficult for the lion to pick out a target. The skin of the zebra is black and the stripes are white. It is thought that the white stripes cool the zebras. These zebras do not have to worry about lions in this park. Zebras cannot be ridden because their backs are weak.
Doesn’t this tail look braided?
Finally a good shot of a Yellow-billed Oxpecker riding a zebra.
Young impala nursing.
Some birds are hard to identify. This bird and the one below, at first glance look alike. On this one the eye seems larger and has white circling the entire eye. It also has a yellow bill and yellow legs.
This one has a white strip above the eye, a black beak and light pinkish legs.
Boy these birds blend in well. I think they may be Water Thick-knee.
Remmy our driver, friend and guide.
Gilles and Dominique.
Karen and Dan.
JB
I called this the zebra restaurant. Hope they don’t serve zebra!
This is my favorite tree in Africa.
A sandpiper riding a warthog?
Giant Kingfisher
African Fish eagles on nest, look at the beautiful brown and black body feathers.
African fish eagles mainly eat fish but will eat small birds and baby crocodiles.
This is not a baby Crock.
It is hard to catch these guys opening their mouth, it happens so fast.
Hamerkop, the big nest guy.
On the road again.
Tiny.
Next our walk in the park. Rebecca was our guide. The reason we could walk freely is because there is only one male lion left in this park. As you will see shortly, cattle graze with wild animals. Lions have been killed because they attack the cows.
Topi is a fast antelope. Females and males have horn. Females are smaller.
Topi
Topi
I guess I am a butt girl.
Caught this guy in the act?
He was flexing his muscle for us, he even saluted us.
This baby was just born. It can take up to 20 minutes for the baby to stand up and walk.
The head raised for a second and fell right back down. We decided to give them privacy and went on our way.
These guys raced right by us.
Waterbucks, these guys are so easy to identify because of the white heart around it’s noses.
Unfortunately this picture was hard to capture and into the sun. See the baby?
Majestic Beauty.
Yellow-billed Stock
These storks are usually found in lakes and swamps.
Elands are antelopes. Elands are known to be very peaceful herbivores whose diet is primarily grass and leaves. Both sex have horns which have a spiral ridge but with different purpose, males horns are thinker and shorter than females although for females are more delicate.
Our guide told us that Eland are very shy. We got very close which she said is unusual, they usually move away from people.
Beautiful markings.
I think this one is a male.
Short and sweet, amazing catch.
On the road going back to camp, a herd of African cattle blocked the road.
The cow herder came up to our van and wanted money to let us go by.
Can you see how thin that man is?
Day is done…

After breakfast,we took a short drive to Lake Bunyonyi. Another gorgeous area.

But first we had to cross this bridge.
There are 29 islands on Lake Bunyoyi, including one that used to be a leper colony.
Picture taken from our lodge.
From the restaurant.
The landscape.
Loved this fence.
White-browed Robin-Chat
African Citrix
We enjoyed a casual breakfast and then went on another boat ride on
Lake Bunyonyi..
These canoes were hand craved by artisans out of a single tree. We were treated to a bigger boat for a surprise ride on the lake.
Kyahugye Island, this 35-acre island. You can see waterbuck, ipala and kob up close. All were brought here from Lake Mburo National Park as an attraction for the island.
On the same island,
We exchanged pictures of each other.
They were celebrating the New Year!
I think they enjoyed meeting up with us and we did too.
Illustration of punishment island

A story for you:

Unmarried girls who got pregnant used to be seen as bringing shame to their families in parts of Uganda, so they were taken to a tiny island and left to die. The lucky ones were rescued, and one of them is still alive. The BBC’s Patience Atuhaire tracked her down.

“When my family discovered that I was pregnant, they put me in a canoe and took me to Akampene [Punishment Island]. I stayed there without food or water for four nights,” says Mauda Kyitaragabirwe, who was aged just 12 at the time.

“I remember being very hungry and cold. I was almost dying.”

On the fifth day a fisherman came along and said he would take her home with him. 

“I was a bit sceptical. I asked him whether he was tricking me and wanted to throw me into the water.

But he said: ‘No. I am taking you to be my wife.’ So he brought me here,” she reflects fondly, seated on a simple chair on the veranda of the house she shared with her husband.
She lives in the village of Kashungyera, just a 10-minute boat trip across Lake Bunyonyi from Punishment Island, which is actually just a patch of waterlogged grass.

At first, Ms Kyitaragabirwe was unsure how to greet me until Tyson Ndamwesiga, her grandson and a tour guide, told her that I spoke the local Rukiga language. 

Her face cracked into a nearly toothless smile. She held my arm from the elbow, in the tight grip that the Bakiga people usually reserve for long-lost relatives.

The slender-built Ms Kyitaragabirwe walks with steady steps and estimates that she is in her eighties, but her family believes she is much older.

She was born before birth certificates were common in this part of Uganda so it is impossible to be sure.

“She used to have a voter’s registration card from just before Uganda’s independence [in 1962]. That is what we used to count backwards. We think she’s around 106,” says Mr Ndamwesiga.

In traditional Bakiga society, a young woman could only get pregnant after marriage. Marrying off a virgin daughter meant receiving a bride price, mostly paid with livestock. 

An unmarried pregnant girl was seen as not only bringing shame to the family, but robbing it of much-needed wealth. Families used to rid themselves of the “shame” by dumping pregnant girls on Punishment Island, leaving them to die.

Because of the remoteness of the area, the practice continued even after missionaries and colonialists arrived in Uganda in the 19th Century and outlawed it.

Most people at the time – especially girls – did not know how to swim. So if a young woman was dumped on the island, she had two options – jump into the water and drown, or wait to die from the cold and hunger. 

I asked Ms Kyitaragabirwe if she was scared. She tilts her head to one side, frowning, and fires back: 

“I must have been about 12 years old. If you’re taken from your home to an island where no-one else lives, in the middle of the lake, wouldn’t you be scared?”

In another part of the region, present-day Rukungiri District, pregnant girls would be thrown off a cliff at Kisiizi Falls. 

Legend has it that it was not until one of them dragged her brother down with her that families stopped pushing their daughters to their deaths.

No-one ever survived Kisiizi Falls. But a number of girls are said to have survived Punishment Island, thanks to young men who could not afford to pay a bride price. 

Marrying girls from the island meant a dowry-free wife.

After her husband took her to his home in the village of Kashungyera, Ms Kyitaragabirwe became a subject of curiosity and gossip. 

Over the decades, she has become a tourist attraction – her home a regular stop for tourists on the trail of the history of the area.

While discussing her life story, she often stopped talking and stared at her hands contemplatively. 

At other times, like when I asked how she lost her eye, she was quite evasive, instinctively raising her hand to touch it.

The touchiest subject seemed to be the fate of the baby she was pregnant with when she was left to die.

“The pregnancy was still quite young. I never had the baby. Back then you could not fight back to defend yourself. If you did, they would beat you up,” she says, lifting her head-wrap from her lap to wipe her face. 

Even though she did not say it outright, I understood what she meant – she was beaten up and had a miscarriage.

Punishing girls – known in the local language as Okuhena, from which the island draws its local name Akampene – was an age-old practice. And Ms Kyitaragabirwe would have known about the consequences of a pregnancy.

“I had heard about other girls that had been taken to Punishment Island, although not anyone close to me. So, it seems I was also tempted by Satan,” she chuckles.

She never saw or heard from the man who led her down “Satan’s path”. However, she had heard, many years ago, that he had died. 

Of her husband, James Kigandeire, who died in 2001, she said: “Oh, he loved me! He really looked after me. 

“He said: ‘I picked you up from the wilderness, and I am not going to make you suffer’. 

“We had six children together. We stayed in this home together until he died.”

And while it took decades, she was finally reconciled with her family. 

She smiled and said: “After I became a Christian I forgave everyone, even my brother who had rowed me in the canoe. I would go home to visit my family, and if I met any of them I would greet them.”

Ms Kyitaragabirwe is believed to be the last woman who was dumped on the island, with the practice having died out after Christianity and government became stronger in the region. 

Still, unmarried pregnant women were frowned upon for many years. 

Condemning this attitude, Ms Kyitaragabirwe said: “I have three daughters. If any of them had got pregnant before they were married, I wouldn’t blame them or punish them. 

“I know it can happen to any woman. If a young woman got pregnant today, she would come to her father’s house and be taken care of. The people who carried out such practices were blind.”

Punishment Island today. Our guide told us the story above about Punishment Island. The story disgusted Karen and Dominique.
To give you an idea of where we were.
We spotted a Goliath Heron before he fly off. The Goliath Heron was the one bird I wanted to see on this lake. It was very exciting!
He landed on the other side of the canal.
Lots of cormorants nesting.
Can’t get enough of these Gray-crowned Cranes.
Was he displaying for us or her?
Sunset over Lake Bunyonyi.
We woke to an awesome fog over the lake.

We drive to Lake Mburo National Park the next day, where we are treated to another boat trip on another lake.

Later that evening and after our Gorilla encounter, we gatherer at the watering hole to share our observations. We were then entertained by the Pygmy tribe. But first one more picture of a gorilla.

Here is the silver back, leader of the pack.
And a Silhouette…to go.
The young ones…
He was the hit of the show…
Give me some more tongue…
Everyone got to dance…
Jumping is in…
Even the more senior…
They showed us how to make fire. (Without matches)
We have smoke!
Where there is smoke, there is fire! After making fire, they brought out their baskets for sale. Of course I bought one.
My baskets…

This is a three horned chameleon also called Jackson’s chameleon, Jackson’s horned chameleon, or Kikuyu threehorned chameleon
One horn is hidden. We saw this at our cabana.
This is a better view of the three horns.
A few peeps…I could not identify…
Not identified…
Not identified…
Not identified…
The gray Heron…
Is this a Northern Puffback?
I finally identified this bird. It is a White- browed Coucal….

After breakfast we headed to Lake Bunyonyi, spectacular lakeside setting, surrounded by terraced hills. Tomorrow, tomorrow

An Addendum to Bwindi National Park, more Mt Gorilla videos…short and sweet.

I shortened these videos, hopefully they will come through easy enough for you to see and enjoy.

She had an itch.
Not a care in the world, let’s play.
Can you believe how close she came with her baby?
Dan is in the beige pants.
Karen is taking video.

More tomorrow….I must say that doing this blog is a great way for me to relive this amazing journey. Thanks for watching.

We hiked up the road from our Camp to meet up with other groups who had the same desire to see the Mountain Gorillas, hopefully, up close and personal. At the meeting point and orientation, there were two people, an older man and ancient looking woman who were being carried in sedan chairs. That option was offered to me, I’m sure because of my age. (76). If I had broken a leg or something I would have considered that option. That’s determination for ya! After the orientation we divided into small groups. We hiked up steep hills and muddy slippery jungle floors, crossing muddy streams for about an hour. At one point at a very steep section I totally lost my footing and if it hadn’t been for my wonderful porter, David, I would have taken us both down the hill, somehow he caught us both and we were able to keep on trekking. I was getting exhausted! Finally we were alerted to be quiet and to follow our guides. OMG, there they were and we were not disappointed.

Notice: I must admit that my photos were not the best. The best photos and videos came from Dan and Karen. They got much closer than we did. It was all very “Thrilling”!

Hint, when you are trying to view the videos, click anywhere in the frame to get them to start up. For some reason they are not that easy to view. I will try to keep them short and maybe only play a couple in a blog at a time. By the way I think you can click on the photos themselves to enlarge them.

This is my favorite! He is the silverback and dominant male of the band.
He is taking a break from all his responsibilities. Looks like he has mastered relaxation.
If you kids can’t be kind, We are leaving.
Heart-stopping (ly) awesome.
Proud Mama.
Cross your eyes and…
Come a little closer…
Just relaxing and it feels good.
Give me a hand…
I feel loved.
I can do it, I can climb this….
I’m waiting…
I’m stuffed…
This is how close Dan and Karen were to the gorillas. That is Dan in the hat and Karen is taking the video.
If ANY of the videos don’t come out. You can email me and let me know that you want to see them. I will personally email them to you.

JB and my porter, David. He is wearing the vest Kay Juhl recommend that I buy to give to the porters. It fit him perfectly. He was a farmer with two children and worked as a porter one day a month. I would not have survived the trek without him.
The hike back was almost as difficult. It was down, down, down steep terrain, muddy, rocky, gnarly, slippery and many streams to ford. Ugh!
The guys with the Ak’s (???) are the guys who find the gorillas and keep them safe. Our guide was the female on the right. Then there is me, David and JB. The other fellow lead our hike to and from the trek. We got certificates for being Authentic Gorilla Trekkers. Woo Woo!

Heading back to camp.

There are appropriately 1000 gorillas left in Uganda. The communities and the people surrounding the area are aware of the importance of the gorillas for their survival and existence. They are also aware of the importance that foreigners bring to their communities, creating jobs. Remember 20% of the fees paid for permits to see the gorillas go to the community.

Another video coming….stay tuned.

We still have five more days in Uganda and many more wonderful adventures to come.

Note…the sedan chairs must have gone to a different area than we did. The trail was not wide enough to carry a sedan chair. The chairs were carried by four men.

As an aside, we were never in any danger! These gentle giants see people once a day, everyday, so they are used to our presence and do not seem to be upset about us being there. It seemed to me that were showing off for our benefit or maybe that is just the way they are. Loving, playful and hungry.

Forgot to add some videos…to previous entry’s. Hope you enjoy…actually this is a tease to appease until our encounter with the great Apes. Coming soon…

This is from our trek with the chimpanzees.
The Angry Elephant….turn up your volume.
Mabamba Swamp where we saw that wonderful Shoebill. Such fond memories.
Update: Our friends Dan and Karen visited the swamp after we left for USA.
This is their picture of the Shoebill catching a lungfish. The Shoebill stands For hours waiting patiently for the lungfish to show up.
I tried and tried to figure out how to send this video. I finally did it!
Our basket ladies, celebrating us with song.

Bwindi Forest…”Switzerland of Africa“

Also known as the Kigali Highlands, the hillsides are terraced and green and the roads wind into Bwindi Forest, home of the Mountain Gorillas.

Beautiful landscapes.
These boys came running up to greet us on the road to Bwindi.
Ruppell’s Vulture, Africa has many species of vultures.
We only have one vulture. I must say ours is uglier.
I wasn’t able to identify this beauty. Anyone?
Even earthworms are bigger in Africa.
Giant wasps nest.
L’Hoest’s monkey
Get a little closer now…
Our deck at Rushaga Gorilla Camp.
Our view from our chalet.
This was home to the Batwa pygmies. The following is from the internet.
The story of the Batwa people is one of woe and sacrifice, and their historical presence is one of great significance. They were the original inhabitants of East Africa’s Great Lakes, and the guardians of the equatorial forests before they were pushed to the outskirts of Bwindi forest when it was was gazetted in 1991. The story of the ousting of the Batwas is a multi-layered discussion with many aspects coming into play. Many believe that the Batwa were evicted to make way for colonial tourism, and others believe it was to ensure the success of the dwindling numbers of wild gorillas in the area. Needless to say, the eviction of the Batwas and marginalising this ancient group, without any support, is one of great sadness.
History of the Batwa
For over 60,000 years (a stat according to anthropologists) the indigenous forest people lived in harmony with the gorillas. The Batwa are believed to be some of the first inhabitants of the earth, and the original inhabitants of East Africa’s Great Lakes. Survival was based on hunting bush meat and gathering edible fruits from their surrounds. Hunts were done by using poison tipped arrows and homes were made from durable plants, sticks, vines and leaves. Until recently, Bwindi’s mountain gorillas shared their forest with the Batwa pygmies, a tribe of hunter-gatherers who lived in its caves and trees for thousands of years.
How do the Batwa Pygmy people survive?
When the Batwa were removed from the forest they weren’t given any compensation for land or crops. It was agreed that they could live on the periphery of the forest but could not hunt bush meat. They were left to fend for themselves and struggled to mix with the local communities. There was simply was no place for them in the market place either, meaning they couldn’t trade or even buy provisions.
The Batwa were unprepared for this, having only known the jungle lifestyle and how to thrive in that environment. Generations born into the more contemporary Batwa life have managed to establish and survive better. Currently, the Batwa keep their culture alive and bring in a minimal income through displays of hunting, gathering honey, weaving baskets and doing traditional dances for tourists.
In conjunction with your gorilla and chimp trekking safari to Uganda,we highly recommend you get to know the story of the Batwa and contribute where you can. The Batwa Experience has greatly benefited the communities.s. They were the protectors of the forest and lived side-by-side with the wild mountain gorillas.
Wahlberg’s Eagle, sitting on the fence near the Pygmy huts below us.
Village to the left, below our chalet.
JB Heading to the watering hole for beer and later entertainment.
The local entertainment, the tips that they earn go to the community.
African crow.

The Mt. Gorillas’s” and our encounter with them is coming next…..can’t believe we were there.

Oops! Back once again to the cruise on the Kazinga Channel. I missed showing you a picture of a bird from that cruise. It bothered me thinking about it. I was sure that I had captured a picture of this bird. Where was it? Well here it is, I found it, now I can sleep tonight.

The African Spoonbill, when the spoonbill feeds it is very lively, it swings its open bill from side to side. With the movement of the boat and the bird itself, I had a hard time actually capturing a picture of it. I felt so good when I finally got one. The spoonbill feeds on various fish, molluscs, amphibians, crustaceans, insects and larvae. Unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched.

One of our favorite lodges was the Kasenyi Safari Camp. It was owned by an Ugandan who retired from Genentech and now lives in Tampa, Florida. He returns to Uganda during the safari high seasons. He reminded me of Morgan Freeman.

Everywhere we stayed was excellent but some places were exceptional. This was one of them.

This camp was well run and it has a rating of a 5 star resort. I can understand why.
The bar, a very important watering hole. We consumed a lot of beer.
I loved this Christmas tree.
This is where we had dinner. The lake below is a salt lake. It is a safe place in the evening for many animals. Also flamingos can be seen there.
Breakfast anyone, Coffee please. All levels of the lodge were open to the wild surroundings.
Africans carry heavy things on their heads. Makes sense to me. I just couldn’t get the suitcase up that high.
Our wonderful staff. Dominique on the left, JB on the right.
The living, breathing Karen, life among the sculls. I choose life.
This was the charging station for cameras and phones.
This is the fire pit for the guards at night. Fire keeps the animals away. Because we were actually in the wild, we had to be escorted to our rooms after dinner for our safety. Our guards and guides, all carried A.K. 47’s or maybe 15’s. Whatever, the rifles were big!

The next morning we headed to Ishasha, the southern sector of Queen Elizabeth Park. We were hoping to see the Giant Forest Hog and the Tree climbing lions.

Our big disappointment! This huge truck had been stuck here for five days. They were busy unloading the truck to lighten the load. We just had to join in on all the fun of being stuck. Good thing we were very close to our lodge. The lodge supplied a car for our luggage with room for two to ride. I rode with the luggage. The rest of our group walked to the lodge. Unfortunately it took so long for a towing truck to arrive we were late for the game drive to see the lions. For first time on our trip we struck out. We did not see the the tree climbing lions or the Giant hog. Turned out the chances of seeing either of them were slim anyway.
They huffed and they puffed but
they could not get us unstuck!
This is what we missed in Ishasha. I got this picture on line.
Picture also from the internet.
This is the Giant Forest Hog. Picture is from the internet.
While we waited to get our safari van out of the mud, I took pictures, of course.
Beauty everywhere, you just have to look for it.
This young man wanted to visit with us. Dominique was great with children, giving them pens and paper and teaching them French.
The forest around us at our lodge.
Karen, down my the river.
You could have breakfast served by the river.
Is this a fungus?
My guess is that this is baboon scat with corn. There were lots of baboons in the area. They were on our deck when we arrived.
Had to bypass the baboons to get into our chalet! I sent the big guy.
On the road again. We saw sleeping lions.
Takes a lot out of you to eat around here.
Red-necked Spurfowl
Hooded Vulture
What’s a guy to do?
In the foreground, there are water buffalo. If this ever happens to you, you may want to check around before you eliminate.
We noticed that this elephant was acting erratically. It seemed to be hesitant about crossing the road.
As we went by the elephant, he started chasing us. I feel sorry for the boda boda behind us.
Black-chested Snake Eagle
Long-crested Eagle
Black- headed Heron

The best cruise we experienced for birding was on the Kazinga Channel and Lake Edward. On the way to the boat we spotted a motor treasures.

I loved seeing this water buffalo wallowing in the mud. Can you find him?
These two are having a disagreement.
Water buffalo rest in big herds for protection.
Young and all ages gathered together.
My what big ears you have.
yellow-throated Longclaw. Looks like our meadowlark.
Black-bellied Bustard, love the tail feathers.
Bustard in focus.
Grey-backed Fiscal. It is a long tailed shrike.
Malachite kingfisher
This water buffalo is totally submerged.
Pied Kingfisher on buffalo horn.
Hippos and a small crocodile.
Heron
Cormorant
Close up.
These nests are the largest bird nest in Africa. Built by the Hammerkop.
Hammerkop
Remember the boda Boda’s loaded with bananas and going to a fishing village. This is that fishing village.
Yellow-billed Stork
Another Pose.
Cormorants, Little Egrets, Marabou Stock.
Saddle-billed Stork
Egyptian geese and Saddle-billed Stork. Notice the red spot of naked skin on the chest.
Little Egret
Terms and Egyptian geese
Little Egret and Sacred Ibis
Always a pleasure to see. Notice youngster on right.
Can you see this leopard?
Now can you see it? How did this guy get spotted?

Off to a Primate walk to trek the Chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park….

The Chimpanzee is humans’ closest living relative. The male can weigh up to 132 lbs and the female up to 110 lbs. and standing 3.3 to 4.6 ft. The gestation period is eight months. The infant is weaned at about three years old, but usually maintains a close relationship with its mother for several years more. The chimpanzee lives in groups which range in size from 15 to 150 members, although individuals travel and forage in much smaller groups during the day. The species lives in a strict male-dominated hierarchy, where disputes are generally settled without the need for violence. Nearly all chimpanzee populations have been recorded using tools, modifying sticks, rocks, grass and leaves and using them for hunting and acquiring honey, termites, ants, nuts and water. The species has also been found creating sharpened sticks to spear small mammals. Chimps are omnivores frugivore. It prefers fruit above all other food items but also eats leaves and leaf buds, seeds, blossoms, stems, pith, bark and resin. The females tend to eat much less animal flesh than the males. Dominant males can be very aggressive.

Foraging in the brush, munching as they go.
This guy finally came down and walked right by us but I accidentally deleted the video. Darn!
This guy was up so high, he actually fell off.

This video show how close we get to these guys. You can hear our guide telling us not to move.

I know, they all look alike but we probably saw at least a dozen of these guys. It was thrilling to see them in their own habitat.

The chimps forage during the day and as dusk approaches they go back into the trees to nest. The females nest higher in the trees than the males, where it is safer for her and her young.

After our trek we had a tour of a community in the park. The vegetable garden we saw earlier, was a communal garden. We saw the children coming for corn. Of the fees that we pay for the primate tours, 20% of the free goes back to the community.

First we went to the caves, the most fun was this waterfall.
JB is getting misted.
Taken inside the falls looking out.
We visited the ladies in the community who make baskets.
The bigger baskets take three weeks to make. The price for that basket was 35,000 Uganda schillings or approximately $10.00. We supported the community and bought some baskets.
The ladies celebrated us.
Then we went to see the medicine man. He inherited his job from his father.
He was either very shy or was not that happy with his job. The guide translated for us. He said that he could not cure cancer or venereal diseases.
He is mainly a herbalist. Notice the mud construction for the walls.
This is his ceiling.
This is his hut from the outside. I love the construction.
Notice the beans to her right. The beans dry in the sun for up to six weeks. She uses that wooden pot to husk the coffee beans and then she grinds the beans in the same pot.
Coffee tree and berries. The berries are ripe when they turn red.
Notice this hut looks like it has a solar panel on the roof to the left.
Another thatched hut. These people live very simply, seem happy, they are clean and food is abundant.