On Monday we set off from Kisoro to Rwanda for the gorillas. The towns we saw in Rwanda appeared noticeably better off than those in Uganda. The roads were surfaced and the buildings seemed in much better condition. Apparently this is due to money from gorilla tracking permits and unconditional aid donated after the genocide.

We arrived in Rwanda mid afternoon and went to explore. There was a huge market in town, but unfortunately no one had any Rwandan Francs. On the way back to the hotel, we went back to a football ground which we had visited earlier. There was a kids football match there and the coach let 6 of us join in with the game. I even played!

That night we had food cooked for us and slept in a dormitory with real beds! Luxury! After and early night and a very early start, we finally set off for the gorillas.

There are only 700 mountain gorillas left in the world. They are split between 4 national parks in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are 7 families which live in the Park des Volcans in Rwanda and my group of 8 saw the family called (something beginning with K) which consisted of 13 gorillas.

It took about 1 and a half hours walking to reach the gorillas, through some very boggy ground. As we were putting down our bags I saw a huge gorilla walk past behind some bushes. We spent one hour with the gorillas, while they were eating, playing, sitting and walking around. They moved around quite a lot while we were watching, so we had to follow them a bit, but we were never more than a few meters from them. The whole experience was amazing!

The most exciting moment was when one of the silver backs started walking towards 4 of us. To start with, our guide was pushing us back with his arms, telling us to keep calm. When it got within a meter of us, he told us to sit down. At this point, I could have easily reached out and touched it. The gorilla then turned round, to pull over a small tree which it proceeded to eat from.  After ducking out of the way of the falling tree, we all posed for photos with the same gorilla who was happy just sitting there.


Since the gorillas, we have been heading back East. After another night in Kisoro, and another night in Mbarara, Tonight we are in the same campsite in Entebbe which we stayed at on the first night.

The only  thing of particular interest during this journey back was crossing the equator. We stopped for lunch and when it stopped raining we took photos at the concrete circles which mark the line.

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