After Rwanda our next stop on the tour was Lake Bunyonyi in Uganda.
Lake Bunyonyi is known for it’s abundance of bird life. Over three hundred species apparently. Our first morning there we went for a bird watching walk first thing in the morning. I was tired and kept staring at the birds but forgetting to take pictures.
Then when I would try to get a picture often the bird would move, birds can be incredibly frustrating to photograph. STOP MOVING!!!!
As soon as you put your camera down the little sucker will fly down and pose perfectly on a branch right in front of you, every time. I swear.
I did manage to get some good pictures and still have some pictures that I’m playing “Where’s Waldo?” with. I know I took the picture for a reason, I know there is probably a bird somewhere in the frame but I can’t find it…….
Here are ones with the birds easy to spot, as the trip went on I got better with my camera. Landscape, no problem. People, no problem. Birds and animals that won’t stop moving around to give me time to figure out how to focus, that took a little more practice.
We went to a market in Kigali and as usual I felt overwhelmed.
I’m a browser, I like to look at things and think about my purchases. In the market it’s the hard sell. It’s impossible to just browse without somebody trying to sell you whatever you are looking at. In the end I didn’t get anything, I’m don’t buy many souvenirs but in our group people did walk away with a leather hat, some straw bowls, earrings and some soap stone animals.
As we travelled further on our journey it became apparent that the market in Kigali was a really good deal. The prices went up in Uganda and then again in Kenya.
My favourite were the colourful beans, they almost look like a big bowl of smarties (and I love smarties).
They let me take a picture no problem and many pictures were fine but there were several women carrying items on their head just outside the market and they wanted to be paid for their picture. Not much and one in our group did pay them.
Timing is everything with animal photos. The above photo is one of my favourites and I was lucky to get it. Animals don’t pose, they move, they seem to sense when you’re going to take a photo and suddenly turn away. I also had a fairly new camera and was still getting used to it. Perhaps I should have spent a bit more time with it before I went on the trip but I have no complaints. I’m happy with the photos that I did get.
More photos from my trip to Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. Which seems to be what people are interested in, more than anything I have to say.
About the trek, do wear good shoes the hike to see the Gorillas can take awhile and the trek can be slippery and parts are quite steep. Do hire a porter, our porter was amazing and so helpful, well worth the ten American dollars. Take water and food, our hike was over an hour and a half each way and we stopped for lunch in a lovely clearing. Sunscreen should go without saying and tuck your pants into your socks so that the ants can’t get in and bite you. One girl was bitten by a fire ant and it looked nasty. Careful what you touch along the path, many in our group wore gloves to protect their hands from the stinging nettles and there are a lot of stinging nettles. ENJOY the journey, the park is beautiful. Take the time along the way to look at the park and appreciate where you are.
Take lots of photos of the gorillas, they are AMAZING
The biggest reason I wanted to go to East Africa, Gorillas. There are two choices to see Gorillas, Rwanda or Uganda. I chose Rwanda.
Heading out to Volcanoes National Park I was really excited, months of anticipation and soon I would be hiking to see the Gorillas. I was going to see them in person. When you get to the park you are briefed on how to act around the Gorillas, how close you can get and are then put into a group of eight to head out to see your chosen group.
You have input on the length of walk but not much on which group you will see. My group was for a medium length walk to go see the Ntambara group. Then you get assigned a porter to help you on the hike. The porter is well worth the ten American dollars. My porter pulled me up some steep, slippery inclines, helped me avoid the stinging nettles and also reminded me to look at the beautiful views. He also carried my backpack, he was awesome.
The hike is part of the journey and take it all in, Volcanoes National Park is a stunningly beautiful place.
Seeing the gorillas for the first time, I actually squealed. After hiking for just over an hour and a half there was a clearing and there they were. It is hard to believe how close you can get to them, you can hear them chewing the bamboo.
The guys who over saw the gorillas and kept us at a safe distance:
I just got back from a trip to East Africa. It was incredible, it exceeded every expectation.
When choosing a tour my main focus was Gorillas first and Rwanda second. I really wanted to go to Rwanda. Land of a thousand hills. It is, while travelling in Rwanda you find yourself constantly going up and down hills, getting a new view at the top of each rise. I had also heard that Rwanda was beautiful and it did not disappoint.
With the lush green and the red clay it is often breathtaking. It is hard to imagine what happened here and now seems to be doing very well. Kigali is the cleanest city I have ever been to and the people were warm and welcoming.