Lake Nkuruba - Planet of the Apes!

Trip Start Dec 16, 2005
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Trip End Jun 12, 2006


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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I got up early and I did another swamp walk (as they called it). OK time for a rant, but it always amazes me the people who rush into these places do one walk and then rush off (it seemed from conversations and the guest book that this is what most people did). Both here and with the chimps I always got a lot better viewing the second time out. It seems if you come such a long way you should at least make a bit of an effort to make the most of each place you visit rather than just rush from place to place to say you have done everything! Besides the money made in this wetland went straight back into the local community and guided walks here were a fifth of the cost of the ones in the Kibale NP next door. OK rant over.

Man, my Matatu out of that place was cramped, I was more than happy when the piece of junk ran out of steam halfway up a hill and we all had to get out and walk, I think I'd lost feeling in my feet and had pins and needles up my leg!

I arrived in the Crater Lake region and in particular Lake Nkuruba and managed to lock my key in the pretty banda almost immediately, of course they had no spare so they had to saw the padlock off! As I waited there were Red Tails, B+W Colobus and Red Colobus swinging out of the trees above my head - talk about been close to nature!







Late afternoon and I took a stroll to a hill top named Top of the World where there were views over 3 crater lakes. Nice views of the verdant countryside on the way up there. Near the top one enterprising young git had fenced the land off to the summit and was charging to go to the top! It was well worth the expense though, the views from the top were magnificent. The 3 crater lakes we could see were a beautiful dark green, there names left to right were Nyamirima, Nyinabulita and Nyabikere. Around the lakes were farmland and the famous Kibale Forest National Park, popular for the chimp and primate treks. To the back side I could see the Rwenzoris.

Back to the camp and a fantastic dinner of beef, Irish spuds and cabbage. Funny all the potatoes here are called Irish potatoes. Met a group of people traveling for the last year in a Land Rover, Debbie was from Hull and they had come all the way up from South Africa where they were going to return and live. Land Rover seems like the way to go next time!

Next day and it's one month on the road - still have plenty of time left! Didn't sleep too well last night as there was a mouse under the papyrus mat in my room ripping shreds out of it! I was going to stamp on it but the thought of the mess it would cause put me off.


Met Patrick, my guide, early morning for a 6 hour walk to Mahoma Falls. Nice scenery passing through the fields of amongst other things peanuts, bananas, papaya, avocado and jackfruit. There were also some great photo opportunities in the rural areas, especially the ladies in their colourful dresses as they carry things such as 1.5ft tall stacks of bananas on their heads. The only problem is nobody will let you take their photos as they all believe you will go back home and sell them for a heap of cash! Real shame. We also passed a number of crater lakes, according to my guide they are about 1000 years old (but they seem older to me). They usually lie about 100ft below the regular height of the land with beautiful dark water at the bottom.

On the way back we stopped at a colourful market where I purchased a couple of the local donuts and fried mash potatoes (Irish of course) and veg. for my lunch. It was a real scorcher that day, even my guide said he was flagging under the heat, so I was happy to get back to camp and dive in the lake for a nice cooling swim.

Went for the beef and spuds again and ate with Debbie, Mark and Janet. We watched with great fascination as a gecko had a go at a praying mantis about 3 times it size. They were squirming all over the place - and at one point I thought the mantis had the gecko, but the whole thing ended in a bit of a stand off. Probably had one too many pops tonight, the excitement of the battle I think!

The next day was one of relaxation, a short walk in the forest, birds, butterflies and primate viewings go without saying! A swim in the lake and read a good chunk of Dark Star Safari (thanks Liz and John I'm enjoying it).







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Comments

rdalyboy
rdalyboy on

Monday morning at Work
Monday morning here in Dublin Mr. Clark. Blue skies overhead in this part of the globe with with layers of frost and ice everywhere. Im sitting in the office, at work, hot steaming coffee to my left, a radiator between my legs, reading your journals about chimps, nasty germans, gecko battles and lake swims...and I am thinking...I bet he is missing his monday mornings in the office...i bet he is!!!

annat22
annat22 on

Re: Monday morning at Work
Monday morning in Boston too, but no blue, just grey skies and rain... So much nicer being here at work (with coffee) than off travelling somewhere warm and interesting - isn't it?? Bet you wish you were here Jon...

lswachs
lswachs on

Happy Birthday!
Ok, so it's not till tomorrow (here, anyway -- what's the time difference between Boston and Africa?), but I was thinking of you and wanted to wish you the best.

Keep the journal entries coming! I just passed a very pleasant lunch hour reading up on your adventures. I guess I will have to live vicariously though you, as I probably shouldn't undertake such treks myself at least until Nick is potty-trained...

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