It was just a few weeks ago that Quizerious and I were hiking up the mountains of the Bwindi National Park in Uganda to check out some of the greatest creatures on the planet. The trek itself was hard going (especially for a clumsy person like me) as the guides had to create tracks for us to the gorillas through what is known as the Impenetrable Forest. It was steep and slippery with dense vegetation, but it was worth every effort and I would do it again tomorrow if I was given the chance.
We had such an amazing experience that I want to encourage everyone to go and do it. My top six reasons for doing so are:
1. They are gorillas!
Every child grows up seeing pictures of in story books or characters in cartoons, yet few of us ever get to see them in real life. I had wanted to see them up close since 'Gorillas in the Mist' came out in the late 80s. They are one of the true kings of the jungle and their power, size, agility and intelligence command respect.
From the second you lay eyes on them, you are in awe. Yes, they are wild and strong animals, but they are also graceful, peaceful and loving. They play with each other and care for each other’s wellbeing. When you see them, it is also apparent that they are wise. They are very aware of what's going on in their environment and how things work, yet they are very selective about what they put their energy into.
2. The experience of biophilia
Hanging out with them makes you happy to be alive. It’s one of those once in a lifetime moments when you are grateful to be able to experience something so special. They remind us how beautiful nature really is and help us to reconnect with it. They prove that the simple things in life are truly the best.
3. You’ll no doubt become a Gorilla ambassador
There are only about 900 left in the wild and once you discover how brilliant they are, you’ll naturally want to do what you can to help them. Simply telling others about your experience or posting photos on social media helps to raise their profile and make people aware of the issues facing them.
4. There are many other animals to see in Uganda as well
I had no idea that Uganda was home to a wide range of animals such as elephants, chimps, hippos, lions and zebras. They were not hard to spot either. Queen Elizabeth National Park was where we saw most of these animals and I highly recommend the trip!
5. It’s safer than you think
I have to admit that I was always a bit fearful of travelling to Africa because I thought it would be too dangerous. I would have never travelled there alone so it was great when Quizerious said he was interested in going too. The places we went felt very safe though. Sure, there are many parts of Africa that I would consider no-go zones, but the touristy parts of Uganda are fine. The same can’t be said for many of the toilets there unfortunately…
6. The country can do with some extra money
People in Uganda are living in poverty. Every cent you spend goes directly to those in need. The people there are so friendly too, that you naturally want to help them out. If you are planning on travelling there, I would suggest taking spare clothes and shoes to give away. Especially for the children!
We did our tour with Gorilla Treks who were professional and friendly. This is not a sponsored post but I can recommend using them if you are looking for someone to book with.
Do you have any wildlife adventures on your bucket list? What are they?