Got to the site and parked the van for Mt.Muhavura (meaning ‘the guide’ 4137 m high) to track the Ntakagezi group in the Mgahinga National Park, and just the trek to the office was killing! Met the others who were to climb with me, a Swedish family who looked very fit in their lycra, etc. Oh boy, what a walk, up a vertical mountain all the way – had a stick as did the others, but l decided to have a porter for my rucksack (60,000/-) which had 1 ½.litres of water in it, but well worth it. I really didn’t know whether I was going to make it, then we saw gorilla pooh, but I thought when we saw it steaming we might be nearer!! They had gone up to the bamboo level in the primary forest! Just knew it! They had gone miles! Until suddenly we heard a chest beat that sounded like a stick on a hollow calabash, this was truly exciting now. Cannot believe l actually made it and saw the group of about 3 male silver-backs, Mark being the dominant one, and the old one (52 years), being ousted was rather grumpy, but still trying his best to be showy in beating his chest earlier. They had two females and one baby and one juvenile, but apparently there should have been a few more but recently two females had been grabbed by another group!!!
The rangers stay up there from 6am to 6 pm each day and have their lunch taken up for them in two huge tubes containing matoke and beans….these two men were sweating at least, unlike the other rangers who were so cool in both senses of the word!!!
We spent an hour with them and found them to be both gentle and humourous. Then we came down in the heat of the day, so felt a bit sick towards the end of the trek. It took us from 8am to 1.30 pm to go up and down 7000 - 9000 feet! At the bottom we were given certificates for completing the trek – quite moving really as l was the oldest there. In Biwindi they can carry people to the gorillas, as a 78 year old made it that way recently! Biwindi is more up and down valleys apparently.
Arrived back at the Golden Monkey (didn’t see any Golden monkey up there or other animals) and Johnson and l had a soda each (8000/-). The town does not offer much night life so went to bed early. The previous day l saw some herons nesting in the trees near the market and had my first boda-boda ride to the B & B, which luckily was steady (1000/-).