Push her closer Stuart!

Trip Start Jul 09, 2010
Trip End Nov 04, 2010

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Flag of Kenya  , Nairobi Area,
Sunday, July 18, 2010

I fear following the gorilla blog is going to be a difficult job. After the overpowering experience of meeting the mountain gorillas, writing about a few mating kobs is hardly going to win me the Pulitzer prize, but there's been a couple of comedic moments and our encounter with a warthog is better expressed in the pictures rather than in words, but I’ll give it a shot.  The gorilla blog also represents the closing chapter on our organised tour and we have now started stage two of our trip, beginning with relaxation in our hotel in Nairobi.  We are transferring to the Masai Mara tomorrow for 4 nights so that should get the safari juices flowing again.  Lion spotting will be our number one activity.  However, we’ve got a couple of funny stories since the gorilla encounter, which I’ll get to shortly.

That afternoon following the gorilla trek we visited an orphanage in Buhoma.  The kids put on some dances to traditional Ugandan drum music.  At the end I had to resist the temptation to sign our life savings away to the orphanage, it was quite a moving experience.  The kids were dancing with such enthusiasm and there were smiles all round.  I can see why Madonna just adopted the one orphan now, because clearly if I had a billion pounds, I’d adopt one child as a trophy rather than send 10000 through primary school.  OK she might have donated some money to the orphanage, though I have no way of checking this currently (internet is down).  Did you adopt David for you or for him?  Think about it.   Still, Borderline is class and you are hot hot hot in Material Girl.  Slag.

We left Bwindi and retraced our steps back to Isasha.  We were just popping in to see whether the lions were around.  Unfortunately they were not and I had no interest in bird spotting.  As I told the guide, unless it has teeth and roars I’m not interested.  Apparently there’s a large variety of birds in East Africa blah blah.  On the way back to Mbarara, we had to pass through a field fire on both sides of the road.  The park rangers burn the dead grass to encourage new growth for the animals, but the fire had spread to both sides of the road.  As we drove through the thick smoke and soot, all we could do was hope for no oncoming traffic headed directly for us and a guaranteed car crash.

The following morning was an early morning game drive through Lake Mburo National Park.  We had the chance to tick off some zebras, impalas and a tortoise, though the tortoise is hardly worth a mention because it doesn’t have teeth.  Still no sign of the lions unfortunately.  After that we drove to the Lake were there was a campsite and some "camp" warthogs.  These aren’t warthogs that mince around in tight pink spandex, but are warthogs that hang around the campsite and according to Meriel (fun member of our group), were just like pet dogs.  We were being set up but unfortunately didn’t spot the sting.  Meriel offered to take a picture of us with the warthog and whilst standing 30 foot away with full zoom lens deployed, was encouraging us to “act casual” and get closer and closer to the warthog.  “Push her closer Stuart” she yelled and obeying one’s elders as a good Christian boy does, gave Ali a shove towards Old Warty and smiled for the camera (picture #1).  Unfortunately, this annoyed our pet dog and it responded with a large snort/growl and made a sharp move towards us.  At this point, natural instinct took over and I shoved Ali closer and made a run for it.  It was all captured by a laughing Meriel in picture #2.  We are still giggling now at those 2 photographs.  Meriel is a genius.

After a long drive and a stop at the equator to see the water trick (no time to explain now but it was amazing to us science geeks), it was a long drive back to Entebbe to catch our flight to Nairobi.  We said goodbye to our group.  They were a great bunch and I’ve no doubts we’ll be in touch during the coming months.  Thanks to all for making our trip so much fun.  Hope you all made it back home ok. 

This morning we arranged a trip to the David Sheldrick elephant orphanage here in Nairobi.  You can see them between 11am and 12pm for their morning feed.  They are all orphans largely due to human activity.  I’m starting to develop a real hatred of people, especially Madonna.  Slag.  Anyway, the elephants were great entertainment and strangely playful, almost like they were putting on a show for the crowd.  I had Ali pinned up against the viewing ropes and the smallest baby, only 6 months old yet was still taller than her but with smaller feet, nearly barged her.  All I could hear in my head was the words of Merial, “push her closer…”, so I did.  I got told off but I think she’ll get used to it.  Anyway she soon forgot about her fear and proceeded to take her requisite thousand photographs, some of which will no doubt be on this blog so enjoy!   
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