A Travellerspoint blog

chilling with the big guys

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firstly please excuse my awful spelling in this entry, on account of my keyboard seems to have had all the keys put in the wrong places. stupid french keyboard in rwanda

so last wrote on saturday, since then i have done a couple of exciting things. went to chimp island on monday. it was a sanctuary for chimps, we only had an hour at the sanctuary, but it was really good cos we got to see feeding time. we had to take a boat out there which started out fine but then the water got choppy and i got a little sea sick as well as soaking wet! the chimps were really cool, very full of character but too human like for my liking. they were very playful, and i got some really good photos, even though we didnt get very close to them. we took the boat back which was even worse. i could have swam across the equator, however my stomach was wanting to be sick on the equator.

the next couple of days were spent doing lots of travelling in order to get to the uganda rwanda border. we left some of our group in uganda who either weren't trekking else had applied too late and were trekking in uganda instead.

we arrived in uganda on wednesday and went to the genocide museum, it was very moving and informative for someone who didnt know all that much about what went on. rwanda is such a beautiful country, looking around just a few years later it is hard to believe what went on.

so today (thursday) we went gorilla trekking. an early morning so as to catch them as they are waking up. it didnt take us too long to find them in my group of 8, which was good cos it meant not too much walking through the dense forest. the clock ticing for our hour with them and they were up the trees which looked good but not on the camera unfortunately. however, it wasnt long before they came down and we got much closer than the 7 metres we are supposed to keep, especially when we seemed to be in one of theirs ways. little bit worried that they would turn on us but it was all good. and we say a really small baby one also on its mothers back. there was only one big silverbackm a couple of females and quite a few juevenilles. 9 in total. will try to upload some photos but itss slow here. and also my camera ran out of battery so onlky managed 70 photos!

xx

Posted by leiasj 13:18 Archived in Rwanda Tagged animal Comments (3)

adrenaline junkie

sunny
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so crossed the border into Uganda on thursday. it was a long day driving, but worth it. i think i prefer uganda to kenya. our campsite was right onto the nile (it starts in Jinga where we were staying). the view from the showers is of the river. and we could hear the rapids at night.

so on friday we spent the whole day doing the rapids starting at the source of the nile on the last day of it being the longest river, aparently the amazon is now the longestest as of yesterday! (apart from 3 people, one with maleria, one recovering from a cold so she can see the gorillas and the other i think was just scared!). there was 7 of us in each raft, mine didnt tip over until the last 2 rapids of 12 the first a grade 3 the second a grade 5). there were a few injuries, myself, i have twisted my arm while holding onto the rope as we went thgouh a grade 5, though i didnt fall out and managed to put up with the pain for the rest of the day. another guy badly sprained his ankle when they fell out, and another girl was just too hung over, stupid!! i have a dvd of the day so can show you that when i get back.

then yesterday i took myself off to do a bungee jump into the nile, while everyone else did either horse riding or quad biking. with my sprained arm i couldnt have done either of these. waited around for a long time while they sorted stuff out, and was quite nervous when i did it. although i have done one before it was easier becuasae i was in a full harness and they helped me to fall. this time i was just strapped by my feet and had to do the dive myself. i didnt get fully dunked into the water but my hands went in. got someone to take a video of me doing it, although my battery ran out, but got the important part, shame i wasted a minute before jumping because she was filming it then. in the end the guy just went 3,2,1 and i just did it. so awesome!!!

i think my travel insurance covers me for all these things, better check before i do a skydive over mount kilamanjaro!!

Posted by leiasj 12:11 Archived in Uganda Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

sleeping with buffalo


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so i've been on the road for 2 full days now, and its all been very exciting.
we started off leaving at 8am on monday, and headed into town so people could change up money. there was lots of traffic in town and ambulances. turns out someone had let off a hand grenade in a bus stop. police have clashed with a local gang over the weekend and this was their retaliation or something. luckily the only person to die was the idiot who let of the grenade by accident in his pocket! needless to say we headed out of nairobi pronto.

drove for most of the day to our first campsite on a farm. stopped off at a nice viewpoint, and got pursuaded into buying something that will again put my baggage weight up! had my first experience of a long drop toilet, but these ones were quite nice becaue they were raised like a toilet. jsut stink! had a nice meal and gt to know my travel buddies. many of them already know each other ebcause they have done projects togther before this.

the next morning we went on a farm tour, they have eglish cattle that they milk and they breed race horses. we left to head to the national park. still waiting to see leopard, but did get to see some white rhinos in the day time which i havent before. saw lots of buffalo, zebra, giraffe, and a whole host of flamingos! saw some antelope species that i havent seen before. and of course to welcome us t the park were a troop of vervets to make me feel at home. they were trying to get onto our truck of course! also plenty of baboons.

we set up camp, but rather than a fence surrounding the camp like at kruger there was nothing between us and the animals. while we were cooking dinner we noticed eyes in the darkness, turns out to be a couple of buffalo bout 10 metres from our tents. they had a little scuffle which was worrying that they would charge us, but we surived. needless to say i did not go to the loo in the night! other people also saw hyeanas by our camp.

just had the morning driving around some more. still didnt see the leopard. but got closer to the other animals and saw a hyena trying to get a flamingo while eating breakfast!

crossing into uganda tomorrow, and white wter rafting by the end of the week i think. lots of driving, but plenty of people to talk to.

Posted by leiasj 10:50 Archived in Kenya Comments (1)

moving on

arrived in nairobbery!

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leia_0023.jpgleia_0013.jpgleia_0033.jpgvery sad, had to say goodbye to all my monkeys yesterday. Im especially going to miss imogen and frances, but i got loads more pics of them before i left. a total of over 800 pics from my 8 weeks in SA! dont worry, i will make a condensed slide show of the best ones for anyone who is interested!

Had fun on wednesday afternoon giving deworming medicine to all the monkeys in intro enclosures. no easy feat. we had to use syringes to squirt it into their mouths through the fence. now some monkeys are quite inquisitive and come up and put it in their mouth no problem. then they want more, and as much as i know about monkeys now, i still cant tell them apart when im trying to give medicine to a cage of 24! so i think maybe some got double doses and some none at all. but hopefully it will cure the problem of monkeys dropping dead. we have just lost the parents from the family, and baby wasn't looking too good when i left, but fingers crossed.

thursday i finally got to do some digging. we needed to make an enclosure for georges rabbits so that they have some grass and will reproduce, so that they dont have to keep buying rabbits when george needs feeding. so we all got digging, the workers found our efforts quite amusing!

i chose to do baby cage on my last morning of chores. as much as i shout and scream at the babies for climbing on my head, im sure gonna miss them!

we had a night at on the rocks on friday. it was definately my best ngiht out, all the new girls are such good fun, im sad i cant get to know them better.

had a 12 hour wait at joburg which meant i got half my new book read, but didnt appreciate having to wait in nairobi airport for another person to arrive to share a taxi with. got a discounted rate because the driver felt bad! will upload some pics them im off to get robbed!

well off to spend the day in nairobbery, got a padlock on my backpack for protection. cant be doing with someone stealing my money again!

Posted by leiasj 08:04 Archived in Kenya Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

bad day friday!

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what a week! after leaving the internet cafe on friday, i got to the supermarket and realised that some nice kind fellow had stolen my purse! Luckily i only had less than 20 quid in it. but also my driving license and my bank card, which means that i can't take out money here now. luckily i have travellers cheques for kenya. got bills to pay here to bob and lynne, so will prob have to do a bank transfer or something!

but i had it ok reallly, because at friday afternoon feeding, theresa had her hand very badly bitten. we had to take her to the hospital. unforunately bob had to shoot the monkey because it was out of control, he couldn't catch it in the net and got bitten himself! not sure if i had mentioned him before, but we had called the monkey mad max because he was a bit mad. she is doing much better now,and will prob have her stitches out on friday. she still doesnt have feeling in the side of her hand.and cant really do the cleaning at the moment, but her job is to cut up the food instead now,

i stupidly dropped my contact lens case down the sink but have managed to buy a new one.

watched the rugby again. we lost again!

the owls are doing well, except hector who unfortunatelydied. not sure if he maybe choked on a piece of food, else there was a small fire in the clinic near him after the heater we had been using in there set alight!!! now there is melted plastic on the floor!

there are lots of volunteers here now, i think at last count there is 10 of us! so we have started cleaning the small cages in quarantine.

we had another monkey die, the father from the family. probably from parasites. we are treating all the monkeys for paracites by covering tablets in syrup!

we also had to give the babies medicine, which was a challenge,because while they like jumping on youand annoying you while you clean. they make it very difficult to catch them and givethem their medicine!

looking forward to going to kenya, but will definately miss SA.

Posted by leiasj 03:05 Archived in South Africa Comments (1)

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