November 27 2009: Last day of the trip started November 12!
This day was not part of the professional investigations, but more like a day-off. As flights to Europe are leaving in the evening, we had the day to come back to Entebbe and fly back home, sweet home! Being in Bwindi, it would have been a shame not to go and track the wonderful Mountain Gorillas. For a long time, we were not sure to be able to go for the tracking. Indeed we had to take a chartered flight back to Entebbe at 10:00am (the drive is more than 12 hours), and tracking gorillas is not an easy thing, as they are wild animal which does not say in advance where they will be the next day.
Sometimes they are in the village, sometimes they are 8 hours hike away! We were very lucky! Very lucky first to be hosted by CTPH who is monitoring Gorillas health, and therefore we could join their early team, which go in the field before the usual tourist teams.
It was also a great opportunity to see and understand how they are observing gorillas, and how they are checking the animal’s health. We were also very lucky to find the gorilla only 15-20mn away from the park headquarter. As the rules are strict and one can observe gorillas only one hour (to avoid stress for them), we were back at 8:30am, and we arrived in the Bwindi airport (!!!) at 9:40.
The last challenge of the trip: no plane! Calls to the guy who organized it, call to our contact at the government, call to the head of the charter company… They just forgot about us, and screwed the dates! Quite a stressful time! Eventually everything went well, and the plane arrived around 2:00pm. We had time to visit the local tea factory! Quite interesting experience, where we learnt that for each acre of tea planted, the factory also plants 6 acres of wood, for the fire needed to dry the leaves !
Concerning the chartered flight, it was my first experience in such a small plane. Far more frightening than a normal big plane! but it was wonderful to see the country from the sky. Uganda is definitely a very beautiful green country. Finally we all survived, and got our flights on time!