Janet & Mick's Unforgettable Gorilla Adventure

Janet & Mick's Unforgettable Gorilla Adventure

Posted by Beth Mills on 5th Oct 2023

The following blog was written by volunteers Janet and Mick who joined The Great Gorilla Project for two weeks last September:

Our trip had originally been planned for 2020, but due to Covid it was postponed until September 2022. Due to continuing stringent covid checks in Kigali (Rwanda), it was planned for us to fly to Entebbe and then travel across Uganda to Kisoro. Sadly, this meant not being able to spend so much time on the planned community projects, but it also meant we saw much more of Uganda and Ugandan life as we were driven for hours across the country to Kisoro and then back to Entebbe airport at the end of the project.

Uganda

Uganda

We’d already been on a variety of volunteering projects so we knew what to expect. The support we received was excellent and so too was the accommodation. The food was basic (by Western standards) but better than we’ve experienced on previous volunteering projects and we certainly didn’t go hungry. They managed very well to accommodate Janet's coeliac diet.

One of the key reasons for choosing Uganda was the opportunity to have two visits to the gorillas in the forests. It was a hard walk but made easier by the assistance of the porters and the knowledge that by employing them for the day was also helping to contribute to their community. 

Gorilla Trek

Due to covid, we had to wear face masks when near the gorillas and maintain a distance of 5 meters from them – but no one had told the gorillas! They came so close to us it was an amazing experience – so too was their body odour!

Gorilla Trek 2

The greetings we received from the school kids was tremendous. They were so excited and friendly. We witnessed a lot of disabilities and learning issues among the children. We saw large classes of kids, some of which had 120 children in them. They were all learning English and were inspired by their enthusiastic teachers. 

Children in Uganda

We spent time planting trees and vegetables, and in the schools spent time talking to the kids, especially the older ones about their futures and career opportunities. We also played football with them but soon felt our age. 

Teaching Children Uganda

We then saw a complete contrast when we visited Potter's Village where we saw premature, sick and abandoned babies and children being treated with very basic equipment which was very sobering.

Potter's Village

When we returned home we sent several parcels of baby clothes and old spectacles to the team at Kisoro in the hope we were continuing to help support the community. 

Sunset

We will never forget the 2 weeks we spent in Uganda at The Great Gorilla Project. It was such a mixture of events and emotions, and we would highly recommend the trip as a valuable volunteering experience.


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Colleen commented 5 months ago
How much is the gorilla experience

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