14.01.2012 - 18.01.2012 20 °C
We made it to Nairobi at 8pm on sat. jan. 14 th ... I guess it would have been 11am Regina time!!! We had a driver waiting to pick us up and take us to our hotel. Since it was Sunday the next morning there were no banks open so we had a hell of a time getting money exchanged. We ended up having to exchange money at the black market. Then we hired a driver to take us all around Nairobi for the day. We started at the baby elephant sanctuary where we were briefed about all the babies they had there and how they were orphaned. We got to watch them drink
from giant baby bottles and play in watering holes. We sponsored a baby elephant while we were there. Then we went to the giraffe sanctuary
and got to feed a giraffe from our mouths ... we got some good pics and video! It was a pretty cool experience. Then we went to the Bomas of
Kenya ... a cultural centre. There was actually a political event going on while we were there ... another thing we weren't supposed to do but it
turned out alright. We had lunch there and then went to watch some Kenyan drumming, dancing and aerobatics! The last performance was
amazing!! We have video of that too ... will show you all when we get home! Then we toured around a bunch of village replicas .. they were
pretty cool too. Then we went to Carnivore for supper. It was expensive but its all you can eat meat and they bring the meat around to your
table and you can choose what you would like to try. We had spare ribs, turkey, chicken, pork, beef, crocodile, ostrich and ox balls ... Louie's fave
was the ostrich and so was my mom's. I really liked the crocodile.
The next day, Jan. 16 we flew from Nairobi to Kigali, Rwanda. We made it through customs without any problems and headed straight for the
Canadian Embassy to notify them we were in the country. Then we went to the Rwanda Development Board to pick up our gorilla permits. It took\a long time and Louie and my mom had to wait in the car for me to come back. They were troopers because they spent a lot of the day
waiting around. Then we went to the bus depot ... we bought our tickets to Musanze and bought a few snacks for the road. The bus ride was
1.5 hours. We had to walk to our hotel ... uphill for about 2 kms. It was pretty tough but we were sure glad to find it. Our rooms are pretty nice.
We went for a short walk around our hotel to see what was there and then we took some motor cycle taxis to the local market to buy some
fresh fruit and veg.
On Jan. 17 we were up at 5:45am to get ready for our gorilla trek. Our driver picked us up at 6:15 and drove us to the park entrance. We
watched some traditional Rwandan drumming and dancing while we waited to be assigned to a group. We were placed with an Australian family
of four. Our guides, Patrick and D, were amazing!!! We also hired a porter to help us up the mountain and to carry our bags if we needed. The
trek up the mountain was super challenging ... it took us over 2 hours to get to where the gorillas were feeding. We climbed over 1000 meters
up a steep mountain. We started our trek at 2100m above sea level and climbed to over 3100m ... the top of the mountain is only 3711m!!
It was so hard ... but once we got there and got to see the gorillas it was so worth it!! Best $500 we've ever spent and so worth the difficult
climb. We got to see 3 females, 1 juvenile, 2 babies and 1 silverback!!! The juvenile actually rolled into my mom and almost knocked her over.
It was so funny but scary at the same time. Right at the end of our visit all of the gorillas came together and we got to see them all in one area ... it was the best!! Can't wait to show you all the pics and video ... we got to be so close to them ... it was so thrilling! We were only
7-10 feet away from them ... sometimes even closer!
We were so exhausted after our trek that Louie and I had to have a nap before supper. We went for supper at our hotel and then we
watched Hotel Rwanda ... mom fell asleep at 8pm !!! So we sent her to bed. Louie and I finished the movie and then went to bed. We were up
this morning at 7am (last night was the first night Louie and I slept through the night ... it was well needed). We walked into town to find an
internet cafe. Now we are going for breakfast and taking a bus to Gisenyi and Lake Kivu for the day. We will update more when we can. The
internet is much more difficult to find than I had expected. Hope you all are well. We love you !!