Since I was 7 years old and my mum was a member of Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International I have wanted to visit the mountain gorillas. I have finally had that chance and I would like to share my experience with you. Luke Berman
Part 1 – The Journey
It all started in Mombasa airport where an immigration lady was asking me some pushing questions about why I had extended my visa in Kenya and what was I doing. I wanted to say "What? You mean you don't like the fact I am boosting your country's economy through tourism while everyone else is staying away", but instead I opted for the more passive "well I love Kenya and wanted to see more of it". Both flights to Nairobi and then to Entebbe were under an hour, and after the take off (around 15 minutes into both flights) I was surprised they were serving drinks and even a light snack. Let's just say that with me sitting near the back by the time I received my tomato juice the stewardess was saying "please put your tray table up we are landing"; I don't even think the guys behind me got a drink.
I had a terrific sense of excitement as I landed in Uganda, especially as they had a large poster of the mountain gorillas as you go through the terminal. Meeting the immigration officer on this side was also interesting as on approach he said "Passport", then about 1 minute later "give me $50"; and visa is done. This was it I had begun my mini-adventure to live out a boyhood dream of seeing the mountain gorillas.
I was greeted by Agaba of A & A Gorilla Tours and my guide for the trip, Paul, both welcoming me to Uganda. After the short journey to our hotel we had a brief talk about the trip, dinner and then off to bed. Before going to bed I met one of the largest dogs ever (called Simba meaning Lion), but like all large dogs I have encountered he was a soft, soppy giant.