Sunday, 8 April 2007

Gorilla Trekking with Part NART

Two members of the infamous NART gang used Melanie being in Rwanda as motivation to venture down from Europe to the dark continent. Their 3 week tour included Tanzania (Zanzibar and mainland safari), Uganda (Kampala), and Rwanda (Kigali and Volcano National Park). The day they arrived, Melanie had the pleasure of introducing them to one of Rwanda's hottest night clubs called, "Fair Place" where UNDP was having an "End of Year/Staff Party". The disco lights, carpet, and pure cheese/70's retro decor were too much for these Euro snobs to handle!

A few days later, Melanie, Janet, Erica, Toshi, and Lindsey crammed into a van and headed for Volcano National Park to trek the endangered mountain gorillas of northern Rwanda. The following morning, they woke up bright and early and headed for a gorilla briefing at the ORTPN base camp. It was also at this time where they selected which gorilla group to follow. They decided upon the Amahoro Group due to their numbers and location in the mountains. All seemed well until Erica was the first to be stung by the forests' nasty nettles! Her hand was red and stinging. The guide quickly found the curative plant and rubbed it on her. That began the copious screams by all trekkers stung by nettles. There was almost no body part untouched by their secretions. The highlight of the Gorilla Trek was when one of the gorillas decided Erica looked fun to play with and rammed his fist into her kidney. She tumbled to the ground in a huge silent cry of pain! To see Melanie's photos of the gorillas, click here.

Erica and Janet's Out of Africa adventure ended shortly thereafter and they headed back to Leuven and Amsterdam respectively.

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