Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mutware (Chief)

Ryan, my dad, & I have spent the last week at Akagera National Park.  We did a 3-day safari and this is a list of what we saw and experienced:

Zebras.  Lake Ihema.  Palapa huts.  Warthogs.  Refering to warthogs as “Pumbas.”  Pumbas grazing outside our room.  Baboons fighting outside our room.  Tennis matches on clay courts.  Baboons watching us play tennis.  Impalas.  Giraffes.  Chasing giraffes across grasslands.  Pictures with giraffes.  Good food.  French fries with ketchup.  Baboons running into the dining room for breakfast.  Baboons sneaking into the dining room for lunch.  Swimming in Africa.  Swimming in a pool that overlooks Tanzania.  Watching baboons drink from said pool.  Water bucks.  Hippos.  Safari boat ride.  Finding an elephant swimming in the lake on the boat ride.  Circling the elephant for 30 minutes in the boat.  Bald eagle.  12’ crocodiles.  Cape buffalo.  Those little white birds that live on the buffalo.  Velvet monkeys.  Flat tire.  Ryan changing flat tire in the bush.  Repairing flat tire in a big town for $2.50.  Finding tire flat the next morning.  Repairing flat tire in a village barnyard for $3.00 + a bunch of bananas.  Topis.  Oribis.  Incredible tour guide named Cecile.  Laughing with Cecile.  Crying with Cecile.  Becoming friends with Cecile.  Cape elands.  Red buck.  Buying 50cents worth of the best little red peanuts from a kid in the village.  Free Kinyarwanda language lessons.  Monitor lizard.  Biting horseflies.  Thousands of biting horseflies in the car.  Thousands of dead biting horseflies on the floorboard (thanks Dad). 

There just isn’t a way for me to write about our every detail from our safari trip.  It was an incredible experience and I wouldn’t have changed a single minute of it.  We were even lucky enough to encounter Mutware, the nationally known 42 year old elephant who was separated from his herd and lost his tusks to poachers.  We heard a guy say that in his 70 game drives, he has only seen an elephant twice.  Yeah…we were excited.  Still are.

Tomorrow we will head north to Ruhengeri.  Monday morning, Dad & I are going to climb a volcano in search of silverback gorillas, and then the next day, the 3 of us will trek back up the volcano to see golden monkeys.  

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