February 10, 2017: Chimp Tracking at Budongo Forest was the main activity for today…
Another early morning wake-up to get to river bank and get on the first ferry crossing. We waited a while for the guys from Pakuba Safari lodge to join us before setting off. I can’t be too sure, but it seem we drove about an hour after the ferry crossing before getting to Budongo Eco-Lodge where we were to set off on our chimp tracking expedition.
We were about 18 persons, Prof. had opted to stay back at the lodge to rest his knees. While necessary paperwork was being done, we prepared ourselves by spraying on some insect repellent. Someone had a red backpack and he had to leave it behind, because chimps have a thing or two against red.
We were warned not to imitate any sound the primates make. For all you know, it may be a distress call, or worse a mating call!
After a quick briefing, we were divided into three smaller units and each was assigned a guide. Into the forest we went led our guide, Pauline. We walked for a while hearing the sounds of the forest. Our guide would stop suddenly, listen and reroute us. Sometimes she’ll radio the other guides before rerouting us.
We spotted some chimps up in the trees after about an hour. Later on we spotted this big guy, according to Pauline, the dude was second in command to the alpha male, although he is older.
Our tracking has been a success and our guide led us back out of the forest. We took a little rest to catch our breath before piling into our vehicles and heading back.
We got to the river bank and waited a while before the ferry arrived. As we sailed on the Nile to the other side, we spotted a herd of elephants on the bank.
…the story continues…