Monday, October 15, 2012

A look back at David Gandy's journey to Uganda

Last November I got to live out one of my dreams -to go trekking for gorillas in Uganda. The trip certainly isn't for the faint-hearted. This has nothing to do with the gorillas themselves; it's due to the terrifying drives required to get to them. We had three straight days in a huge, battered Toyota Land Cruiser, driving through very poor, undeveloped country on unmade roads - and this was without accidents or breakdowns. But I am a bit of a daredevil, and for me this only added to the adventure.Once we were in the gorilla zone we stayed at The Travellers Rest Hotel in Kisoro, a typical dusty, rural African town. The hotel (which Dian Fossey visited) is basic but charming, and most importantly they serve a wonderful cup of tea. My parents and I (don't imagine budding Attenboroughs here, think more National Lampoon's the Griswolds) slept well and the following morning awoke at 5am. We watched the sun rise out of the mist (gorillas in the mist isn't a myth after all), and a class of children arriving at the hut they call school, singing their morning hymn, before a two-hour drive to the camp.Once there, we trekked through extremely dense forest (making for very slow and hot progress) for a couple of thousand metres, and after two hours were finally within touching distance of these magnificent and extraordinary creatures.
We watched, mesmerised, as the gorillas grunted and chewed, and a macho silverback occasionally beat his chest to show his dominance. The mothers barely took any notice of us and some of the brave younger males dared to brush past us. But most delightful of all was when two tiny twin gorillas fed from their mother under the close supervision of a protective silverback. It was unforgettable.
Read more about his experiences on his Vogue Blog:Charitable Thoughts 2010


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