Impenitrable Means Impenitrable

There is a nice article at today called Mountain Gorillas at Home. My gorilla photography pales before it so I will spare you of anything more than a link, below, but the area around the gorillas is interesting in its own right. Here are a couple of shots of where the Uganda gorillas live (there are also gorillas in Rwanda and Congo). This is a place called the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Strictly speaking, it’s not quite impenetrable. There is this road through it:

Adjoining the forest are heavily farmed, terraced fields. The hills are really steep, as you can see here:

We visited the gorillas in the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda, farther down the road (See the Mountain Gorillas Gallery at Here are a few things I wrote at the time, when CS&W was on Typepad. I guess they ought to still work: 12345678.

And while we’re here, apropos to nothing except that I just ran across this photo, and it’s also from Uganda, here is the only galloping hippo I have ever seen:

Click ’em all to enlarge them. And have a look at more in the Uganda Gallery and the Rwanda Gallery at

Friday Photo #18, the Virunga Gorillas, Rwanda


This photo is from one of two mountain gorilla treks we took in 2008 in the Virunga mountains of Rwanda. Click to enlarge. More photos from those treks here. And if you’re considering a trip, here are some tips I wrote, mostly on my experience with taking pictures in the jungle. See more of Rwanda in the Rwanda Gallery at Here are links to some of the other stories I wrote at the time: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. And here are all the Friday Photos.

Congo Intrigue


Battles for resources, outright wars and jockeying for power never seem to stop in eastern Congo.

Four men were jailed for eight years each in South Africa on Wednesday for attempting to murder a former Rwandan general. The Kagame government in Kigali disavows knowledge of the plot, sort of.

A tweet from Anjan Sundaram (@anjansun) points to this scary story involving a Belgian prince, AK-47 fire, a British-registered company based opposite the Ritz in London’s Mayfair and ongoing efforts to save the Virunga Park – and its small population of mountain gorillas – on Congo’s eastern border.

One tiny personal anecdote from the Congo border, albeit from the much safer Ugandan side.


And if you’re looking for an off the beaten track travel/adventure for your next read, I recommend Anjan Sundaram’s book called Stringer, A Reporter’s Journey in the Congo.

Animals – Wednesday HDR


The cheetah and the grasshopper live in South Africa, the baboon and flamingoes are from from the Tierpark Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich, Germany and the gorilla at bottom lives in Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda. More gorilla photos here. All processed in Photomatix and Photoshop. Click 'em to make them bigger. More HDRs here.

So Sorry for Ugandans

Musicians have postponed concerts, resident Somalis fear retribution, and an unexploded suicide vest has been found in the aftermath of the Kampala bombings.

Politically, Michael Wilkerson in Foreign Policy thinks "public sentiment might have little influence on the Ugandan government's
next move. President Yoweri Museveni has long defined his relationship
with the United States by positioning himself as a staunch ally against
Islamist extremism in East Africa."

Smile Personally, I don't remember a cross word spoken by anyone in all of Uganda. We hope everybody we met in Kampala is all right.

No one planning a visit to Uganda's fabulous national parks, or to see the gorillas, should even think about canceling. It's a beautiful country full of friendly, smiling, welcoming people.

Wednesday HDR – Gorillas Mull Extinction

A damp fog blankets the clear-cut hills outside Parc National des Volcans in southeast Rwanda as we trek in, two of a group of eight, with an additional crew of guides and porters. We come upon a family of gorillas, but one male remains solitary, arms crossed across his chest. Pensive, it would seem.

If you're going to trek to see the mountain gorillas of Uganda, Rwanda and Congo, time to get a move on.

This week's HDR photo, below, in which our hero seems to fulminate on the encroachment of those demanding humans, visible just on the next ridge, is a perfect illustration of the perils this dwindling community of 800 or so gorillas faces. A report just issued by the U.N. titled "The Last Stand of the
Gorilla – Environmental Crime and Conflict in the Congo Basin"
suggests that "Gorillas may disappear
across much of the Congo Basin by the mid 2020s." Download the report, or read a story about it.


Click the photo for a much larger, higher-res version. And continue below the jump for tech details on the HDR photo itself.

Continue reading

Fifty Photos #38


A family of mountain gorillas at Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda.

Now you can friend a gorilla on Facebook.

A year ago, last August, we did two very worthwhile gorilla treks in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda. Here are links to some of the stories we wrote at the time: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

There are more photos like this in the Gorillas Gallery at

Get top-notch professional 8×12 Glossy & Matte prints of this and any of these Top Fifty Prints for just $11.50, 16×24 Glossy, Matte & Lustre for $35.00 at

(Photo from

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