Impenitrable Means Impenitrable

There is a nice article at TheAtlantic.com 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 EarthPhotos.com). 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 EarthPhotos.com.

Three Friday Photos – Wildlife

elephants

First is a family of elephants from the Amboseli park in Kenya.

colobus

Here’s a Colobus monkey just somewhere along the roadside in Uganda.

hippo

And this guy popped up to say hello in Lake Oloiden, Kenya.

Click ’em to enlarge, and see the Kenya, Uganda and Wildlife galleries at EarthPhotos.com for more. Cheers!

Africa Vignette Series

u1

At the end of the month we’re heading to the Maasai Mara for the annual wildebeest migration. Between now and then, here is a blizzard of little African vignettes. They are just short little bits, not in any particular order, not particularly edited. Maybe they’ll entice you to visit too one day. Hope you enjoy them. All the photos in this series are from EarthPhotos.com.

13 Uganda

I think about a visit to a safari camp in Uganda a few years back, just near the border with Congo. It was small, only ten tents and the proprietor, a stereotypical grizzled white African character I’ll call Dave, said he’d take out three of the tents and only have seven if he had his way but he was only working for the man, just like everybody else.

This place was down along a river, nice location. Oil had been discovered in the ground nearby, but recently enough that not a lot had been done yet; They were still mobilizing to get at it. Just over a ridge was the Congo border.

A four-wheeler drove up and Dave went to see. Came back after a while and told us it was the head of military intelligence for this sector. Said he drops by to buy a beer now and then, but of course the beer’s on the house. The military man makes every visit a “family visit” (Dave sticks quotes up in the air). This time he brought his wife, last time his sister.

I give them some beers, maybe a bite, and we visit a half hour, Dave says. Even though you have to do it, it’s not a bad idea. I mean, it’s calm over there now (thumb in the direction of the DRC), but it only takes them three or four days to cook up a civil war.

Not that this isn’t the safest place you can be, right here. Because it is, he thinks. They’ve got all the oil guys here. They’ve doubled the military presence. Never be the same. Still, it’s good to have a phone number for the head of military intelligence.

This entire series of vignettes will reside here, in the Africa section. If you enjoy them please have a look at my two travel books, Common Sense and Whiskey and Visiting Chernobyl.

Congo Intrigue

gorillas

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.

World Transport – Wednesday HDRs

 

SwitzerlandTrainHDR

 Taken from the train platform in Spiez, a little town on the Thunersee, between Interlaken and Thun, in Switzerland.

EthiopiaMulesHDR

 The mercado in Addia Ababa, Ethiopia. They call it the world's largest outdoor market and it really is huge. It's blocks and blocks and blocks both long and wide.

StHelenaCarHDR

 Out in the countryside in St. Helena, a British territory in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Kind of frozen in time.

UgandaBicycleHDR

 Along the side of the road in rural Uganda.

AustraliaShipsHDR

Fremantle, the port near Perth, on Australia's Indian Ocean coast.

All these HDRs come from Nikon cameras and were processed in Photomatix with Nik filters, and finished in Photoshop CS4 & CS5. There are currently 390 HDRs in the HDR Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.

One of Our EarthPhotos Shots Featured in the Current Afar Magazine

Ugandalionafarmagazine.jpg

Proud to tell you this photo is featured on page 38 of the September issue of the Travel Magazine Afar Magazine, on newsstands now. Get yours today.

It's an HDR from an afternoon spent with a group of tree climbing lions of Ishasha Wilderness, Queen Elizabeth Park, southern Uganda. At EarthPhotos.com, it's in the Uganda, wildlife and HDR Galleries.

Many thanks to Afar Magazine.