Day 4 – A meeting with Kwitonda

Jeffrey Whiting
November 26, 2010 share
Artists for Conservation Flag Expedition 11

11/24 – It has been very difficult getting Internet access at the hotel, and logistically difficult to go anywhere else. This morning I woke up with power in the room, running water and conflicting emotions. I urgently needed to connect with someone at MGVP for an invitation letter that would complete my DRC-Rwanda return visa application, and I was to depart in only a day. I would then need to put my faith in the burocracy of Rwanda immigration services.

Visa anxieties aside... Today was our first Gorilla trekking day, and what a day it was! We came within a few feet of the Kwitonda group - a family that included 3 silverbacks and the leader, named Kwitonda (translation: "Humble"). Our guides were named "Hope" and "Ignacius".

We got an early start, with a 5:30am breakfast. 6:30 shuttle to the base station, and briefing. The guides are all friendly and helpful, and wanting to make the experience as positive as possible. Too much for words and out of time.

This afternoon we learned Mike Cranfield will not be able to join us as he's been called to an emergency rescue situation in Uganda involving a young gorilla with a snare around its neck. In his place is will be Molly Feltner from MGVP who will join us for the trip. Greeting party on DRC side is in place. - Jeff


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