Off to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in a 4×4 with a driver called Joseph of Abacus Tours. The potholed road is familiar to me — Kampala to Masaka to Mbarara, and then off on a very rough road to Bwindi in Kanungu District in the southwest corner of the country on Congo border. The dry season is in full force, and the 4×4 has a broken window, so windows are down, and my eyes feel like they are turning into paper made from the papyrus we are passing. By the end of the day, our faces are covered with dust.
The lodgings for that evening are in the Buhoma Community Rest Camp which comprises modest but clean and comfortable banda huts and tented lodgings, where we spend the night. Apparently, this camp was started in 1992 as a community project with a small bit of USAID money and has been run by local people ever since. There is no electricity, and I have forgotten my flashlight. Water is heated by a “water heater” made of bricks and stoked with wood. I don’t know when a hot shower has felt so good! By the way, this is the same camp where American tourists were murdered in 1999 by some rebel group. Outside the camp is a little strip of shops selling carved gorillas and various other homemade souvenirs. I take some photos in the fading light, disappointed that I haven’t been able to walk and shoot and explore.