Kibale Forest

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Kibale Forest is a tropical rainforest and is one of the parks with the highest concentration of primates (13 species) in Africa. About 700 chimps live in this park, beside chimps you can see many baboons, the red and black&white colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey, red tailed monkeys, bush babies and potto's.

 

We stayed at a nice small lodge just outside the park, located at the top of an old volcano. At the foot of the volcano was a crater lake, called 'Frog Lake' by the locals, due to the big amount of frogs that gave complete concerts at the beginning of the evening. -43.jpgOf course we went at the end of the afternoon at a frog expedition. At first there was no frog in sight along the crater lake, maybe it was still too early, as the concerts normally started between 6 and 7 PM. By looking very well, we found our first brown tree frog, but we found hundreds and hundreds tadpoles and tiny froglets who had just come ashore. We also found some green tree frogs with beautifully orange feet. Than the concerts started, but even in the twilight it was still difficult to spot them and they were very fast. If you walked through the high grass and along the reed they jumped with tens away just in front of your feet. You also heard everywhere reed frogs. As it already became dark, we had to shine with our flashlights along the reed, but we saw not one from close by, although we heard hundreds of them. We also found a clawed frog, he was lying in the middle of a path, first it looked like he was passed away, he was also quite far from the water. But as soon as I touched him, he jumped away. -6.jpgWe also found several buffo's. These are always easy to spot.

 

During this chimp tracking, it was dry and quite sunny. But also now the chimps sat high up in the trees. The most were quite active or busy eating figs. Also now several moms with young ones, just a little bigger as at Budungo Forest, they climbed already everywhere around. The young ones were very playful, swaying from one branch to another and mom often followed if they were too far away. 2 Chimps were quite lazy and had already built a day-nest, where they dozed off pleasantly in the sun. When chimps are eating, they pee a lot, several times we had to move out of the way not to catch a chimp shower. We also saw many other monkeys. As it was breakfast-time, they all sat in fig trees, several different kind of fig trees, these -9.jpgtrees have quite some leaves, which made it difficult to take pictures. But as they went from branch to branch they were good to spot.

 

Next to Kimbale Forest you find the Bigodi Swamp, a papyrus swamp. Also here you find red and black&white colobus, grey cheeked monkey and many bird species. But our highlight was a black mamba, at less than 2m from us. About 1m above the ground he was laying in the sun on top of a small bush. Our guide was panic-stricken and was shivering at his legs. Really astonished he looked at us that we both reacted very enthusiastic and wanted to take pictures. But as soon as the mamba noticed us, he slipped away, quick as lightning. Unfortunately we could not take a good picture, only one that he started to slip away.-52.jpg A little further we found a tiny black snake of about 20cm swimming in a pool, according to our guide a young black mamba. We had seen once before, in Botswana, a green mamba, but now we finally saw his big brother, the black mamba. Mamba means 'death' in African. Through the many myths about this snake, he should have killed whole families, he's called the 'black death'. They are so feared as they normally don't make way for people. They bite easily, before biting they stand up straight and try to reach at your height. A black mamba can reach a length of 4m. He is also the fasted snake in the world, he can reach a speed of 19km per hour, but mostly it stays by 15km per hour. So if he's getting after you, you can forget it.

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