Do you remember our day of chimpanzee trekking, long on trekking but short on chimpanzees? When we returned to the ranger station to make arrangements for the next day, a troupe of vervet monkeys did their very best to make up for their shy cousins.
Several adults and a pile of juveniles scampered around the driveway, lawn, and security hut. The guards were not amused. It would have been so easy to hand any one of them an ill-advised treat… and probably be bitten for it. The monkeys, not the guards. They were generally peaceful, regardless of the firepower about their persons. Vervets are wild animals, not playthings. They have no idea how cute and cuddly they look, unless you spy those very serious incisors inside there. Definitely not cuddly. All business. And you thought monkey-business was funny stuff. This is an art piece I did not long after, having been reminded of their antics upon reading a particular bit by Sir Terry Pratchett. You can google “Pratchett Tak strive” and learn more than you ever wanted to about that.
So, while the primary reasons for visiting Nyungwe are in fact primates, there is the jungle itself. Getting all up close and personal, in the trenches as it were, traipsing after said primates was ever so authentic, but rising above the mud and vines and thorns has its appeal. Beginning at the Uwinka Visitor Center, the Igishigishigi trail leads out to the recently completed canopy walk. One of three on the continent and the only one in the region, it’s a rare opportunity to be in the jungle without being in the jungle. High in the air, amongst the treetops, the suspended walkway affords stunning views straight out over the Uwinka valley. Cloaked in flowing mists and fog, one may imagine the world before we started really mucking it up.
On our way out of the park, we had a watershed moment. Even though we decided to forgo the grueling two day hike to see the source of the Nile ~sources of rivers are notoriously… humble~ we did do this: