The rainy season is slowly drawing to a close, the rivers are still running noisily every night and everything is growing as we watch. Our tree nursery is thriving and the 400 plants that were planted out onto the hill last month are doing well. Two more of our sheep are due to lamb almost any day and the 40 Merino sheep from our neighbours Handspun Hope are looking better for keeping our green grass carefully nibbled short.
The advantage of all this growth is that the Gorillas tend to feed fairly low so the trekking which had been muddy in the extreme is blessedly close! A warm log fire and a hot bath can be enormously restorative!! As can a good lunch in genial company Michael and Robert!!
But then the sun comes out and the Mountains are transformed and everyone smiles! The little bundle of fluff in this picture shows how the Gorillas enjoy it too.
Photo courtesy of Alisa Bowen
Animal behaviour is a fascinating study and the following pictures of a mum’s discovery of an unusually large grasshopper prompting her to break off a twig and use it to lift the hopper closer so she can examine it carefully are fascinating. Its when one is privileged enough to spend time with these primates that one is so strongly reminded that we share 98% of the same DNA.
We have received some very encouraging news from our friends at Dian Fossey Research Centre this month. New data has just been released on gorilla numbers which show that Mountain Gorilla numbers are climbing and they are the only great ape in the world whose numbers are growing. This is thanks to the hard work and dedicated conservation efforts of the Rwanda Parks Authority, Parks Rangers and everyone at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. You can read more about their findings here.
We have taken the step (which is almost blasphemous) of filtering the crystal-clear water we get from the mountain streams above us, through an Reverse Osmosis unit to remove any imagined impurities, for some months now we have given all our guests a reusable metal water bottle for trekking and now our plastic footprint is further reduced.
All the staff have been taking their annual leave and have been coming back into the lodge over the last few days to get ready for what we hope will be a busy season, we look forward to welcoming new guests and hosting old friends alike over this time…..
Philip Mason, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge Manager.