The November rains have drawn the gorillas further down to the crops of new bamboo shoots which have sprung up on the lower slopes of the Virungas, near the edge of the park. The unrelenting weather has made for sticky paths and muddy boots, but it’s given our guests much shorter walks than usual to the contented mountain gorilla families. All our guests have returned back from their gorilla trek full of enthusiasm as ever and the exuberance of their descriptions is infectious!
Gorillas are currently enjoying the new shoots found on the lower slopes – photo credit Alisa Karstad
The rain has also been wonderful for gardening and our formal ‘cut flowers’ garden, which many of you might remember, has had a makeover and will soon again be producing the extravagant bunches of exquisite flowers that we love to share in all the main areas. Our indigenous tree nursery is also flourishing and we are preparing hundreds of seedlings for planting out in the Dian Fossey complex that is in build at present.
Our quiet flower garden provides an idyllic spot to sit and take in the surroundings – photo credit Philip Mason
The vegetable garden is a ‘thing of joy’ and we have artichokes, rhubarb, Cape gooseberries and tree tomatoes, along with every kind of salad and vegetable that one could wish for! Fidel, our master class gardener also has an apple tree seedling that he is nurturing but even with our rich soil and wonderful growing climate, we might be waiting a while for apple crumble!
Fresh produce from our vegetable garden – photo credit Philip Mason
Thank you to Robert Schearer for a very kind donation which has allowed us to fund the set up of our new project for the Terengere Ubuzima sewing group of around 90 unmarried mothers that we sponsor. Using the funds, these ladies will start producing a pack of reusable sanitary pads that will be given by donation to schoolgirls from the more unfortunate families in the local community, which will allow the girls to stay in school.
The sewing ladies have begun a new project to assist school girls from vulnerable families – photo credit Philip Mason
Right now we are going through the process of getting approval from the Bureau of Standards, after which the sewing project will be ‘selling’ a pack of six reusable pads for just $20 that provides an income for our single mums and a service that is otherwise unaffordable for the girls.
With the easing of global travel restrictions and the long-awaited vaccines becoming an ever nearer reality, it won’t be long until we are welcoming more and more of our intrepid travellers, who are all in search of a life-changing experience within the rolling hills of ‘Remarkable Rwanda’.
We look forward to saying ‘Murisanga’ (‘welcome’) to you all!
By Philip Mason, Manager of Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge