It was lovely to get back to Sabyinyo silverback Lodge after almost two years away and despite the lodge being closed since March, it was as beautiful as ever. We were blessed with many sparkling days and although very few guests had yet to firm up their bookings, the gorillas were as spectacular as ever!
Kwita Izina, the yearly ‘baby gorilla naming ceremony’ was held as a virtual occasion due to Covid restraints – but was thankfully well attended and supported – if only online!
October always brings rain but the temperatures were clement and gorilla trekking, although muddy, was as rewarding as ever. Walks up to the Dian Fossey campsite gave wonderful views down over the farmlands and white fields of Pyrethrum which being totally organic, is the only insect repellent any of us should use!
Over 2000 trees had been distributed for reforestation from our little tree nursery and we have been busy both sourcing additional indigenous species and increasing our stock of tree and shrub species – to look after what we hope will be a big increase in planting over the coming year.
We have used the quiet time to start a new vegetable garden that provides bounteous amounts of fresh produce, which we have all enjoyed. The readily available fresh, crisp salads are a welcome addition to the kitchens!
Our lodge staff have all been working on a rotational work basis according to our company Covid Policy; some have spent their spare time brushing up on various skills through online courses while others have been perfecting the beautiful gardens, exploring new culinary delights and looking forward to welcoming more of our guests to share this idyllic spot from which to visit the gorillas.
Meanwhile, the generosity of many has enabled us to purchase and facilitate the distribution of many food packages that we have been handing out to the less fortunate members of the community – those who have been adversely effected due to the downturn in tourism caused by the pandemic crisis. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us with these food drives.
By Philip Mason, Governors’ Camp Collection.