Birthday with the People of Lake Bunyonyi

Jure had been thinking of the Gorilla Highlands region for over six years. Late last year he made a definite plan with us: a trip to celebrate his 41st birthday, with his buddies and among locals.

Sure, he did track gorillas in the lushness of Bwindi on Sunday, and he is in the savannah of Ishasha right now, but it was yesterday that was all his — a day of hiking and canoeing on Lake Bunyonyi.

Bufuka Primary School sang for Jure in the morning, and his dancing partner was in stitches. Not because he had no moves, oh no, because of his cheeky nature on display! (It was the kids who got the gifts, not our birthday boy.)

Most of the program happened on the peninsula of Kyabahinga that the Jure Gang had to conquer to get some sweeping views that few visitors get lucky enough to enjoy.

It wasn’t just the friends that made Jure’s day, our trainee Pleasure added some extra sunshine! (The long bottle-neck Habukomi Island is in the background).

A traditional healer gave Jure some essential advice, to keep him around for another 41 years at least, and to make sure he starts procreating soon.

A craftmaker served the team a traditional lunch, the first of the two tasty meals deep in the village. Jure is a gourmet and this surely was something different. He loved that he was welcomed into a home like that!

No, the boys did not swim to Habukomi Island, dugout canoes did the job, but the heat was intense and every participant who isn’t a “pudding” (group lingo) jumped into the refreshing waters.

For VIP visitors of this calibre you order the cake where they make them best! In our case that was at Coffee Pot in Kisoro, two hours away from Bunyonyi.

The wait for dinner by the legendary Tom paid off handsomely. His crayfish masala was a treat where Michelin guides do not dare to venture.

The witchdoctor’s input resulted in a baby much earlier than anticipated! (Kidding aside: a little boy just happened to bring his even tinier brother along.)

Jure was sent back to the mainland with a goodbye hug from Tom’s sweet wife. “This day met all my expectations,” he announced happily.


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