Birding on Lake Mutanda

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Baker (our fantastic driver) hooked us up with Gerald, a Kisoro resident who knows his birds.  We paid him about $40 USD for 5+ hours of hiking and birding around Lake Mutanda.  This turned out to be a really great little side trip that wasn't on our itinerary.

Lake Mutanda

We hopped out of the car and started the walk down towards the lake.  Lots of birds along the way.  Below is a selection with IDs in the captions (please post a comment if you spot any we've misidentified - certainly possible).  One bummer is that we somehow only saw Crested Cranes from a long distance on two occasions.  We went into the trip thinking we'd be tripping all over these guys.  (They are Uganda's bald eagle)


We also met here the Kisoro Parrots.  These were young kids yelling "How are you!" (notice the exclamation point and not question mark) and "Give me money!"  To that one, Gerald told me to respond right back with "Give me money!".  This only seemed to cause confusion, however.

We were a bit off the beaten path here, so these kids aren't seeing a whole lot of Muzungu (foreigners) and we were thus a big novelty.  Our group of three often swelled to ten or more when a troop of kids would start following.  We've got a pretty strict 'no photos of people' policy, but since these kiddos were begging to have their photos taken, we were happy to oblige. 


Another fun part of this side trip was riding a dug out canoe across the lake.  We paid about $5 to a local guy for a pleasant 45 minute paddle.  Even while in the middle of the lake we could hear the Kisoro Parrots yelling our direction.  Here's the chariot we cruised in:


Back in the car around 2:30pm, we headed back into Kisoro for a late lunch.  We gave some local food a whirl--goat (me), scrawny chicken (Lillie), with rice, matoke and ugali.  Not too shabby and only about $3.

This is the goat variety.  It was goaty.

After lunch, we made the less than two hour drive across the border down to Musanze, Rwanda.  This would be the jumping off point for our next gorilla tracking outing...

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