My friend Maria and I are city girls. We are not really the outdoor type. We’ve been living in Oslo for four years, but haven’t really been out enjoying the beautiful nature of Norway. We have done some exploring, like all the coffee shops in the part of town called Grünerløkka and Oslo nightlife.
When I moved to South Sudan (which is not a very city girl thing to do by the way) Maria immediately said she wanted to come and visit. It had been her dream for many years to see wild gorillas. I’m of the opinion that dreams are meant to come true, so we booked a trip – a 14 days camping tour to Kenya and Uganda. Maria had only slept in a tent once before and my camping experience was limited to school trips, the latest one in ninth grade. African wildlife is very far from Oslo nightlife, but in order to see gorillas and other animals at a reasonable price we were willing to go through some discomfort and inconvenience.
It started well. We had the right equipment. We had hand sanitizer, sun lotion and head lights. Besides, the tour guides took extra care of the hopeless Swedish girls, who also complicated things by being vegetarians. Despite all this, for some reason nature had decided to work against us.
A baboon stole Maria’s snack pack. We got bat droppings all over our tent and ourselves. Heavy rain leaked in to our tent from underneath (the other tents were dry). When we put up our tent in Uganda a big frog scared Maria by jumping out of the tent when she unfolded it. The poor frog must have traveled with us all the way from Kenya. A dog peed on our tent door. That same dog nearly scared me to death when I woke up the next morning. He had fallen asleep right outside our tent door, which he might have considered his territory after peeing on it, and he refused to move even though I poked him angrily through the tent canvas. In Kampala we managed to put up our tent on an ant trail and the ants continued their trail on the wall inside our tent.
In the end it was all worth it. We had a wonderful trip. We got to see the mountain gorillas. We also earned some camping experience that might be useful the next time we go traveling in beautiful Africa. Next time we just have to look out for bats, ants, frogs, dogs and especially baboons and all will be fine.