World traveler and pilot Robert Gannon has had many adventures around the world, but some of the most exciting were his encounters in Africa with mountain gorillas, an unusual cheetah, and participating in a camel race.
He traveled to the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, a World Heritage Site. Uganda is one of the 36 [out of 53] African countries he visited.
He went to see the famous mountain gorillas. There are no mountain gorillas in captivity, and the park is one of three sites where they can be found.
The park is run by the Ugandan Wildlife Authority, and they maintain strict control. Visitors, such as Gannon, have to go on guided treks of 6-8 people. They allow only two treks a day with scouts, and everybody has to be healthy, so as to not endanger the gorillas.
When Gannon’s scouts found the gorillas, the group had to stay back at least 8 to 10 feet. Gannon said the Silverback male eyed them cautiously, but did not charge them. He confided that the feeling of being amongst the gorillas was a mesmerizing and unforgettable experience.
In southern Africa, he went to several places in the country of Namibia, including the Harnas Wildlife Foundation where he worked as a volunteer. This is a conservatory where they are dedicated to saving and if possible rehabilitating the lives of wild animals in Africa.
While there, Gannon saw lions, wild dogs, and baboons, and he made friends with a partially domesticated cheetah who took a liking to his plane, Lucky Lady Too.
She was very curious and walked all around his plane. He also saw her growling two week old cubs. The conservatory had to keep the mother, but they were hoping to release the cubs into the wild once they were old enough.
In Kenya, Gannon wanted to try something different. All his life, he has enjoyed outdoor, physical activities, so he decided to enter the Maralal International Camel Derby in the amateur division.
Having been raised on a farm, he had ridden horses before, but a camel was another story, especially a camel race! It was a 10 km race. Gannon said that for just over one hour, he felt like his head was in a Martini shaker as the camels ran.
It was hard for him to walk for a few days after the race because his muscles were very sore. However, he placed 17th out of 58 participants, and he was proud of that.
Gannon has had many adventures around the world, including these wonderful animal encounters in Africa.
Robert Gannon’s World Flying Adventures