Our client left a fantastic Namibia Rare Mammals Photography Tour last week and travelled to Uganda to photography the wonderful and unique Shoebill stork and spend some time with the huge habituated Common Chimpanzee colony in Kibale Forest National Park. This particular client of ours is one of our pioneers, often booking private trips to see some of the world’s rarest species and his scouting for us is invaluable. In this particular part of Uganda Royle Safaris has many contacts and in fact the primate watching tours of Uganda and Rwanda are among the most popular wildlife watching and mammalwatching tours that we offer. But on this occasion our client was scouting out the possibility of Giant Pangolins around the forests of west Uganda.

Shoebill – Mbamba Swamp, Uganda

So a quick report of a funny tale from Uganda and also a little insight into the wild goose chases which our pioneers and scouts often encounter when developing new itineraries, particularly for some of the world’s rarest and elusive species.

“No trip should ever be drama free. This one is a gem.

Elago (our Namibian guide who Chris invited to Uganda with him after the trip) and I had a truly stunning morning with the chimpanzees in Kibale.  Of course. We got a fun selfie with one even. Elago is having the time of his life asking our poor guide a million questions about Uganda.

I, however, focused as ever.  I ask the guide only “Do you know where to find pangolin?  Are they tracked anywhere? I can pay a fortune to photograph one.”

Our guide calls and calls and calls.  Highly motivated by the prospect of wealth, we spend the balance of two days chasing leads.  Some swamp area we are told they get seen sometimes.  Nothing but snares in pangolin areas.  Stories of villages getting rich by collecting all the pangolin.

Then we get a “hot tip!”  They got one!  A giant one!  People had gone out searching to get rich from me. 60 kilometers away at the edge of the national park!!

NO F**KING WAY!!  What’s the chance of this?? ???   We even called a park staff person to inform them that the locals found one and so to protect it and not let it slip onto the black market. 

But… Nothing about this added up.  It was too easy, there was too much miscommunication. No word of a lie, we drive to a little visitor center next to a national park.

They have a sculpture of a pangolin. Looks like a child made it. To be fair, it was pretty “giant”.  

Yeah… Thought that was too good to be true.  

You can grasp language barrier issues but that is just absurd.  Our guide feel terrible for what happened. That’s hilarious.  If i am going to strike out on an animal, this is a great way to do it.”

Pangolin conservation worldwide

We do however have giant pangolins on the agenda in Gabon and if you would like to know more about this stunning animal and how to find one in Gabon you can check out Gabon Wildlife Adventure or contact us now.

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