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Photographer's Note

I debated before uploading this shot because I loved Uganda. It's a beautiful country, with incredibly warm, welcoming people, and I did not want to post anything that would make anyone hesitant to go there. However, it shows the reality of life in that part of the world, so I decided to include it.

Each group of six tourists who go gorilla tracking at Bwindi are accompanied by one ranger, three soldiers, and two trackers. Here are one of the rangers and four of the soldiers during a rest on our trek.

Why so much protection? Partly for the gorillas, but also because back in 1999 a group of rebels from Rwanda crossed into the park, and attacked and killed eight foreign tourists and one Ugandan ranger. While the attack was tragic, an equal tragedy, in my mind, was that this attack received worldwide media attention, while, at that time, there were frequent and numerous rebel attacks on local people that went unreported.

The attack in Bwindi obviously hurt Uganda's tourism industry. It is, however, becoming stronger now, and, with the exception of certain areas in the north of the country (the Gulu and Lira areas), is considered to be safe to travel.

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Additional Photos by Mimi Samuel (mimi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 385 W: 330 N: 272] (2325)
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