Friendly First Guests
Our partners at River Camps Uganda have just opened up a new lodge, Nguse River Camp, named for the nearby powerful Nguse waterfalls. The sister lodges include Semliki River Lodge and Rweteera Safari Park. Situated between the stunning Murchison Falls and Kibale Forest National Park, the camp is built in an oasis.
Since opening, the camp has had some curious new guests - pangolins! They wandered in from the neighbouring marsh of Bugoma Forest. Small and scaly animals, if touched they curl up into a little ball to protect themselves.
Four subspecies of this animal can be found in Africa: black-bellied pangolin, white-bellied pangolin, Giant Ground pangolin and Temminck's Ground pangolin. They are all critically endangered. Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world, with a high demand for their meat and scales.
This immense trafficking is driven by the belief that pangolin scales have magical and curative properties. When mixed with specific tree barks, the scales are thought to neutralize evil spirits. The smoke from their scales is believed to help the health of cattle, keep dangerous lions away, and cure ailments like nose-bleeds.
These little residents coming into the new camp obviously means they’ve found a safe space to visit out of harm's way.