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Saturday, 12th October
At 4pm on a beautifully sunny Saturday, friends and colleagues joined together at Mish Mash in Kampala, Uganda to celebrate the life of Ross Langdon and Elif Yavuz, victims of the horrific attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi last month.
People travelled from as far as Tanzania and Rwanda to commemorate the lives of these two brilliant and talented individuals. Among the crowd were friends, colleagues and people who had merely met them along the road and been inspired by their passion and vivacity – a true testament to their friendly and welcoming nature. All those who attended commented on their love of life, their vibrant and sensitive characters and warm personalities that charmed everyone with their mischief and sense of humour.
The service was opened by William Pike, Ex CEO of the 'New Vision' and now Managing Director of Kenya’s 'The Star'. Colleagues and employees of Volcanoes Safaris, along with close friends made heart-felt speeches about both Ross and Elif, before opening the floor to the audience, for anyone who wanted to say a few words. Those who could not attend sent messages, which were also read out.
The service was closed by Praveen Moman, Director of Volcanoes Safaris, who honoured Ross both as an individual and a gifted and creative designer who worked on a number of the Volcanoes Lodges in Uganda and Rwanda, most notably Kyambura Gorge Lodge where he left a distinctive legacy of his creativity.
At the end of the service a book signing was held for all friends and colleagues to write farewell messages to Ross and Elif, thanking them for their wonderful friendships and inspiration that they had brought to so many lives. This book will be sent to their families in honour of the lives of these two exceptional people. Our thoughts are with their families at this difficult time – they will be greatly missed.
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.
Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.