in search of Twiga

We set off at 7 am for the southern part of the island in search of Twiga (giraffe). After a month of searching for chimpanzees I was eager to view some wildlife, if the chimpanzees were shy perhaps the giraffes would be more obliging. After about 10 km we encountered our first road block, I tree was blocking our path–a tree that had no doubt been knocked down by one of the many elephants here on the island. My field assistant and the driver got out to clear the path.

Unfortunately, for them this was not the only tree blocking our path as we continued down the dirt track. I think we encountered 6 fallen trees in total and by the time we arrived at the southern ranger post my field assistant was exhausted from all the panga slashing.

Fortunately for me these little stops allowed me to explore parts of the island, and I came across some truly magnificent trees.

Back to the twiga hunt—we acquired two rangers at the post. Apparently elephants were in this part of the forest too and it would be safer if we had two armed escorts.

We set off and followed the foot prints and poop droppings.

It didn’t take long until we had our first glimpse of the giraffes…

But it was very shy and quickly disappeared again out of view and so we continued our forest walk hoping to catch another glimpse.

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About Nadejda Josephine

I am currently studying for a doctorate in Anthropology at University College London. My fieldwork takes place on Rubondo Island, Lake Victoria in Tanzania. The research looks at the nesting patterns and nest architecture in the Rubondo chimpanzees. I began the work in April 2012 and will remain on the island until at least October 2013. I write this blog so as not to forget this wonderful island and the random events which occur throughout my fieldwork.

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