feeling fruity

The northern hills of the island currently have an abundance of fruits. The largest fruit is called Mpira or Saba comorensis. Saba c. has a hard outer casing which stops the worms from entering inside, you can chew the seeds but it tastes extremely sour and I haven’t managed to eat a whole one yet, although JL loves them.




These little fruits resemble apples both in appearance and taste. Their latin name is Parinari curatellifolia. I made a jam using them and bananas last month, and it was delicious. JP couldn’t get enough of it.


These smaller fruits are more palatable than mpira, from top to bottom you have Salacia sp., Carpolobia conradsiana, and Pancovia turbinata. Although Pancovia tends to have a lot of worms so you have to be careful when you try to eat one.



Above is Uvaria sp. which is very sweet.


I am excited to taste some of the other fruits which the chimps eat, but I’ll have to wait until next month when they ripen.

If you want to know more about the diet of Rubondo chimpanzees read Liza Moscovice’s article titled:

Fruit Availability, Chimpanzee Diet, and Grouping Patterns…, published in 2007, in AJP.


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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.

4 responses to “feeling fruity”

  1. Mick Vernon says :

    Great shots of the fruits – I’m a frutophile so I have a keen interest ones I’ve never seen before. Keep up the good work.

    I’m copying you a link to a sad news story about an American student who has been attacked by chimps at the Jane Goodhall Institute in South Africa. Apparently some of the chimps are rescuees from abusive captures and this may be part of the reason they attacked him. I don’t want to upset you, but thought you would have a professional interest.


    Best wishes,
    Mick Vernon

    • chimpblogger says :

      Hello Mick, this is very sad news, a reminder that these are not just cute cuddly chimps but strong apes with the capability to seriously injure people.

      • Mick Vernon says :

        Further news is that the young man in question is on the mend, but also that he went into an area where he is not allowed. Being territorial the chimps obviously saw it as an invasion or infringement of their territorial integrity and did something about it. It has been decided not to put down the chimps involved – perish the thought anyway – and I guess this is just one very expensive lesson for the young man. Hope you’re well, I enjoy these posts. 🙂

  2. monkey-luv says :

    Well I hope the volunteer is feeling better … thoughts of putting down the chimp I shudder

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