chimp mornings

On Thursday afternoon I took VS to the forest. It was just the two of us and VS was rather concerned that we might get lost, I assured him that I knew that part of the forest extremely well. Whilst taking a break from staring at chimpanzee nests by having a little nap, we heard the chimps calling. We attempted to follow their calls for half an hour but then decided to head back to the land rover. We got a little lost on the way back, but I managed to find the correct path.

On the following morning we left at 05:30AM and returned to the same place as the day before. Sunrise is at 7am so it was still pretty dark when we entered the forest. At half six we heard the chimps calling and tracked them to a spot near a hill side. We saw 4 chimpanzee shadows travelling on the ground, we continued to follow them for some 5 minutes until they stopped and sat down. We remained with them for about 1hr and 15 minutes. It was wonderful to see the chimpies again. The group consisted of a very large adult male, a female and her infant and a sub-adult male. We remained at a distance of 20-m the entire time and the group was calm during the contact. At one point the adult male stood up on two legs with his hair bristling on end, and I thought he may attempt a mock charge at us, but luckily he swung around a liana and sat down . He hid his face a little from us, and the adult female was hidden for some time too. Then after half an hour the female moved closer the adult male and was in full view (see pic below).  They gradually moved off to forage at 8AM and we tracked for 10 minutes until they disappeared into a tick mass of lianas.



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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.

3 responses to “chimp mornings”

  1. Mick Vernon says :

    It must feel like a privilege to get so close to these wonderful animals. I’m envious. Good luck with further encounters.

  2. joe msindai says :

    Wonderful experience jo

  3. S says :

    Keep up the great work J. Enjoying your entries. Sounds like quite an adventure. The Fruit look yummy too. Very vibrant colours there, much like your personality :)) x

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