Archive | May 2013

chimping around

We had a wonderful day in the forest with another chimpie sighting

It was late afternoon and we were searching for green nests because we hadn’t heard anything in the morning… when suddenly we heard chimps calling very close by, it seemed like we had just passed them. We headed in the direction of their calls and came across some recent poop which we scooped up into a tube. Then we continued walking along the hillside. Suddenly we saw a lone chimpie, he looked at us and continued walking towards the hilltop, towards that tangled mass of lianas.

I clambered up the hill top, slowly … bipedally, if only I could comfortably walk quadrupedally like chimps. As I reached the top and stared at what I thought to be a lump of rock in the distance, it suddenly moved and became a chimp!

He charged at me and I was rather afraid… but luckily it was just a bluff and he calmed down and then returned my gaze. After some time he even calmed down enough to rest supine on some vines… ahh these moments.

Hatari!

Walking through Rubondo forest is dangerous not only because we have hippos and elephants roaming around– we saw 2 elephants this morning on the road– but also because many of the trees and small shrubs here have thorns on them; the caterpillars and ants bite and sting us, and occasionally we also bump into the odd snake or two.

This hairy fella I stroked for several minutes, his hairs didn’t sting, so not all hairy caterpillars are dangerous. Although I wouldn’t dare touch the one below… because his spikes scream out Hatari!

The fella below I managed to accidently brush against my cheek one wet morning…it stung like hell, and left me with a rash for several days.

The palm spikes are about 3 inches long and v. painful, apparently they contain poison.

These samplings of the crocodile tree are always catching my legs in the bush.

A visitor in July unfortunately managed to impale her hand on a crocodile-tree spike whilst trying to catch herself from falling; her poor hand swelled up. This is what they eventually become (see below).

Luckily we haven’t experienced any bites from snakes…

Rock python

Here a Rock python

(photos of python by J.S.)

and Jameson’s mamba

(Photo by J.P)