Escape to Chimp Eden

Apr 8th, 2008, 11:53 AM
  #1  
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Escape to Chimp Eden

"In South Africa, there's a sanctuary for chimpanzees rescued from the horrors of human captivity physical abuse, malnutrition, abandonment and drug and alcohol abuse..."

Has anyone else been watching this series on Animal Planet? I'm totally hooked on it.

This is a wonderful show focused on rescuing and rehabilitating chimps who were previously living in horrendous, unspeakable conditions.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Chimp Eden is a sanctuary supported by the Jane Goodall institute. It began airing in February, took a short hiatus, and this Friday new episodes begin airing at 9pm ET.

There is also a lodge nearby, Umhloti Lodge, which I just found out about, where you can stay and visit the sanctuary similar to the experience on Ngamba Island. Unfortunately, I don't think there are forest walks with the babies though.

www.chimpeden.com

http://animal.discovery.com/tv/chimp...himp-eden.html

Tune in to watch the wonderful work these guys are doing!
divewop is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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Fascinating site. Volunteering can be done in one week stints. Something else on my list now. Thanks Divewop!
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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Yeah, that volunteering thing caught my eye too, Lynn. Great minds think alike!
divewop is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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I haven't seen the show, but I had stumbled across the website and was intrigued. Has anyone visited the sanctuary? How far is it from Sabi Sands? It looks like they do fabulous work. My question is more selfish: What are the chimp viewing/interaction opportunities like there?
isabel25 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 04:04 PM
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Actually, my question is even more specific than I stated in my previous post (and may be incredibly naive -- if it is, please forgive my ignorance!) I'm wondering if visiting Chimp Eden is something that would be possible as a late morning/early evening excursion one day between game drives at Mala Mala. I'll be in Mala Mala in early July (first trip to Africa). Is an excursion to Chimp Eden between game drives something that is even in the realm of possibility? Would it be worth it? Or is this just a crazy thought from someone who has no idea about South Africa geography!
isabel25 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 01:15 PM
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Thanks Divewop for posting this. I saw a couple of episodes and then they started to be repeats so I stopped watching. I'm glad this is starting up again with new episodes.
Dana_M is offline  
Apr 9th, 2008, 03:14 PM
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http://www.sa-venues.com/maps/mpumal...ttractions.htm

Isabel25, The above map shows there is quite a distance between the Sabi Sands and Nelspruit, the city near where the sanctuary is located. That would be a whiz bang combo, though.

There are am and pm tours with feedings at Chimp Eden. If it is like other Jane Goodall Sanctuaries I've been to, you'd have good views at that time.
atravelynn is offline  
Apr 11th, 2008, 10:31 PM
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Thanks, Lynn. I was really off on my geography; for some reason I thought Nelspruit was much closer to Sabi Sands. The map clarified things; it is definitely much too far for an afternoon excursion! But I'd still love to hear whether anyone has visited Chimp Eden, and if so, what it was like. Probably won't make it there on this trip, but I'm already dreaming about the next one!
isabel25 is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 11:28 AM
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we are planning a panoramic tour from Mala Mala to JNB and have been able to add a trip to Chimp Eden (instead of some of the waterfalls they would usually take us to). My travel agent arranged it.
kak113 is offline  
May 1st, 2008, 07:26 PM
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kak113-- That's interesting that you were able to arrange a trip to Chimp Eden as part of a "panoramic transfer." Had your agent ever been there (or had s/he heard from anyone who had)? I'm still interested in it, but I'm having trouble finding information.
isabel25 is offline  
May 3rd, 2008, 11:45 PM
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I was at Chimp Eden 2 weeks ago for a day visit as part of a project I'm involved in in the area. Umhloti Lodge (5-star) is actually inside the grounds of the reserve, 200m or so from the primary chimp observation area. The name of the lodge is going to be changed to "Chimp Eden Lodge" in the coming months.

It's located just south of Nelspruit on the road to Barberton. I would estimate the drive from the town of Hazyview (nearest to Sabi Sands) at 1.5 hours, depending on how many logging trucks you get trapped behind, and how far along they are with various roadworks. It's a lovely drive in any case.

I actually do think you could do it in-between game drives at Mala Mala, but it would be 3-4 hours of driving round trip for an hour or so of 'chimp viewing'. I wouldn't recommend it, however, as Chimp Eden is a sanctuary and rehabilitation facility, and is much closer to a high-end zoo than a game viewing experience. The benefit of a visit is to spend time with the chimps and with the staff who can help you understand their work as well as the behaviour of the animals - and their individual personalities. It doesn't need to be overnight per se, but I'd suggest several hours including one of the tours, preferably to co-incide with one of the feeding times (10h00 and 14h00).

I think it's a great extension to the Panorama Route or a visit to the southern end of Kruger Park. Many people overlook the town of Barberton, which is a lovely historic town and just another few km's down the road. There are some great places to stay in the area that are a bargain, and local art and culture...and Swaziland is just 25 km up the road...and Maputo just 1.5 hours more.

HTH

Kurt

kurt_a is offline  
May 4th, 2008, 07:01 AM
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Thanks, Kurt! That's extremely helpful.
isabel25 is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 06:33 AM
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Isabel-
my travel agent had not ben there, but the tour was organized through Mala Mala and since it's a private tour we could customize it. we're such fans of the show that we thought it would be worth going.
kak113 is offline  
Jun 7th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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I am so thankful for this post. I actually was able to do a baby forest walk in Ngamba island in 2007, and absolutely loved it. A co-worker of mine mentioned the Chimp Eden show and that intrigued me to research it. I will back in South Africa in 2009, and would love to squeeze in time to visit this sanctuaty. Any other details regarding the experiences here are greatly appreciated.

IngridG is offline  
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