Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page > Need ideas for special appear to wildlife authorities

Need ideas for special appear to wildlife authorities

Reply

Nov 3rd, 2005, 03:48 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 121
Need ideas for special appear to wildlife authorities

Hello all-

With a great deal of help from this board, I have been finalizing plans for a trip to Uganda and Kenya next August. One of the the excursions my wife and I were most looking forward to was the chimpanzee habituation experience in Kibale Forest. Historically it has been offered as a full day excursion for $220, in contrast to the regular primate walks for $50.

I have heard from Lynn C that the habituation was being offered in August as recently as 2002, but my tour operator was told by the Uganda Wildlife Authority that it is now restricted to March, April, May, and November. The reason given was that the park rangers were too busy with the regular walks during highs season months. My operator advised me to appeal directly to the Director of Tourism Development.

I would really appreciate from all of the savvy travelers on this board on what type of arguments I could make in this matter. I was thinking of proposing some high season rate to offset the opportunity costs of the ranger's time etc or some flat rate independent of the group size. Any other ideas? Thanks.

-Matt
99mkw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 2005, 12:52 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
I don't have any ideas about how to appeal to the UWA but if you're successful, let me know.

I've been checking possible alternatives myself and came across mention of a chimp habituation project on the Semliki Safari Lodge website -

http://www.safariuganda.com/semliki_safari_lodge.htm

I emailed them for more information and received a reply today. Basically the gist of the email was that it's an ongoing project and it's possible to accompany the researchers who are resident most of the year. I also gathered that because the chimps at Semliki are still wild and in the process of being habituated (as opposed to fully habituated in Kibale) there's a chance that they may not be found on any given day. It does sound like a very unique experience if the chimps can be found.

They also sent a 3 page document on the research project which I've yet to have time to read. I plan to follow up with them with some additional questions like how realistic the chances are of finding the chimps, etc.

If you'd like I can forward you the information I've received so far. Just send an email to pchang1972 at yahoo dot com.

Good luck!
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 2005, 02:55 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 618
hi, i am planning on doing all chimp stuff there.jaynefer at great lakes told me the same thing. so, it is just easier for me any way to go in march. thats what i plan on doing. last week of march into april.
the habituation and the chimp tracking.
i had spent 2 days in june doing that (tracking). very cool.
good luck,
david
tuskerdave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 9th, 2005, 11:38 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
After another email exchange, I think it's risky to have this as your only chimp trekking/habituation experience as the chimps move to more remote areas seasonally. I was told June is the good month to try. So this may not be the best alternative for you.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 9th, 2005, 11:43 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
The above post refers to trekking in Semliki. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

David,
Do you have any pics from your chimp treks in June? Did you see them both days? What's the terrain like in Kibale? Thanks.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 9th, 2005, 02:12 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 618
patty, i shot all video in kibale. yes, chimps both days. even when you don't see them. oh boy, it sounds like they are all around you.where we walked was like walking through the woods. a couple of lazy hills, many trees & vines. i did have my reg. cam with me. but i messed up. i had left my fuji800 film back at my banda. so i thought why take a chance on the 200 or 400 i had in the cam. can't remember what was in there at the time. i stayed with the video. came out pretty good.one guy from some place had a dig cam. he cranked up the speed on his cam. he took some shots. they came out pretty nice.
i very much enjoyed the chimp tracking.
those huge trees they beat on. WOW, drums all over the place.
not sure if this helps.
d
tuskerdave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 9th, 2005, 03:40 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
Thanks, david.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 10th, 2005, 12:22 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 618
patty, are you thinking of going over there to do that stuff?
d
tuskerdave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 10th, 2005, 12:28 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
Yeah, still in the 'thinking' stage. This would be for sometime next year, not sure when but probably toward the latter part of the year. In the mean time, I'm headed to Kenya/Tanzania on Monday
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 10th, 2005, 12:35 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 618
hi, good for you your leaving soon. i'm looking at late march into april for the chimp things.visit with friends in entebbe. then over to tsavo east to visit with my kws buddies. my kenyan driver and i already know what we are doing for next late sept/oct.hehe
d
tuskerdave is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 10th, 2005, 01:14 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 859
Patty: Have a great trip~!
cooncat is offline  
Reply With Quote
Nov 10th, 2005, 01:59 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,727
Thanks
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2006, 08:15 AM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 121
I can't remember if I posted the resolution of my habituation negotiations elsewhere, but here it is for posterity. I emailed Moses Chelibei at uwa.or.ug about the habituation. After some back and forth, it basically came down that we would "buy up" and combine a morning and afternoon primate walk. That's 12x$50 = $600, so $300 for each of us. The only other stipulation was that other people could join us on the full day, to a max group of 6. I never worked out with them if added people would reduce our cost. Now I'm wondering what is a fair tip for our guide since there will be two of us instead of twelve and he won't get a regular lunch.

-Matt
99mkw is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 8th, 2006, 05:35 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Some clever negotiating to get your habituation walk. I am sure all the hassling will be worth it.

My tipping guidelines from 2004 showed primate trackers at $10/client per full day.

Assuming you receive adequate service from your tracker, this is what I'd give...

If your walk is restricted to just the two of you and no one else is allowed to join, then I'd tip about $$50. True, 6 people at $10 each would be $60, but there is no guarantee that 6 would sign up.

If others are allowed to join you but don't, then the fact that there are only 2 of you is just the luck of the draw. In that case, I'd tip at least $20, probably $25. (I once had a private gorilla trip in Bwindi because of a last minute change in which 6 women wanted to go together and not be split up in two groups. I gave $15 for the tip, but did not do $10 x 6 because I did not demand a solo trip.)

For outstanding service, maybe a bit more than these suggestions.

When I went to Kibale there were 5 of us and we were with the guide from 6 am to after 6 pm. We each gave $10 or $15 per person.

For lunch we all had an ample sized box and supplemented the guide's lunchbox with what we could not eat.

The tip guides are just my opinion, based on my agent's recommendations. To put the primate trackers in perspective, the other guidelines were $2/person for forest walks in Bwindi or Kibale, and $2/person for swamp walks. Gorilla trek porters were $5.

Have a great time and report back.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:52 PM.