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Ngamba Island Chimp Walk

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Aug 24th, 2006, 09:56 AM
  #1
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Ngamba Island Chimp Walk

Hello: I've been planning a 2007 trip to Africa to view the Gorillas and chimps. I have been told that the Chimp walk on Ngamba Island will not be available in 2007. Has anyone else been told this?
sjh88 is offline  
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Aug 24th, 2006, 11:03 AM
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Yes, the administrator of the Island told me that the "baby chimps" are now all grown up and being integrated into the main group, so the forest walks will no longer be occurring UNLESS the Island gets some new baby chimps, which is unpredictable because they only get new ones based on confiscations.
Lily told me that they are developing an alternative program involving some "hands on" interaction with one or more of the adults, but the details were sketchy. We had already planned our itinerary and did not change it based on this development, so we will be there in January 2007.
Chris
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Aug 24th, 2006, 11:26 AM
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Thanks Chris.

If there is going to be an alternative program maybe I'll include it anyway. I'd love it if you'd let me know if you find anything more about the alternative program. I don't go until next summer, so I have some time.

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Shari
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Aug 24th, 2006, 06:16 PM
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Lily described it vaguely as "being the caretaker" for the adult chimps, perhaps helping feed them or something like that. When we get back in mid-January, I will post a trip report and let everyone know the situation.
Chris
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Mar 10th, 2007, 02:56 PM
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Chris in Atl (or anyone else)-

Has it been confirmed that the chimp walks at Ngamaba will not be offered in 2007?

Thanks
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Mar 10th, 2007, 06:31 PM
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No, in fact when we were there two months ago (or so), they seemed to believe that the forest walks would continue indefinitely. Apparently they were worried that integrating the younger chimps into the main group would interfere with the forest walks, but the integration is done now and they don't seem to think it is a problem. I would suggest e-mailing Lilly (director of Ngamba Island) and asking her directly, but the staff on the island believed that the forest walks would continue.
Good luck!
Chris
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Mar 10th, 2007, 10:38 PM
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I visited the Island last week.

There are several challenges with the chimp walks; one fact is that the two youngest chimps are getting bigger and stronger fast! (the youngest are about 2 years old - I have the exact age on tape somewhere but cannot locate it right now.

The guides were rather doubtful that the walks can continue after 2007 and I was asked not to use the word "indefinitely".

The situation can change at any time which is one of the reasons why it is not a good idea to pay the $250 ahead of time. Rather pay it upon arrival in the area.

Fortunately, there are new options elsewhere that are looking very exciting for the future.

At Kibale, the Chimp Habituation Experience will have you following the chimps from 5:30am to 7:30pm (from de-nesting to nesting!). I believe this will start in earnest in July 2007 (once the new camp at the starting point is completed) and I am planning to visit Kibale after the Gorilla naming ceremony in Parc des Volcans in Rwanda.

The road to Kibale is being improved so it will soon be a comfortable 5.5h drive from Entebbe.

Also, exciting things are starting to happen at Nyungwe in Rwanda. They now have Rwanda Air flights to the area near the park and mobile camps are planned by at least one operator deep in the forest very near the chimps! I wish I can tell you who the operator is
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Mar 11th, 2007, 07:22 AM
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Eben

I agree with you that the chimp habituation in Kibale is outstanding. I did it in July but the last I heard this activity was not being offered in high season.

How did you know I was googling Nyungwe for quite some time yesterday? Trying to find out more, especially on the likelihood of seeing Colobus monkeys. I came up with lots of info verifying that Colobus live there, but very little on actually seeing them.

Anything you or others could add would be very much appreciated. Specifically,

How many nights are recommended in Nyungwe?

If you are also going to PNV for gorillas, is flying to Nyungwe the best option?

Is it best to visit Nyungwe before or after PNV or does it matter?

On a related matter, do you know anything about Akagera?

Finally, are there restrictions on one person doing several (maybe 4) consecutive gorilla visits and a golden monkey vist in Rwanda?

If you can share any operator information here, I'd be interested. Or if you feel more comfortable emailing me direct, that would be appreciated as well.

Crusinred, Back to the chimp walks. For them to continue indefinitely, doesn't there need to be a continual influx of baby chimps? After about age 4 or 5 I thought the chimps were too old to interact with human visitors.

If the walks are being done, only a few people can go and sometimes they have film crews that take over the entire walk. There was a film crew present for at least part of every one of the 4 days I was there. So securing the permit in advance and getting a spot on the walk, if the walks are indeed occuring, is important. Otherwise you may be disappointed that there are no spots left.



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Mar 11th, 2007, 07:41 AM
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Lynn-
I can answer one of your concerns.

You can do as many treks, gorilla or otherwise, as your wallet can afford.

I did 4 gorilla treks and one golden monkey trek. Was supposed to do two but the guides at PNV and I decided against it because it was belting down with rain. Usually it doesn't matter on the treks but the golden monkeys like rain even less than the gorillas and they said it wouldn't be worth it to try. And it would be even harder to photograph them.

I met some other people who were doing a week's worth of gorilla trekking. Seven treks total per person. One guy gave away his permit on his last day because of the rain (the same day I was supposed to be golden monkey trekking.)

You can also add days for the gravesite visit, the Bisoke crater lake visit, and the overnight hike it you choose. There are no set limits on anything unless they run out of permits, of course.

Hope this helps.

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Mar 11th, 2007, 07:48 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone.

I recall that someone said in another post that the walks would not continue if they did not have some younger chimps enter the facility. Sadly...it seems from the chimp profiles on the Ngamba website, that 3 young chimps (<2 years) came to Ngamba last fall.

As my plans firm up, I'll contact Lily to check on the status.

Eben-Can you tell us more about the Ngamba part of your trip? I enjoyed reading your updates on Rwanda.
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Mar 11th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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Lynn, I don't think that there is an age limit of 4-5 for chimps to participate in the forest walks. We were specifically told the ages of the chimps we went out with, and several were 7-8 years old (Indi and Pasa, for example). We got the impression that temperment is more important than age, especially with the females.
We were also told that there was at least one new young chimp in quarantine awaiting transfer to the island.
Chris
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Mar 11th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Very interesting that it is temperment rather than age that determines who walks. Guess that should be true for the humans too. Indi and Pasa would have been about 3 or 4 when I was there.

For awhile in Bwindi (maybe the late 90s), there government imposed were limits on trekking. The fee imposes a limit of a different kind, though.

What is the overnight trek? Never heard of that but would love more info on it. Thank you!
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Apr 9th, 2007, 09:33 PM
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Hi Everyone!

I am new to the forum, but I have been reading postings for the last couple of weeks. Is anyone going on safari to Uganda from Sept. 21 to Oct. 3? I will be in Kampala for a conference from Sept 15-20 and would like to go to Murchison Falls, QENP, Bwindi, of course, etc. Because I am traveling alone, I am hoping that I can hook up with a group or someone else that wants to travel those dates.

Gypsy
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