Hanging out with Chimpanzees at Kayanchu, Uganda

Note: This text was written the day after this event while in Uganda

I awoke in my hammock to rustling leaves and bushes. I had been hoping to be awakened by birds but it was still dark. I admit, I was terrified. What do you say to a tree climbing lion in the forest?  Do you yell at it like a bear? Play dead? Fight? Cry? I chose to lay still. The thing is that I came to this area to see tree climbing lions. SEE. As a practiced existentialist, I came to terms with this departure from my plans that I would be eaten by a lion rather than see it. As light broke I began to make plans for the day, assuming I lived.  In the faint light I made out the form of…a water buffalo. So what! Don’t laugh. It’s not funny. Still scary, kinda.  I yelled “JAMBOOOO!” (hello) to it and it ran signaling a few others to join it.  I packed my things and hit the road.

The ride from Fort Portal must have inhaled a lifetime supply of dust.  I jumped off the boda boda and the rangers looked on smiling as I unwrapped my head. I asked about tracking chimps and they told me to come in the morning but I saw a group leaving and it was half 2.

“Can I go now”

“No..yes..no”

“No? Yes?”

“Yes, no.”

“OK, tomorrow”

“No”

“Now?”

“Yes”

Saweeeet! I dropped 150USD in the rangers hand, signed my name, and went charging into the jungle. My guide started in with “we might not see them.”  I told her I was a monkey whisperer but she made no reaction. We walked quickly and she talked on radios with the other guides.  We zigzagged through the trails for about 20 minutes until we heard the cries of a troop of chimps. The first are some shots:

DSC00784 A bad shot of a baby DSC00794 Mama and baby DSC00801    DSC00812  This guy is definitely intoxicated on this rotten fruitDSC00807And finally my brother by another mother!?

And follow this link for the videos!

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