Share |

Budongo National Forest, Uganda.

As with all animals one typically only spies at a zoo, it’s a different and more rewarding experience to find them in the wild in their natural habitat, the only real human impact on their behavior being their acquired indifference to us (such as one finds at any Big 5 game park in Africa). So despite working with chimpanzees everyday at the UWEC, it was a rewarding experience to track them in the Budongo reserve. Simply walking through the forest in Budongo is pleasant enough with its lush rainforest ecosystem, in which, it seems to me, thrive perhaps the most layers of various forms of life on the planet. That is to say, given say a square meter of forest floor, extended up to include the space above the floor, is the highest number of different species of plant and animal compared to the same space in another ecosystem. There is something quite marvelous about rain forests.

Shara in the Budongo Rain Forest, Uganda.

Budongo rain forest, Uganda

It didn’t take long for our guide to spot our first chimp high up in the trees. He pointed it out and it was easy enough to spot the dark mass. He told us it was a female with a small baby. I was slightly astounded at his perception, as I truly could discern only the dark lump. But after staring through the camera zoom lens for a few moments, sure enough, out popped a tiny head over the mom’s shoulder. Too tiny to capture in a photo, yet I was quite happy to have simply perceived it. I took a few photos of the dark lump in the trees, not knowing whether or not it would be the best view I would have of the chimps. For all I knew, this was going to be the look of my photo shoot with wild chimpanzees:

After standing quietly for a short while, I watched the tiny head disappear. Again, I wondered if that would be my moment of glory, that tiny head in a sky full of leaves. But soon enough, a little body leaped from the mother and wobbled down a tree branch. Soon, a precious little face peered down at us through the forest canopy.

Now my brief moment of glory was infinitely sweeter. Soon, our guide was spotting chimpanzee after chimpanzee, and we moved around a small area on the forest floor to spy above us what eventually counted as, I believe, 4 adult females and 7 infants and toddlers. My neck’s ability to remain tilted backward was severely tested as was the strength of my arm perpetually holding up my camera to look through the lens, finger on the button, ready to snap a shot anytime a face or body came into reasonable view. I know, I have a very small camera and lens; still, after an hour of this, it does become a bit of a trial.

We were able to watch the toddlers romp around through the tree branches, high above our heads, already exhibiting complete competency in balance and swinging skills as they chased one another down one tree limb, flew across open space to a neighboring tree’s limb, and continued pursuit across its woody arms.

Chimp toddler navigating tree branches in Budongo National Park rain forest, Uganda.

Wild toddler chimp peering down from a tree top, Budongo National Forest, Uganda.

Wild toddler chimp peering down from a tree top, Budongo National Forest, Uganda.

Hard to describe the full impact on my emotions, on my personal view of where I came from in this ancient world, so I will leave the experience simply at this:  Lovely.

*

Read more articles about Uganda

 

Archive

 

-- AFRICA --

 

 

Uganda All posts

 

Uganda photos only

 

South Africa All posts

 

 - includes Lesotho

 

S. Africa Photos only

 

Botswana

 

Namibia

 

Namibia II Witchcraft

 

Save Rhinos

 

 

 

-- MIDDLE EAST --


Tunisia


Iran  All posts


Iran  photos only

 

 

 

ANTARCTICA 

 

 

ARGENTINA

 


-- EUROPE --

 

Central Europe


- Czech Rep.


- Poland


- Slovakia

 

Catalonia, Spain

 

Andorra / France

 

Iceland

 

Greece Refugee Camp

 

 


-- ASIA --

 

China I

 

China II

 

 


- NORTH AMERICA -

 

Ixtapa, Mexico

 

Maui, Hawaii

 

Puerto Rico

 

Keepers of the Wild

 

Maine

 

Colorado

 

Utah

 

California

 

 


Trip posts for Trazzler

 

(worldwide)

 

Travel Essays

Newsletter

 

To subscribe to the

 

SKJ Travel newsletter

 

 Please visit the

 

Contact page.

 

Most Recent Additions

1. "Dragons, Land & Rain Gods: Village Temples in China" added to Travel Essays

 

2. "Eve of Battle: China's Traditional Village Landscapes Changing" added to Travel Essays
3. "Things I Keep: Observations in Guatemala" added to Travel Essays
4. "At Night in the Loo" added to Travel Essays

5. "The Earthen Heart: traditional farming in China" added to Travel Essays
6. "Is Iran Safe? The Traveler's Guide" added to Interviews with SKJ

 

Follow SKJ Traveler

 Facebook
 RSS Feed
 Twitter
Google+

 

<script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script>
<g:plusone></g:plusone>

Support

 



If you like what you read,

feel free to support the

website, so SKJ Travel

can keep showing you

the world! Expenses include domain name

& website hosting.