Archive - February 2014

Hawkeye Blog February 2014 February 01, 2014

One of the most fascinating trips for wildlife is to fly across the country of Tanzania to its western border, Lake Tanganyika, landing in Kigoma. This where Stanley first met Livingston and gave the famous greeting, "Dr. Livingston, I presume." From there you must get on a boat and travel north to Gombe Stream, the home of the chimpanzees with whom Jane Goodall has spent her life researching. The mountains rise up from the lake and are covered in jungle, serving as a perfect habitat for our close relatives.

Trekking several hours a day can be arduous as the chimps don't necessarily use trails and you may find yourself fighting vines and thick brush trying to follow their calls. Researchers are daily working, tracking and recording the activities of the troop. When you are fortunate enough to locate some of the chimpanzees it is fascinating to watch their interaction. They play, groom, fight, chase, eat and seldom seem still for very long. Their hoots re-sound throughout the jungle, signaling everything from anger, fear and glee, to simply calling out for social reasons.

There are troops of baboons sharing this primeval spot as well. Although smaller than the chimpanzees, they are more nervous and come equipped with fierce looking teeth which they wouldn't hesitate to use if they feel threatened. The two tribes apparently don't play well together and in a fight, the larger chimpanzees would probably win out.