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The Chimps

"I actually had the best holiday of my life... And I must say I have travelled a lot!" Menezes at Serengeti Safari Camp & Lamai Serengeti
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THE DILEMMA OF CONSERVATION CONCERNS US ALL, WITH THE ISSUES SURROUNDING THE FRAGILITY OF THE CHIMPS AND THEIR ENVIRONMENT. AT GREYSTOKE, THIS ACCENTUATES THE FEELING THAT WE ARE VERY VERY LUCKY TO BE HERE, SOMETHING THAT IS SO OFTEN FORGOTTEN.

We've been in this remarkable place for over 20 years, and are still as in awe of it as we were when we first arrived. It's impossible not to be. 

We share the mountains and the lake with so many animals, but it's the chimps that inspire us; hard not to compare their daily lives, their movements, feeding, squabbling, foraging and grooming, with our own.

Anyone who doesn't believe in evolution needs to visit Mahale! It is both funny and wonderful to see how human the chimps are, down to the adult disagreements and the young ones somersaulting in the leaves.

- Trip Advisor - October 2010

Time spent with them is time away from everything else that is ordinary. We've watched, over the years, as families have grown, alpha males have come and gone, bonds and friendships have been created and then broken, and then created again. They are not so different from us.

It's all acted out on this natural chimpanzee stage, and witnessing it is something we are privileged to be able to do every day.

We watch again and again, through our guest's eyes, as the enormity of what they are seeing hits them for the first time. After tracking them, for an hour or two, maybe more, only aware of the sounds they are making ahead of us, we find them; suddenly they are everywhere. We sit quietly on the forest floor and take a deep breath, this is what it's all about.

For the next hour it's as if you scarcely breathe, so wrapped up are you in watching them go about their daily life. You become aware of the subtleties of different relationships, through gesture, sound and expression.  One dictating the pace, another courting favour, yet another perhaps plotting a coup. There is humour too as the young chimps fall about the floor and play remarkably human games. 

It's all acted out on this natural chimpanzee stage, and witnessing it is something we are privileged to be able to do every day.

 

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