Our last guests of the season.

20 March 2012

Our last guests have departed and Greystoke is closed for another season. Kiri and I are proud of our 100% record in that every guest who has walked to try and see the Chimpanzees has at least seen them once. We have had several guests that never actually left the camp and this happened with a couple of guests in our last group. When guests are unable to walk in Mahale’s mountainous forest environment we do have a couple of tricks up our sleeve.

Back in the 1960’s the Japanese researchers habituated the Chimps by feeding them sugarcane; when it was feeding time they would beat several drums to attract the Chimps to the feeding station. A Chimpanzee's memory is amazing and several members of the community were youngsters in 1965 and remember the drums and the sweet sugarcane. On the last night of the season the drums were going until midnight. Unfortunately, the next morning, no Chimpanzees. Sadly some guests left without seeing a Chimpanzee. However, the morning after, Kiri and I were woken at first light by Chimpanzees screaming behind our room, as I scrambled out of bed and ran up the path several Chimps disappeared into the forest. I turned around and right behind me was Michio and Teddy bringing up the rear of the group as per usual. Michio was 15 when we arrived 2 years ago, he was sick, skinny and constantly picked on by the alpha male, Pimu. What a difference 2 years have made, he is now a big confident male slowly working his way up the ranks.

Michio almost 2 years ago.

Michio's distinct drooping lower lip may be a nervous habit picked up due to his difficult teenage years.

Now 17.

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