Up on Kiboko Hill

21 June 2010

By Mwiga Mambo - Guide, Greystoke Mahale

Chimpanzee trekking is a challenging activity. It needs passion and fortitude to do it. As trackers we do use different means to find the chimpanzees. We look for signs of their presences in an area; for instance looking for fresh eaten fruits, fresh dung, spoors along sandy or muddy soil, listening for movements in trees canopies and going up onto elevated landscape and listen for their calls.

The last is apparently the easier one and there are several hills that offer great listening spots. Mlima kiboko, which stands for hippos hill in Swahili, is one of the best places to go and listen for the chimpanzees calls. When up on this hillchimpanzees calls could be heard from a far distance and once the calls are heard, we start trekking until we locate the chimpanzees. Besides being a good spot to listen for chimpanzees vocalization. It is also a beautiful spot, with peaks of several mountain series being seen at a closer range.

The name kiboko hill is derived from the fact that, when up there, hippos roaring and grunting from the river mouth to Lake Tanganyika is clearly heard. The roaring becomes more overt during the time when hippos are in breeding season.

Look for a chance to go to Kiboko Hill next time or when you are here in Mahale.

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