Boat Ride on Lake Victoria to Chimp Sanctuary

Trip Start Nov 03, 2011
Trip End Dec 10, 2011

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Where I stayed
Adrift campground

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Friday, November 11, 2011

We quickly got ready for our Lake Victoria boat ride to Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary.  We drove to the dock and were put in the hands of Albert.  Before that, while waiting, Frederick led us in exercises and we very quickly walked through the zoo but didn't really see anything..

The boat ride was quite nice - 1 1/2 hrs or 23 k??  On the chimp island we had a guide who had been there for 6 years.  The Sanctuary was started around 2000.  There were 44 orphan chimps ... or 43 and 1 surprise baby since the chimps are give contraceptives.  Eventually the chimps are to be repatriated.  The Sanctuary is currently in the process of studying possible sites.  We spoke to the veterinarian who treats the chimps.  They get injured in lots of fights.  That is the primary treatment in addition to well-chimp care.  Mika is the alpha male and Surprise the baby.  Another youngster is Africa.  We watched the attendants feed the chimps squash.  The chimps were behind a tall wire fence but we could see them pretty well as they grabbed their food, kept it away from other chimps, ate by themselves or in small groups, then ran away when the food was all gone.  You could see some similarities with people at times.  I don't think I was aware of all the intricacies of their interactions.  Our guide was talking about some of their behaviors as they related to the alpha male and some of the rivalry between the alpha male and the younger males that would vie for his position. 

We left the Sanctuary after noon and messed up tipping the guide.  Tipping is a big tourist dilemma.  We seem never to know when and how to tip for the various services we encounter.  In this case, we had to think about the boat tour guide, the sanctuary guide and anyone else who gives us information or does anything for us.  Sometimes this means drivers or cooks too.  It can be bewildering at times and sometimes we forget or do the wrong thing.  There is also the money conversion factor and often we get confused about the amounts as well.  In this case there was a tip box by the bar with free coffee or tea and some of us put our tips in there.  Later we realized that this went to the bar staff rather than our sanctuary guide who was very informative and easy to understand.   That was unfortunate.

After we got back to the Oasis Campground, we took down the tent towel was still wet.  We had to go through Entebbe and Kampala again with all the horrible traffic before getting to Jinja...former source of the Nile.

Oh, there was a monitor lizard and otter on the island that some people saw.

It was tough to put up our tent at the new place...downs steps on hard ground.  It too is next to a bar...a nice bar...with loud music - Michael Jackson and Frank Sinatra among others.  I am writing up today's news as it plays.  Juliet and I signed up for the white water rafting on the Nile tomorrow.  Others are doing other washing clothes.  Adrift is the name of our campsite I think.  At least that is the name of the adventure outfit sponsoring the rafting.

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