Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Red Tailed monkey.

 You get no prizes for guessing why one of our regular camp visitors is called the Red Tail monkey. I think they are one of the cutest primates and when alarmed give off a chirping vocalization that reminds me of a bird.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Primus the Alpha male!

The Chimps moved up the mountain yesterday to feed on wild ginger. They snap the stalk off at the base then peel the green outer layer to get to the tasty center. Primus was certainly the acting Alpha male, he was being very protective of Effie who is in Estrous and kept her high up a big fig tree away from the other males. Every 10 or so minutes one of the guys would display next to us by beating the ground and shaking vines, asking Primus to share the very popular Effie. Primus was having none of it. Alofu was no where to be seen.
Christina's baby watches mum feeding on wild ginger.

Carter watches Primus and Effie up the tree, waiting for his turn.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Christina's baby girl.

Text books tell us that around 50% of Chimpanzee babies die before the age of 3 years.  This high infant mortality is usually due to diseases such as the common cold and influenza. With out modern medicine human baby mortality is also very high. Of the 12 Mahale Chimpanzee babies under 3 years, only one baby is in trouble. Christina’s girl is nearing one and has struggled for 6 months with a stomach tumor. She is very weak but continues hanging onto life. We hope she pulls through.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Are these the cleanest Hippo’s in Africa?

Lake Tanganyika is renowned for its clarity which can reach up to 20 meters. The Mahale National Park includes 100 square kilometers of marine reserve which stretches the length of the Park. Before the Park was created the local villagers that lived along the lake persecuted the hippo population so that when Greystoke Mahale was built there were no Hippos in the area. Slowly the population is recovering and there is now 11 Hippopotamus living 20 minutes boat journey South of the lodge. I like to think of them as the cleanest Hippos in Africa. Chris Liedenberg used his underwater camera attached to a makeshift pole to take some amazing photos of the Mahale Hippos.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Super Cockroach

At nearly 3 inches long this crazy bug is of the cockroach species and looks like something out of a science fiction movie. Don’t worry he is not the type that scurries around the house but prefers living in the lush forest.

We found him passed away on the beach.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The verdant forest

In January and February Mahale can be a photographers dream. The colors in the forest are vivid as life germinates almost everywhere. As a bonus the Chimpanzees favorite foods are close to camp.

 Photos by Richard Knocker.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hunting frenzy

When the Chimpanzee community gets the taste of meat they can hunt with an obsession. Yesterday they didn’t stop at one Colobus Monkey, or two, they killed 4 big adult monkeys in one morning. There was meat for everyone. Even young Christmas managed to get a share.
 Christmas has his hands full of Red Colobus liver and opts to walk on two legs.
(would you like some fava beans with that liver, Christmas).
Photo taken by Henry Doyle.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Update on the Alpha male battle

The political turmoil continues for the Alpha male position. We have watched Alofu repetitively show respect towards his younger and stronger rival hinting that Primus is in fact the new leader. Yet just last week Primus was again beaten by the politically savvy Alofu, but only when Alofu has his supporters close at hand.

 Photo of Primus taken by Micheal Brant.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Crystal clear Lake Tanganyika

Heidi Tate and her sister Andrea must have jumped off the boat a hundred times. The clear waters are irresistible. Out in the lake the visibility is about 20 meters but there is not much to see except for the odd microscopic jellyfish and the inky black depths.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jumping off the boat

Visiting Lake Tanganyika and not swimming in its crystal clear waters is almost unimaginable. Most of our guides are not from this area and have never had the chance to learn to swim. Hamza is learning but does not yet have the courage to jump off the boat without his life jacket.
 One of the best ways to end a day at Mahale is to take you favorite drinks out on the boat and dive into the refreshing waters of Lake Tanganyika.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Warthogs come to lunch

It’s unusual for the normally shy warthog to lose its fare of people. Our warthog family have become regular visitors, they love eating the palm nuts around camp. Occasionally they turn up during our lunch and the smell of freshly backed bread is enough for them to come and investigate. Of course we don’t feed them though!
The two babies, now three, are nearly as big as mum and looking very healthy.

 Warthogs come for lunch.
Thanks Claudia Morawetz for the photo.