Saturday, November 24, 2012

Lucky nr 7

Chimpanzees do visit Greystoke Camp itself too, as I hope you have come across on one of our blogs. Though most of the time when they visit, the M-group members decide to stay within the forested areas of the camp. The fruit bearing trees are obviously more of an attraction to the chimpanzees than our stunning beach front.

Orion; crossing the path to the beach at room nr 7.

Spotting chimpanzees from your room veranda therefore is a special and rare event.

Lucky us!

As we were taking measurements in room 7 we heard leaves and branches cracking. Like someone was approaching from the right. And sure enough here came Orion, silently leading Tani and her son Teto along the beach front.

Orion waiting for Tani and Teto to follow him.

Interestingly that morning, Orion – as part of the M group – tried to mate with Tani but was denied in favor of the much younger Teddy. Now taking Tani and her little son Teto on a private walkabout away from the rest of the M group, sure enough Orion increased his chances on copulation. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tooth Talk

Chimpanzees have 32 teeth. And although chimpanzees have much larger canine teeth than humans, their nr of teeth and their round jaws corresponds to ours. Like us, chimpanzees have no teeth at birth.

Chimpanzee have four types of teeth; incisors, canines, premolars and molars. And when in the forest this Saturday afternoon, Ceasar gave as the full insight into chimpanzee teeth. As he yawned we could spot every single tooth in his impressive mouth.

Ceasar , 13 years, yawning

But if you have such an array of beautiful teeth, how do you keep them in good condition?

In Mahale Mountains NP research has shown that chimpanzees of the M group chew on the bark of the Pignantas Angolensis. Not only does the bark clean their teeth, it also contains a salt they crave. In addition to that our guide Mwiga recently saw chimpanzee Xantip – 14 years – cleaning her teeth by chewing the bark of Azanza Garkceana.

The forest is full of surprises. But I’ll stick to my Oral B.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


What if you were a chimpanzee and knew that Greystoke has two fruiting mango trees? Right, you would head out to the beach and enjoy the juicy, fresh mangoes.

A group of chimpanzees led by Darwin (3rd ranking male) walks into camp, heading for the mango tree.

Greystoke mango supply is plentiful at the moment. Of the two trees fruiting, one tree is less than 10 mts away from the mess building and carries smaller and greener mangoes. The other tree, standing close to room 7, is similar in size but carries bigger and more ripened mangoes.

Darwin had his pick and walks away.

Accessing the mango tree goes in strict hierarchal order. Others wait while higher ranking males and females pick the first fruits.

Ceasar, a lower ranking male, had his pick after a long wait.

But when you then finally get your hands on a tree, you try to stock up a bit.

Little Tito eating mangoes near the tree.

With refreshing showers in the region, more trees in and around camp will start fruiting. 

Also Cecy had a taste of the mangoes. 

So Imagine the fantastic chimpanzee life in and around camp.

Cecy's mother, Cynthia.

And while Cecy enjoys mangoes up in the tree, mother Cynthia lays relaxed under the tree enjoying the freshly picked fruits.