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The first ever Chimpanzee Naming Ceremony at Fig Tree Camp in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, took place on the 18th July 2018. During the Chimpanzee Naming Ceremony, four baby chimpanzees were named.
The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) presented the Fig Tree staff with four pairs of binoculars, acquired the previous year, to assist them in their continued monitoring of the chimpanzees.
The dramatically beautiful Kyambura Gorge is home to a single, isolated, community of twenty seven chimpanzees.
Research conducted by the VSPT Coordinator, Nicole Simmons (between 2006-2009) as part of a PhD study on the ranging patterns and feeding ecology of the chimps, revealed that the population suffered a substantial decline and became isolated between 1995 – 2006. A Peace Corps census conducted in 1995 reported twenty seven chimpanzees in Kyambura Gorge; however, by the time Nicole’s research began in 2006, the numbers had dropped to just fifteen chimpanzee individuals. It is therefore very heartening to share the news of not one, but four, baby chimpanzees, and a great cause for celebration.
Tracking chimpanzees in their natural habitat, as they swing from the branches in the canopy high above the forest floor is nothing short of exhilarating. The chimps effortlessly cross and scamper through the trees above the gorge, and visitors on the other hand must cross the river using natural bridges in order to keep up with the chimps. So although the walk usually lasts only 2–3 hours, descending the steep gorge and crossing the log bridges over the river requires some agility and fitness.
Chimpanzee tracking is also available in nearby Kalinzu, a forest reserve 30 minutes drive from Kyambura Gorge Lodge where there is a community of about 40 habituated chimpanzees.