By Britta Foulis – Content Manager
You may have heard about the intriguing habituation of our Rubondo Island chimpanzees, your interest may have been piqued, and your question is, “tell me more about this once-in-a-lifetime experience?”
Rubondo Island Camp
Rubondo Island Camp sits in the southwest corner of Lake Victoria. Created for those seeking the thrill of adventure in a truly wild area, the area is largely untouched by man. Rubondo Island Camp is the only lodging on the island, you’ll be immersed in this lush and unspoiled ecosystem.
Eight waterfront cottages make up Rubondo Island Camp, all built by hand, using traditional skills and local materials. The cottages are shaded by lush indigenous forest and all have en-suite bathrooms with hot running water and flushing toilets. You’ll want for nothing!
How The Chimps got to Rubondo Island
Many of our guests wonder how the chimps arrived on the island in the first place. Here’s the story of how they were introduced, and the passion project of Professor Bernhard Grzimek of the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
When is the Best Time to see the Chimps?
During the rainy season on Rubondo Island, between April and May, seeing the chimps is more difficult due to the amount of lightning and thunder which scare them off. The chimps also do not like the rain and take shelter in thick trees to keep dry – which makes it even harder to spot them.
During November and October, the rains are much shorter so sightings are more frequent. In the mornings, chimps are usually running around, looking for food, and full of energy – sightings are tricky during this time! Between the hours of 11 am until the early afternoon though, the chimps are usually settling down with their family and grooming one another.
During the process of habituating the chimpanzees of Rubondo Island, we are spending a lot of time out in the wilderness, trekking deep into the overgrowth to find the chimps and then being present with them. By teaching these chimps that we, as humans, do not pose a threat to them, they are slowly but surely learning to trust and accept us. Something we are incredibly proud to have happen!
When staying with us at Rubondo Island Camp this is what you can expect from the experience of chimp trekking:
We have rangers positioned around the island who keep a close eye on where the chimps go to sleep at night. This location is then radioed to the rangers in the morning so they know where to head out with you in the early morning. Be sure to wear comfy hiking boots, a pair of long pants, as well as a long top or jacket – you’ll be spending time trekking through the jungle so you’ll need to be properly dressed.
You’ll head out with your ranger in the morning and enjoy a meal in the forrest during your trek. The beauty of being part of the habituation process is that you are positively influencing the perception the chimps have of humans.
Rubondo Flight Offer
Spend 3 nights with us at Rubondo Island Camp and take advantage of our incredible Flight Special Offer which allows you to enjoy heavily discounted access between Rubondo Island and the Serengeti or Kigali in Rwanda, saving over 55%% on the flights.