Visit to Ol Pejeta and the Chimpanzees

Trip Start Sep 07, 2006
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Trip End Sep 29, 2006


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Flag of Kenya  , Eastern,
Thursday, September 14, 2006

    The ride to Sweetwaters was long, or at least it seemed that way.  We stopped several times, once at a local outdoor produce market which was busy selling not only produce but all kinds of different items.  It was very interesting, crowded, colorful,  and lively!  We also stopped at a roadside stand to stretch our legs.

    Sweetwaters was a lovely site with views of Mt. Kenya.  Lots of greenery.  To keep the game out, there are electrified fences and trenches dug into the ground so we didn't have to worry about a cheetah dashing through our camp at night. Sigh.   We saw lots of birds, took a nature walk through the grounds and also discovered that the equator went right through our camp.  Naturally we had to straddle it and have our photos taken so we could be in two hemispheres at one time.  The preserve, itself, has approximately 24,000 acres.

    The highlight of Sweetwaters was to visit the Ol Pejeta Conservancy where we stopped to see
Morani, a Black Rhino which was unable to survive out in the wild.  We were able to feed it and
also to pet it although we were somewhat nervous about getting that close to a rhino.  But there
were no mishaps!  Morani also had a friend in a big warthog who shared his feed bowl.  Quite a
Mutt and Jeff team!

    Also in the Conservancy, opened in 1993,  was a chimpanzee sanctuary with about 26 chimps (by 2012 it has grown to 41) rescued from unfavorable living conditions (orphaned or abused or in a politically unstable area) by Jane Goodall and her supporters.  .  The chimps were either behind tall fences or on an island ---existing for their own protection and freedom.  Chimps can't swim so on the island they have less likelihood of escaping.  It was fun to see them swinging through the trees.  The chimps themselves are not native to this particular area but have been brought in from people/villages who captured them, trapped them, or were orphans from adults that had been killed.  We adopted one and were given shot glasses,  a shirt, a photo and an adoption certificate.


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