Rescued Chimps And Royal Tombs.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
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352
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Trip End Dec 31, 2018


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Where I stayed
Banda Inns Kampala
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Uganda  ,
Saturday, September 3, 2011

We were warmly welcomed back at Banda Inns, in Kampala by Asteria, Stephen and staff and some of the other guests. One couple who were guests, form the US, were in Kampala finalsing adoption arrangements for their 15 month old Ugandan born son, Henry. 

The next day we hired James and the vehicle again and were up early to go to Entebbe so we could catch a tour boat to Ngamba Island in the massive Lake Victoria. Around 40 rescued orphan chimps are being rehabilitated and given a midway sort of existence between life in the wild and domestication. The Jane Goodall Institute and The Taronga Park Zoo in Sydney were two of the identities instrumental in establishing this centre, which opened in 1997. Dame Joan Goodall, a British Primate expert, has done much to further our knowledge of chimpanzees and she had a deep and abiding respect and love for them. It was Dr Goodall who in 1960  first proved that chimps could modify items in their environment to use as tools

A quite expensive speed boat trip ($80US each) took us to the island and rangers explained how the chimps are managed before we were able to watch the 11am feeding from behind an electric fence.

If we had had more time in Uganda, we would have chosen rather to trek them in the wild as a much better experience. This was more of an education centre and a " touristy" visit. The chimps are fed their meals, spend their days in the jungle, but come in at night and are locked in a shelter. Unfortunately they could not survive in the wild on their own and the island is not big enough for them to be self sufficient anyway. The have formed groups however and politics play out as they would in the wild.

We had one more sight to see in Uganda and so it was back to Kampala to see the UNESCO World Heritage listed Buganda Kings Tombs. Unfortunately, most of the site was raised by fire in March of this year and repair work is in progress but awaiting capital. A very keen guide explained the history to us that relates to a reasonably recent era of Kings of Uganda and why and how they were buried here. But even if it had not been burnt down, we were finding it hard to understand how this had actually got on the UNESCO Heritage list. 

We have thoroughly enjoyed our 8 days in Uganda. Friendly people abound, and the landscape and wildlife have amazed and excited. A quick trip to Rwanda is next to learn about the relatively recent genocide.

 
Footnote: Tombs of Buganda Kings at Kasubi is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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