This morning we took off early for another chimp trekking expedition. This time we went to Chambura Gorge. Normally you would not stay at Ishasha for this as it is too far from the gorge but we had no other choice if we wanted to work in another trek. Staying at Mweya would be much easier and save time in the drive from Ndali and to the gorge. At Chambura the maximum group can be up to 8 and the guides are armed. There are fewer chimps in the gorge than in Chibale but the area is not nearly as great. The success rate is solid but not quite as good. After another briefing from the guides we set off into the gorge. The decline is extremely sharp and you really need some good solid hiking boots. There is a river in the middle of the gorge with paths running along both shores and a bridge connecting them. Luckily for us when we got to the bottom we immediately heard the chimps and our guide lead us straight to them. We spotted a large 35 year old male on the ground and proceeded to follow him as best we could. He would walk for a while and stop and glance and us and then continue his walk. He wasn’t distressed at all at our presence. Eventually he stopped and our entire group caught up so we were all able to take a nice amount of photos. Strangely, though, he doubled back and actually wound up walking past us at close range (about a foot) which worried our guide. Thankfully he just passed right on by, overall an incredible sighting. We started following him again but unfortunately for us we had an elderly couple in our group that couldn’t keep up. With a single guide we couldn’t split up so we had to go back to the entrance and climb out of the gorge to drop them off. Afterwards we went back down but the chimps had moved on.
Jason had to run ahead to get this shot. He was winded afterwards, as it was quite steep.
This is where the male chimp decided to stop and double back on us.
Here’s the same chimp after walking extremely close to us.
We left the Gorge and set off for a site inspection of Mweya Lodge, on the Kazinga Channel. Once there we were invited to take a boat cruise on the Channel. There is actually a larger boat that caters to a large number of people (Mweya is a large hotel lodge) but the private cruise is a much better option. The cruise was fantastic and is highly recommended. From there we drove back to Ishasha. After freshening up we had a nice dinner with the owners and got some much needed sleep.
Some elephants playing in the Kazinga Channel.
We got very close to some of the Pied Kingfishers on the channel.
A good representation of just how much wildlife was on the Kazinga Channel.
We were lucky enough to see this Hammerkop right after a hunt!
I think we all know why Jason took this photo.
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