Chimpanzee Naming Ceremony at Kyambura Gorge

July 31, 2013  By: Gretchen

Kyambura Gorge chimpsLast week saw Uganda’s inaugural Kyambura (pronounced Chaam-bura) Gorge chimpanzee baby naming ceremony. The naming ceremony is reflective of the Kwita Izina gorilla baby naming ceremony held each year in Rwanda. Kwita Izina is named after the ancestral baby naming ceremony that happened after the birth of a newborn. The ceremony’s main goal is in helping monitor each individual gorilla and their groups in their natural habitat. It was created as a means of bringing attention both locally and internationally about the importance of protecting the mountain gorillas and their habitats. We expect the new chimpanzee naming ceremony strives to do the same.

The chimpanzee naming ceremony was held at the UWA (Uganda Wildlife Authority) Fig Tree Camp in Queen Elizabeth National Park on July 18th. Four babies were named during the ceremony – one female (Ekisharu) and three males (Pesa, Agaba and Maani).

Kyambura Gorge is home to a unique and isolated community of 24 chimpanzees. Research conducted between 2006 – 2009 revealed that the chimp population suffered a substantial decline. However, since 2006 the chimpanzees and their habitat have been carefully monitored and their numbers are now increasing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kyambura Gorge is one of two places in Uganda where you can trek to see chimps. Travelers can also trek at Kibale Forest. Gretchen did exactly that in May of this year and had an excellent experience. Her group found the chimps within a few minutes of entering the forest and had the chance to follow and observe them for nearly two hours. It was an extremely fun and memorable experience.

If you’d like to learn more about chimp trekking or to visit the chimpanzees as part of a Uganda safari (or perhaps a primate-focused safari), we can put together the perfect trip for you. Just give us a call!

Photo #1 courtesy Volcanoes Safaris, photo #2 © Gretchen Healey

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