Take a Walk on the Wild Side (with Chimpanzees!)

rubondo-island-camp-treehouse-guest-bedroom-eric-frank-mrAsilia launch a new chimpanzee habituation experience on Rubondo Island, Tanzania.

A brand new experience launched by Asilia Africa in September 2016, the Rubondo Chimp Habituation Experience is a unique opportunity for guests to be part of the habituation process. Available for a limited time, this is a rare chance to join a habituation team as they accustom chimpanzees to the presence of humans.

In the remote southwest corner of Lake Victoria lies the pristine forested island of Rubondo, home to a very special family of chimpanzees. Declared a sanctuary for wildlife in the 1960s, German zoologist Bernhard Grzimek relocated elephant, giraffe and even chimpanzees to the island. The 16 chimpanzees had been rescued from European zoos and brought to Tanzania. Within a year the chimpanzees were living wild and today, 50 years since their ancestors’ arrival on the island, guests have an opportunity to be part of the habituation process of the 40 strong family now living on the island.

The three-night habituation experience begins with a night at Rubondo Island Camp. This shore front property has 8 thatched cottages looking out over Lake Victoria. The main area is surrounded by the lake on two sides and playful otters can often be seen while you relax with a sundowner gin and tonic. The next morning it is an early start to go and join the chimpanzee habituation team. Depending on where the chimpanzees are on the island this could be by boat or safari car. Even while you are on your way to the chimps Rubondo’s forest is full of life – sitatunga, bushbuck and even elephant call the island home, not to mention over 40 species of orchid and a colourful array of butterflies.

This unique corner of Africa is a sanctuary, to be enjoyed by only a handful of fortunate – and intrepid – travellers

Chimpanzees share 98% of DNA with humans and an encounter with our closest relatives is both exhilarating and humbling. Watching them hunt, socialize, care for each other and communicate, the common habits, mannerisms and characteristics we share with them are undeniable. At Rubondo you get to be part of the team that is habituating our closest relatives so sightings are not guaranteed – but to be involved in this process is a rare opportunity to be part of conservation in action.

After spending the day with the chimp habituation team you will spend the night sleeping out in a “fly camp” (simple dome tents with a bush bathroom and dinner cooked over the fire) for an adventure in the wild and interaction with the local trackers and guides. Listen to the sounds of the jungle as you drift off to sleep after a day in the forest. The next morning you can either head out with the habituation team again or head back to the lodge to fish, canoe and relax.

Rubondo Island National Park – in the southwest corner of Lake Victoria – is for those seeking the thrill of adventure in a truly wild area, all but untouched by man. The camp – the only lodgings on this verdant island – immerses you in this lush and unspoilt ecosystem.

Snapshot of Rubondo Island Camp

  • Unique island wilderness experience in Africa’s largest island national park
  • A birder’s nirvana: outstanding variety of species in a pristine subtropical rainforest & Great for fishing with exceptional guides, boating safaris, sailing, kayaking, nature walks & wetland excursions
  • Unique opportunity to be part of a pioneering chimpanzee habituation experience

The three-night chimpanzee habituation experience starts from US$ 1,380 per person for a 3-night adventure in the wild, excluding flights.

About Asilia Africa

Founded in 2004, Asilia has a strong presence in the main safari destinations in Tanzania and Kenya. Asilia aspires to grow its footprint, its positive impact and to be a leader in improving and expanding natural habitats. Asilia is the first Sustainable Safari / Lodge Company in Africa to receive to a 5 star rating for Sustainability from GIIRS.


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