GoTanzania-highlights (where to go!) – 1 : Researching chimpanzee behaviour with Ugalla Primate Project
[November 8, 2015]
“The Ugalla Primate Project (UPP) invites qualified individuals to volunteer for the Project, and is open to discussing potential independent studies for those volunteers.” This is no volunteering for wimps; ‘adventure’ is a somewhat eufemistic kwalification: cooperate in mapping the habitats and lifestyles of the chimpanzees in the far woods in western Tanzania.
The Ugalla Primate Project is founded by researchers of different British universities. Of course mainly scientists (to be) are busy with time absorbing activities like observing the primates and collecting data in the field. Volunteers are invited to participate in data collection but also to initiate their own research activities. The huge Ugalla Primate Project data collection is also available for specific personal purposes of student volunteers. You can stay for one month but some volunteers stay until a year.
On the website you can read lots of interesting stuff that gives you insight in how life will be in the settlement in the woods. You can also look at some appealing video's of the spectacular nature and the way the researchers and volunteers work. Life conditions are challenging: the nearest village is about 70 kilometers away, life in the campement is basic: there's just a small tent in the grass, no luxury food. There is enough electricity to charge your phone, there is satellite internet connection. The weather can be hot and during the rainy season there sometimes is heavy rainfall. Expect to walk about 25 kilometers per day in hilly and difficult accissible landscapes.
So, altogether: this is adventure! And a contribution to valuable new insights contributing to the protection of endangered species.
[GoTanzania will highlight beautiful projects, working with volunteers, on this website. This is the first in a series.]