Two in the blue goes green

red-colobusA couple of days ago we returned from our trip up to the River Gambia National Park. It has been a fantastic experience with encounters of some of the most threatened mammals on earth. The national park consists of five islands in the river Gambia, where since the 1970’s many orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees found a new, undisturbed home through the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project. In addition, the area teems with wildlife: the rare red colobus monkeys swing through the trees around the camp, baboons roam the realms, warthogs trot through the undergrowth, hippos grunt at the opposite riverbank, while pythons, cobras genet and crocodiles only add to the excitement. We even got the chance to witness the release of a usually nocturnal and very elusive genet that had been caught and brought to the camp by some nearby villagers. Sparrow was initially a bit disturbed by the plethora of new smells and sounds, and was rather devastated when she lost a piece of bread to a cheeky green vervet monkey. But before long she made friends with the two resident camp dogs, and went off to explore the area with them.gekko

baboonsOur trip upriver was not entirely for our own pleasure though. A few months ago we applied for the newly vacant position of project manager for the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Project, and got invited by Janis Carter, the director of the programme, to get a first hand impression of the project. As it turned out … she offered the position to us! Provided the Gambian government has no objections, we will be spending at least another year here in The Gambia, managing staff, tourists and chimpanzees! Well, first Patrick is flying toLifan-moto Spitzbergen for some Arctic adventure in two days time, while I will be working on publishing the last work of my PhD thesis. To facilitate my stay here, we also just purchased a new motorbike, my first (on land) motorized vehicle ever! Let’s hope that I’ll soon get better at driving on soft sandy back roads (I already dropped the bike once, oops). All in all we are very excited about the admittedly unexpected turn of events, and hope the two in the blue adventure will continue to excite despite the newly green environment!

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4 Responses to Two in the blue goes green

  1. JOHN & LYNDAL KENMAN says:

    Hello to the Adventurers!
    Living a spontaneous unpredictable adventure. It must be the “not knowing what beholds you, the unknownness of what could be around the next bend” that drives you. Now with your new invitation – A Steve Irwin in the making. No doubt you both have a keen sense of everything. Amazing!! Can’t imagine your excitement. It certainly has your parents excited especially your Dad & his jungle instincts (no offense). All the best while you have to go your separate ways. Keep Safe & Well. Will put lots of positive thoughts your ways. Cheers Patrick & Leonie .

  2. Galenya says:

    Utterly fantastic! What an amazing adventure for you guys – on top of an already amazing adventure! We wish you every success in your new and extremely valuable occupation. If you ever need volunteers let me know!
    Safe travels Pat and we hope you turn into Evil Knievil before too long Léonie. Xxxx

  3. Pascale Vonaesch says:

    Wow!! Congrats!!
    As for sand-biking, as I used to call it in Niger, you will see- after a while, it’s almost scary to bike on “normal” roads again, as you get so used to it! :)
    Save travels to Pat!!

  4. Renata says:

    Wow guys, congrats for what’s coming up, you must be extremely excited! All the best and keep us updated…you never know I might pass by one day ;-)

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