Wamba Diary #15
We just got back from a 3-day trip to Kokolopori (~70km away from Wamba or 2.5 hours of sandy-bumpy motorbike trail + 1h walk into the forest), where another group of researchers and trackers study bonobos. It was nice to visit a camp isolated in the forest for a change (not in the village like Wamba) and to meet its crew. This meant bathing in the river, sleeping in hammock (or tent) and seeing red-tail monkeys from it, hearing the peaceful symphony of birds and insects (instead of screaming kids), and on the downside more mice and snakes as well as way too many bees and bombos (-annoying micro-biting flies)! During our short stay, we could compare both field sites and noticed a few striking differences: machetes get replaced by secateurs; trackers use phones to record daily data on bonobo behavior and female sexual swelling; one group of bonobos is named after singers so, we witnessed Jackson grooming Madonna, the big belly of Papa Wemba, and the congenital abnormality of Bowie (-no balls); but also much more frequent inter-group encounters and way more bombos (did I say it already?!). We for sure brought lots of ideas and resolutions back to Wamba so, thanks to Martin Surbeck and his team for hosting us!
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