Ol Pejeta Chimpanzee Sanctuary Kenya
Popular for its conservation initiatives, the Ol Pejeta Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a 360 square kilometre private game reserve located in Central Kenya’s Laikipia, county between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. It is the largest black rhino sanctuary in the whole of East Africa and hosts all the members of the Big Five and a variety of other wildlife species.
The sanctuary was popular for being home to the two remaining northern white rhinos in the world and is where Sudan; the last male of this species died in 2018, leaving behind one female of this species. Entry to the conservancy also includes a visit to the Sweetwaters Sanctuary; home to Chimpanzees in Kenya.
Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Situated on an island, the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established with an agreement between the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Jane Goodall institute with the aim of providing a lifelong home to orphaned and rescued chimpanzees from the black markets in the West and Central Africa.
After being subjected to almost slaughter as bush meat and illicitly traded, these chimpanzees were rescued from the hands of these poachers and found a home here.
The sanctuary is similar to the Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Uganda and is the only place in Kenya where you can see chimpanzees. It apparently provides shelter to the homeless and sick chimpanzees. The chimpanzees here receive 24-hour veterinary support and this helps in stimulating quarantine enclosure. After all the nursing and health subjections, the ones ready are introduced into one of the two large groups at the sanctuary, who live in vast natural enclosures separated by the Ewaso Nyiro River.
The chimps have set feeding times, and return to their indoor enclosures at night – but other than that they spend their days exploring, climbing, socializing, and learning to be chimpanzees all over again.
Over the last decade, Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary has been left with no option but to keep accepting chimpanzees rescued from traumatic situations.
Apparently, the total number of chimpanzees in the Sanctuary is about 37 and now freely roam in their newly found home. The unlimited experiences offered here is when you come in close encounter with these primates, seeing them excited once again as they feed, play and go about their usual routine.
Your visit to Ol Pejeta Chimpanzee Sanctuary gives support to the chimpanzee sanctuary because part of the fees paid is used to pay the staff, buy food and medicine for the chimpanzee, support conservation initiatives among other activities within the sanctuary.
After an encounter with the chimpanzees here, you can also go for a game drive where you may view all the Big 5 and other wildlife species including giraffes, Jackson’s hartebeests, Grevy’s zebras, cheetahs, hippos, Grant’s gazelle, Hyenas among others.
Chimpanzee Sanctuaries in East Africa
Just like Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary is also a chartered member of the Pan African Sanctuary Service (PASA), an alliance of 18 sanctuaries in 12 African countries; currently caring for over 800 orphaned and/or confiscated chimpanzees.
PASA’s role is to help conserve chimpanzees and other primates and their habitats through public education and lobbying for political goodwill. You can also join the efforts to conserve and sustain the chimpanzees from extinction in the hands of the pet traders and other horrific activities of humans.