Africa - Day 6 - kimbale rainforest

Today was fantastic, we are staying in camp for 2nights do we don't have to pack up the tents, we also got a proper lie in as breakfast wasn't till 8am. Our jungle hike wasn't until the afternoon so we had time to do a bit of washing before we were offered a walk around the local area to see tea pickers and the villages. We ended up walking for about 3 hours, we started in the tea fields and our guide told us about the tea picking process the pickers are paid about 70 shillings per kilo of tea leaves, which is less than two pence some of the more experienced pickers can pick 100 kilos a day. They work from around 7am until 4pm and prefer rainy season as the leaves weigh more. The picking has to be done by hand and only the first two and a half leaves from the top are good for the tea. About 5 kilos of leaves makes 1 kilo of tea and there is only one type of plant so the flavour comes from how it is processed and not different leaves. We then continued to the village, here the local children, who refer to us as mazunga meaning white man, followed us for about thirty minutes. We learnt that there were a could of tribes in this area and each tribe has a slightly different dialect which rhymes with their tribe name so although they know we speak English their local word is lazunga as it rhymes with mazunga. The number of huts on the land relates to the number of boys in the family and when they reach a certain age they have to build their own hut. We had almost arrived back at camp when we walked past a group of people selling fruit by the side of the road. We had to buy some as we saw bunches of red bananas. It cost two thousand shillings for a bunch of sixteen which works out around fifty pence. Al tried one with lunch and said they were much sweeter than yellow bananas.
Our afternoon trip was a hike through kimbale rainforest trekking for chimps. We split into two groups and immediately we were pushing our way through quite dense forest. After one and a half hours we still hadn't tracked down any chimps then our guide heard from the other group that they had found them, we were miles away and so began our mad run through the bushes. It was hard keeping up with the guide but we finally made it after two hours we had reached the chimps. There were about five or six in the group. Some chilling out high in the trees others just sat on the ground. We were no further than about 3 meters from the closest chimp. They were beautiful to watch and so different from how you would see them in a zoo. They looked so chilled out, it was hard to get good photos because of all the tree branches but between us we have a few. On the sprint over to see them we had heard thunder and sadly this meant we didn't get long with the chimps, we can't have had more than 15 mins at best. The other group had been luckier and had seen them playing more and had actually led into the forest to the other chimps by another one. Suddenly it was time to put on our rain gear as the heavens well and truly opened and we were caught in a tropical rainstorm. The chimps at this point were quite noisy as they ran off deeper into the forest. Soaking wet doesn't cover how wet we were, the rain proof jacket I was wearing doesn't work in storms it turns out. The road the other group had previously walked up was now turning into a river, any pretence that my shoes were not going to get wet were gone as I ran back through the newly developed river. Only becs who had waterproof boots and waterproof trousers tucked into them managed to a return with dry feet. Luckily we weren't too far from camp but the xxx zzd was filthy and damp by the time we got off. The rain didn't last too much longer and the evening was spent once again in the bar. Leilei taught the boys how to play safari cards which is like top trumps with safari animals. I managed to get a lovely milky hot chocolate and that along with the 6 hours of walking we had done today were going to set me up for a good night's sleep.