Just a few kilometers from Nelspruit you can find this amazing projekt, famous for being on National Geographic.
Set on a 1000 hectare game reserve, JGI Chimpanzee Eden is a home to chimpanzees that have been misplaced from their natural habitat. The world renowned Jane Goodall Institute has made this tranquil venue their South African sanctuary and has committed itself to the rescue and care take of chimpanzees in need of refuge. Being the 1st and only chimpanzee sanctuary in South Africa, this venue will be able to bring the world of chimpanzees closer to humanity through education, tourism and modern technology. Entering the reserve, a mere 15 km from the bustling city of Nelspruit, visitors can expect to be captivated by the beautiful bush surroundings with most of the natural game species roaming the reserve.
The reserve is located in a low risk malaria area
The Chimpanzee Eden
The Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes) is the closest relative to humans. In recent years the ‘bush-meat’ trade has grown exponentially as the great wild forests of Africa have become more accessible to humans, largely due to logging which is destroying primate habitats by opening large sections of forest with dirt roads. It is estimated that Chimpanzees will be extinct within their natural habitats in as little time as 10 years. Therefore the Jane Goodall Institute is committed to conserving the primates and has created multiple sanctuaries in Africa.
The goal of the Sanctuary is to rescue some of the Chimpanzees that have survived the hunting ordeal but are still misplaced through the lucrative illegal pet trade to zoos, circus performers and medical research facilities. Besides being provided with a home to live out their lives they are also provided with the necessary attention to recover from the trauma that they have experienced.
Visitors will have a unique opportunity to see Chimpanzees in semi-wild surroundings with normal social interaction and behavioural patterns under group members. The Chimpanzee groups live within large semi-wild enclosures that are close to their natural habitat. The enclosures also have viewpoints overlooking the forest and ‘foraging areas’. The ‘foraging areas’ have small fruits and berries mixed in Eucalyptus Tree leaves. These ‘foraging areas’ will provide the Chimpanzees with behavioural enrichment and will also provide visitors that arrive after the feeding time with a better chance to view them in the large enclosures.
Chimps like other Great Apes (Gorillas and Orang Utans) are finding an ever growing interest from the public, as they are the closest relatives to Human Kind and they are facing a quick extinction in their natural habitat.