Dale Peterson was asked by Jane Goodall to write with her a book about chimpanzee. In order to prepare himself for this adventure he decided to make a journey on the African continent to aquaint himself with different projects on the continent that focus on the life of chimps.
He travels through different countries by public transport from one project to another. He starts his journey in Zambia and he makes his way to the north to end in Uganda. Later on he travels in the western part of Africa. At the different projects people deal with poachers, diappearing natural habitat, people who keep chimps as a pet, smugglers and other difficulties to deal with.
It struck me that many of the people he encountered were westerners, except for the national civil servants who head ministries and government organisations. Why is there such a western preoccupation with wildlife in Africa? A hundred years ago people from Europe and North America came to Africa to kill wildlife and now they come to protect wildlife. They set up their own organizations. They start their own gameparks. They organize safari’s. ‘Wild’ and ‘White’ seem to be a wonderful combination.
Dale Peterson wrote in a very lively style, not just about wildlife but also about the people he encountered and the different means of transport. He keeps in a way contact with the outside world as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the First Gulfwar and other events.
Dale Peterson – Chimpanzee Travels – New York 1995