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Kenya 2013

One Tree, One Child, One Planet: 2nd September – 13th September 2013 ***TRIP FULL***

WWF Kenya: 23rd September - 3rd October 2013 ***ONLY TWO PLACES LEFT***

Cameroon 2013

Ape Action Africa: Film Chimpanzees and Gorillas: 13th October - 25th October 2013

Ape Action Africa: Primate Education and Outreach Project Video: 27th October - 8th November 2013

Ape Action Africa: Filming Football for Apes: 10th November - 22nd November 2013

Uganda 2014

Uganda Expedition: 6th June 2014 – 3rd July 2014

Kenya 2014

Kenya Expedition: 11th July 2014 – 7th August 2014

Download our collection of expedition PDFs:

An Introduction to the Great Primate Handshake

Kenya: One Tree, One Child, One Planet

Kenya: WWF

Kenya: Expedition Overview

Uganda: Expedition Overview

Supporting Primate Sanctuaries and Primate Conservation Programmes

Having run 8 major expeditions over the past five years, the Great Primate Handshake has continued to diversify expedition itineraries and focus on our key objectives. Working with our team of travelling volunteers and local project staff, we have spent over 9 months on the road in total and have identified at first hand how the Primate Handshake can address the requirements of the organisations we support, now and into the future.

The Great Primate Handshake has supported a number of primate sanctuaries and primate programmes throughout the course of our eight field expeditions (2008 - 2012) and continues to support organisations prior to the completion of an expedition from our home in the United Kingdom.

Primate sanctuaries that have received support include:

Chimpanzee and Wildlife Conservation Trust (CSWCT) Uganda - We are working with the CSWCT to revamp their existing website and to provide graphic banners for their outreach displays in Uganda. We also created a number of video diaries highlighting life on their island sanctuary, Ngamba Island.

The Colobus Trust, Kenya - The Colobus Trust care for and raise awareness of colobus monkeys in and around the Diani region of Mombasa, Kenya. We have supported their educational outreach programmes.

Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Kenya - Sweetwaters cares for chimpanzees rescued from conflicts and is a Jane Goodall Institute Sanctuary. We have worked with Sweetwaters to create educational games to be distributed locally, with the aim of raising awareness of Sweetwaters' work to local school children and budding conservationists.

Conservation organisations include:

Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), Uganda - UWEC raise awareness of Ugandan wildlife and run a number of educational programmes and conservation initiatives.

KEEP - Kakamega Environmental Education Programme, Kenya - KEEP work to raise awareness of one of Kenya's last standing rainforests, Kakamega. We have supported them with website hosting and maintenance, and have created content raising awareness of their reforestation and community programmes.

The Great Apes Film Initiative (GAFI) - We have built a website that is now managed by GAFI staff members and continue to support their development through the production of digital media when required. You can learn more about GAFI's work on their website or blog.

Lebialem Hunter's Beekeeping Initative - We have built a website to raise awareness of the LHBI programme. Future plans include the creation of a blog and additional fundraising tools. The Lebialem Hunter's Beekeeping Initative aims to reduce financial dependence on bushmeat and the volume of species harvested by providing hunters with an alternative income source through beekeeping.

A look back at our early expeditions

Following the success of the Great Primate Handshake - South Africa 2008, three consecutive Handshakes were run this summer (2009) across Africa. Each Handshake lasted 28 days and supported primate organisations, sanctuaries and conservation programmes in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.

This expedition review details the diverse range of content produced in the field by Handshake volunteers during 2009 expeditions, whether video, web, digital or paper-based and notes our future plans for distribution to sanctuaries, schools and publication on this website.  Expeditions in 2009 pushed the boundaries in terms of quality and diversity of content produced by volunteers. A remarkable ability to achieve production goals, often challenged by a short time frame shined through as volunteers used their own skills and initiative to produce content to tight deadlines, impressing a number of organisations with bespoke digital content tailored to their specific needs.


The Kenyan expedition began on the white shores of Mombasa at the Colobus Trust, which proved no better place than to start initial training and prepare volunteers for their journey ahead.

A range of blogs and interviews with volunteers appeared on youtube, produced to test and explore skills using the Handshake's range of Sony video cameras and to build a team spirit.  A diverse range of videos were produced throughout the expedition and will soon become available to watch in their entirety on the Handshake's youtube channel. Selected videos were uploaded by satellite as the expedition made its way from Mombasa to Nairobi, including the recording of the live Bore Community - Lampeter link-up that saw children in Lampeter, Wales sing and chat to children in the remote community of Bore, Kenya as a simultaneous tree planting ceremony took place.

The anthropological team whirred into action visiting a number of local schools,  communities and outreach projects. Their work fuelled the production of suggested recommendations for organisations and sanctuaries wishing to monitor the effectiveness of their outreach programmes and helped to direct the Handshake by feeding back their findings to the rest of the team throughout the expedition.

The website team split their time between developing the new Primate Handshake website (the very website you are reading this on now) and exploring new initiatives such as SwitchIT - an easy to deploy, flash-based platform that enables African schools to connect and share activities with other schools globally, both offline and online if an internet connection is present.

Educationally, the Kenyan expedition excelled by mixing together digital video production with photographic design. Content produced explored deforestation, drought, poaching and the bushmeat trade. The Handshake website itself will display and showcase this content in the near future as it is uploaded and published across the site. For an insight into what is to come, view a production piece called Poco's Story, created using photoshop filters and rotoscoping (an animation technique) to highlight the danger of man traps and snares to chimpanzees in Kenyan forests.


Uganda's expedition met with truly amazing hospitality as staff members (Peace, James and her team) at the Uganda Education Wildlife Centre took the Handshake by the hand, leading us into a world of school plays, dramas, discussion and education.

A number of organisations (JGI, CSWCT and UWEC) share the same street on the banks of Lake Victoria, making it easy for volunteers and staff to work with, and meet, a number of people from each organisation which ensured that the content produced was specific to their needs. Videos produced included promotional and educational pieces for the Jane Goodall Institute and the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust. Volunteers travelled to Ngamba Island to document and record the activities of staff, piecing together their daily actions cleaning cages, administering medical care to resident chimpanzees and educating tourists so others could learn about CSWCT's work. As the expedition continued, videos documented plays by school children, community projects in Kibale forest and chimpanzee bush meat awareness. The full range of videos will be uploaded to our youtube channel in the very near future.

The Handshake's new website was released on the 1st August, midway through the expedition and on the same day the first Handshake started (South Africa 2008), exactly a year later. Volunteers helped to blog for the Handshake site, produce posters for CSWCT and develop flash based educational games together with the educational team. Team work enabled both the educational team and web team to work together to produce a number of games including a plastic bag conservation game designed to visually show children why it's beneficial to remove plastic bags from the environment. Our website's education page is currently being developed to make way for a range of games and flash content produced by volunteers on the Ugandan expedition.

The research team produced a details analysis of UWEC's visiting tourists in their first week and presented their findings to UWEC staff so they could better understand the needs of the tourists visiting them and identify where their advertising was effective and where they could possibly make improvements. As the expedition continued, their work concentrated on Kibale Forest National Park and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), learning about their conservation initiatives as well as their involvement with the local communities and also included the Kasisi Project and their OLPC XO laptop project. To view the research team's findings in detail view the Ugandan Research page of this site.


Our return to South Africa marked the Handshake's second visit to organisations supported in 2008. This presented a perfect opportunity for volunteers to delve deeper and produce content that explored how organisations and sanctuaries had progressed a year on / where support was now needed.

Starting in Johannesburg at the Klip Klop conservancy, volunteers used their training time to produce a video highlighting the objectives of the Handshake and took a look back at how far the Handshake has progressed since last year's expedition. This video and others produced in their training session will be available on the You Tube channel in the near future. The video team's focus then switched to that of Chimpanzee Eden - a sanctuary visited last year, but only briefly. Creating a promotional content, it is our hope that the videos may be shown in the centre's educational centre, and will certainly be showcased on our own website to highlight the work of Chimpanzee Eden and the benefits a South African based chimpanzee centre can provide to chimpanzees globally, from a safe home, care and medical treatment to an educational base able to teach others just why chimps now find sanctuary there.

The website and educational teams found a number of unique skills within their party, working together to blog about each sanctuary visited, interview conducted, or primate photographed, as well as creating non-digital materials such as a recycled rainforest that teachers can produce in a classroom together with students helping them to understand how a rainforest works and why it's important to conserve them.

A form was also produced to enable tourists and members of the public to record a sighting of an ill, illegally kept, or mistreated primate that they may have encountered whilst on holiday. It is hoped that produced forms such as this will encourage visitors to the Handshake website to actively record information that may be of benefit to the organisations wishing to rescue, rehabilitate or provide sanctuary to the many monkeys and apes kept as pets or used for entertainment globally.