Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Uganda – The Great Ape Adventure (A Wildeye / GAFI Project) November 2016

Trek to see/film wild mountian gorillas and chimpanzees in the forests of Uganda, whilst learning about and participating in conservation projects to protect our close relatives.

A unique itinerary is planned to give participants an incredible opportunity to see wild great apes and engage in their conservation – highlights include: mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, visiting the Ngamba Chimp Island Sanctuary, several game drives featuring lions, elephants, monkeys, buffaloes and more, boat cruising, learning about and participating in conservation projects such as tree-planting, teaching local people about the value of wildlife, and the Pedal Powered Cinema Project, staying at Dian Fossey Lodge.

Accommodation will be in a variety of hotels and lodges. Full board is provided throughout. Single supplements are available.

As well as local guides and specialists you will be accompanied throughout by Madelaine Westwood (founder of GAFI (The Great Apes Film Initiative) and the Pedal Powered Cinema Project) and Piers Warren (Principal of Wildeye).

Dates: 14-25 November 2016
For full information, itinerary, costs and booking please see www.wildeye.co.uk/gorillas-chimpanzees-uganda

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GAFI Pedal Power visits the British Ironwork Centre

Pupils from Overleigh St. Mary’s Primary School joined with GAFI Director Madelaine Westwood and UK Schools Coordinator Nicky Bolton to bring pedal power to a gorilla themed event at the British Ironworks Centre in Oswestry. The British Ironworks have very kindly agreed to make a gorilla for GAFI to be auctioned at our next major event.

GAFI team with Madelaine Westwood, GAFI Director

Children speak about gorillas and the work of GAFI live on radio

GAFI team meet Uri Geller!

Our new UK GAFI Child Ambassador- Freya Arthur

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GAFI featured in First News!

GAFI was recently featured in an issue of the National UK children’s newspaper First News. Read the article written by the pupils from two of our GAFI Twinning Schools Programme below:

The Great Ape Film Initiative (GAFI) is an inspirational project, working to save the Great Apes. GAFI sends pedal powered cinemas (PPCs)  to countries such as Uganda to educate the children about how to protect these wonderful animals. Denis Agaba from the GAFI project visited our schools with the “Pedal Powered Cinema ” Schools Tour, to raise awareness of how some of the Great Apes are on the verge of extinction. He told us that the Great Apes are Bonobos, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, and
Orang-utans. The fifth Great Ape is a human!
The cinema is powered by pedalling a bike and we all had the chance to try it out. Denis takes the PPC the heart of the remotest communities in Uganda, to show local children films about the importance of conserving their  local environment, in particular the habitats of the Great Apes. Many of these children have no idea that these endangered animals live in so  close to their homes and villages and have never seen a Great Ape before. Watching films through PPC allows them to realise that they have a vital responsibility to protect their local environment and the  endangered creatures that live within it. We have raised money to send to Uganda to help to buy more pedal powered cinemas and our schools are now going to twin with two schools in Uganda.  GAFI are currently buying a UK Pedal Powered cinema and offering the School Twinning programme to schools across the UK.
By Emily Bolton, Sam Whyte and Owen Reynolds

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Uganda Twinning Project

Denis Agaba has worked hard  with Nicky Bolton and Emma Tyrell to develop excellent links between 10 schools in Chester and the Kisoro District of Uganda. Schools have exchanged letters and are now busy developing environmental projects together. Overleigh St. Marys Primary School in Chester have already generated over £300 to sponsor tree planting with their twin school Rubuguri Primary. Have a look at out “Twinning Schools” cartoons for more information.

A big thank you to all the children who chose to sponsor a tree to be planted in Uganda for £5 instead of having an Easter egg this Easter. They include….

Bev Atherton, Olivia Baudet, Barney Bowen, Ellen Bryson, Hannah Bryson, Max Bryson, Ruby Chaloner, Rosin and Patrick Clark , Erica Cowley, Emilie Crisp, Harry Crisp, Oliver Davies, Drew Davis, Joseph Dawber, Craig Duggan, Georgina Duggan, Harry Dunmore-Mitchell, Penny Dutton, Hugo Essery, Harley Evison-Jones, James Fawcett, Nathan Fawcett, Andy Forrest, Ben Forrester, Madison Gandy, Jonny Hancock , Ali Hancock, Isabelle Hutton, Rory Jones, Meika Kilgannon, Zoe Knapp, Phoebe Mack, Constantino Maoudis, Loyus McCarry, Daniel McDermott, Emily Mc Dermott, Felix McLaughlin, Daisy McLaughlin, Ella Miller, Elisha Mosley, Teresa Owen, Sam Owens, Alice Pearson, Fletcher Pearson, Matthew Phelan, Julie Randles, Cosmic Canteen, Lillie Robb, Ruby Rodden, Gareth Rogers, Pan Rouhani Manesh, Niamh Shapland, Emma Shorthall, Khara Smith, Sienna Taylor, James Townsley, Dougal Warwick Davies, Andy Hill, Anna Whiteley and Jane Webb

Also planted in memorandum for Tom and Dorothy Kirby and James and Eileen Burton

Please contact Nicky Bolton- GAFI UK Schools Coordinator, if you would like your school to raise money for tree planting. Every child will receive a certificate and a pencil inscribed ” I planted a tree for the Gorillas”


Download the certificate for gorillas- Bright valley


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British Ironworks Event

GAFI are delighted to be working alongside the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry. Uri Geller, famous TV personality and illusionist has asked the Ironwork Centre to create a gorilla sculpture from a mixture of iron and spoons collected from schools around the country. The gorilla will be unveiled on Saturday 17th May at the Ironwork Centre and then airlifted to Uri Gellar’s garden, where it will be a special feature for his charity open days. To support this venture GAFI (Great Ape Film Initiative) will be joining Uri Geller with our new UK Pedal powered cinema, showcasing a series of films about the conservation of the gorillas. Clive Knowles, Managing Director of the British Ironwork Centre said ”Creating the British Spoon appeal has been so rewarding , without the spoon appeal we would never have known about GAFI , now we are working to support each other, their cause is so important and we are quite literally honoured to be fortunate enough to assist.



Click HERE for the full story!

Download the news article: Gorilla Spoons

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How pedal-powered films are helping save Uganda’s last gorillas

It’s only relatively recently that conservationists have come to appreciate that efforts to protect mountain gorillas in the wild need to engage and involve the communities surrounding the habitat where this critically-endangered species lives.

One notable example of this being put into practice is taking place in Uganda, where the screening of wildlife and great ape documentaries are helping to raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding gorillas and the forests they live in.

To make this project come to life, The Gorilla Organization partnered with the Great Apes Film Initiative (GAFI) back in 2006. Then, in November 2010 the film screenings were given a fun and innovative twist thanks to the development of a pedal-powered cinema: an adapted bicycle that, when pedalled, produces enough power to screen films.

For the full article, click here.


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Success in DRC!

The pedal powered cinema will be an absolute boon to Virunga National Park, DR Congo. A cinema kit was delivered to Rumangabo, Park HQ, in March 2012.

Apart from being home to around a third of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas, Virunga is probably the biologically diverse National Park in Africa and is a ‘World Heritage Site, in Danger’. The rangers of Virunga work tirelessly to protect the wildlife of Virunga and are committed to finding means to raise awareness and understanding amongst the youngsters that live in and around the Park.

The communities living around Virunga have no electricity and the children, nor their extended families, will have ever seen a film. The pedal powered cinema is predicted to screen conservation films to over 75,000 children in over 100 of these remote schools during it’s first year alone. The rangers aim to follow up these screenings with talks and guided educational sessions throughout Virunga NP, Africa’s oldest National Park. The number of extended family members who crowd around to take a look at the films through windows and doors would numbers in the 100’s of thousands over time.

Virunga will be making their own specific films focusing on the issues affecting the future of the Park such as poaching and the illegal charcoal trade. The pedal powered cinema provides the perfect means to take positive conservation messages out to remote and isolated communities. It’s also fun and interactive, with children hopping on and off the bike that powers the screenings.

From having no effective means to communicate with the thousands of children and communities of Virunga, the rangers now have a simple, fun and very practical means of encouraging a much increased awareness and understanding of Virunga. That can only lead to much better informed and caring communities who understand that protecting the Parks habitats and wildlife will bring benefits to them both now aqnd long into the future.

After the first film screening at Rumangabo school (with 721 children) the pedal powered cinema was described by Park staff as ‘an awesome piece of kit’. A better endorsement would be hard to find……

Linda Nunn

Chair, Gearing Up 4 Gorillas


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Pedal Power is going to DR Congo!

Gearing Up 4 Gorillas have recently invested in a new Pedal Powered Cinema. This cinema will be used mainly in Virunga National Park (VNP).

Emmanuel de Merode, Chief Warden, is developing an environmental education project to be delivered throughout VNP along with Head of Communications, Francesco de Lisi.

The pedal powered cinema will be an integral part of delivering that programme through showing films / videos in schools and local communities. A generous sponsor, Animal Friends Insurance, has offered to purchase the cinema for Gearing Up 4 Gorillas (G4G) to deliver to Virunga. Elaine Fairfax, Managing Director, has very kindly made donations towards the work of G4G on previous occasions.

During the first half of 2011, there have been several ranger deaths from gun attacks by militia groups in the Park. Emmanuel will focus on promoting Virungas conservation messages to local communities and schools, together with the benefits conservation can bring to them, to counteract those elements who seek to destroy the Park for their own ends.

Emmanuel estimates using the cinema in at least 3 schools per week; reaching around 1,500 children a month and over 75,000 per annum. Screenings within local villages will considerably increase the number of people to benefit from the cinema. G4G are currently working on raising £6,000 to fund two environmental education staff for Virunga for a year, to enable this work to be initiated as soon as possible, after the cinema is delivered. Two events in Dorset, (a music event in September and an auction in October) will hopefully give a good boost to the fundraising effort. After showcasing the cinema at the events and through the media, it is planned to deliver the cinema to VNP some time in November. Madelaind Westwood of GAFI and G4G may well also be filming the cinemas arrival and use in Virunga, as interest in the project has been shown by national media.

Linda Nunn
Chair, G4G

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Uganda Pedal Power 2010

Throughout most of November 2010, Madelaine Westwood, GAFI’s Director, led the start of the first conservation education roadshow to use the innovative Pedal Power Cinema.

With colleagues from The Gorilla Organisation, Madelaine travelled to remote areas of Southern Uganda, close to one of the remaining habitats of the mountain gorilla. In this first stage, the team reached nearly 14,000 people – showing them films about the lives of gorillas. The awareness raised is a vital step in connecting the local human population with the issues related to the conservation of these apes.

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