After an amazing week in the Serengeti, Cameron is again joined by singer Justin Timberlake, actor Jimmy Fallon and rapper Talib Kweli on the second half of their trip in Tanzania. Destination: Kigoma. Kigoma is on the western border of the...... Read Full Episode Summary »
After an amazing week in the Serengeti, Cameron is again joined by singer Justin Timberlake, actor Jimmy Fallon and rapper Talib Kweli on the second half of their trip in Tanzania. Destination: Kigoma.
Kigoma is on the western border of the country, between the Congo and Rwanda. Overpopulation there threatens the wildlife, agriculture, economy and the overall health of the residents.
First, Cameron and friends go to the Gombe National Park, home to one of the last wild chimpanzee habitats in the world. Chimp expert Bill Wallauer welcomes Cameron and friends. The people of Gombe live in a caged compound built by Jane Goodall (of the Jane Goodall Institute) in 1967 to keep her son safe from the chimps.
After an exhausting hike, they see three chimps. Bill points out the alpha male chimp. Although they are usually harmless, chimps are five times stronger than us, and so must be dealt with cautiously. When the chimps make noises, the crew heads back to camp, but not before enjoying getting soaked under a cold waterfall. As they approach the camp, a chimp suddenly walks too close to them. Everyone immediately take refuge in a cage. This situation is serious and requires that they follow Bill's instructions carefully. Fortunately, no one is harmed.
Chimps, like all species, rely on their habitat for survival. Since the turn of the century, the chimp population has declined from millions spread out over twenty-five African countries to only about 250,000 in five countries. As the human population increases, preserving the habitat of the chimpanzee is more and more critical to their survival.
Through her many programs, Jane helps to educate people about working to preserve these amazing animals, which share 90 percent of the same DNA as humans. Cameron swings on the trees like the chimps. Justin says, "Alright, Jane, let's go," to which Cameron responds, "Gotta monkey around a little." With much more to do, they say goodbye to Bill.
Back in the town of Kigoma, Cameron and friends visit the Tacare Project Oil Palm Nursery. There, researchers have created a hybrid oil palm through cross-pollination. Oil palm is a major cash crop for this region, so they've figured a way to combine the characteristics of two different trees to produce a nut that yields four times the amount of oil than the common oil palm.
Jane Goodall's program also helps bring water to local villages. On their way to visit a newly-constructed water tower down the road, Cameron and friends stop at Newman College. With Jane's Roots & Shoots program, the college educates students about the number-one problem facing Africa today: AIDS. Two weeks prior to the arrival of Cameron and friends, the students knew almost nothing about the deadly disease that has taken many of their friends and family. The students share some of what they have recently learned about AIDS.
Later, Talib explains to the students that many people celebrate the work that he, Cameron, Jimmy and Justin do because they are celebrities. But Talib lets the students know that he finds their work inspirational. "You're bringing Africa a future back and....bringing humanity back," Talib declares.
The students sing a song to celebrate the preservation of the environment for Cameron and friends. In turn, Talib raps for the excited students, as Justin beatboxes.
At the water tower, Cameron and friends are welcomed by some of the villagers with more singing and dancing. The students learn and educate through song. The songs they sing are about being grateful for the water tank being built in their village. Soon they won't have to walk for hours to fetch water that's often contaminated. If the forest continues to disappear, the source of their water will also disappear.
When the Tacare Water Project started construction in this village, they had plans to tap a nearby spring to fill the tank. However, the forest around the water source was cut down to develop farmland, and the river has since dried up. Therefore the water is coming from a source that is much further away. Cameron tells their guide that in the U.S. we take ready access to fresh water for granted., while Talib adds that we often waste water by leaving the faucet on. Next, the local women teach Cameron to walk with a water bucket on her head and how to pour the water from the bucket into the well by tipping it with her head.
The group's Tanzania trip ends with Cameron and friends playing with and photographing the local children. Jimmy says goodbye to the young locals in their native language and they bid us a farewell, waving to the camera.
Wanna learn more about Tanzania? Check out these links below:
The gang visited a school where Roots & Shoots students were training to be HIV/AIDS peer educators. Roots & Shoots groups focus on three areas: the human community, animals, and the environment. Want to get involved with R&S?