Jane's goal was to observe the social behavior of wild chimpanzees. From the moment Jane set foot on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika at Gombe, she felt at home. But she soon found that there was one major problem - the chimpanzees were afraid of her. Even when she was on the other side of a narrow valley, they took one look and vanished. Sometimes she despaired. She was afraid that the six months allotted to her would come to an end before she had discovered anything of importance and she would have to return to England.
Jane wondered how long it would take for her to be close enough to see the chimps at close range. For months whenever they saw her, they silently fled from this "strange white ape with a pony tail of blond hair."