Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in Tanzania
Chimpanzee Trekking Safari in Tanzania: Chimpanzee trekking is an adventurous activity where you move deep into the forest in search of the habituated chimpanzee families and once found you will be allowed to spend one hour with them in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their behaviors, habits, watch them feed, hunt, play, rest among others.
Chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania is carried out in two protected areas that is Mahale national park which is located in the remote western part of Tanzania bordering Lake Tanganyika which is the second deepest lake in the world. Mahale national park is famously known for harboring nine primates species including large populations of chimpanzees which makes the park a chimpanzee paradise, other primates like yellow baboons, red colobus monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, about 73 mammals and different bird species.
Chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania is also carried out in Gombe stream national park which is the smallest national park located in western Tanzania and at the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika at the Tanzania-Congo border. Gombe stream national park is also the only destination where the primatologist Jane Goodall started her research activities about the behaviors of chimpanzees in 1960. The national park harbors the endangered chimpanzees, other primates like blue monkeys, vervet monkeys, olive baboons, red tailed monkeys, animals like bush pigs, leopards, hippos, over 200 bird species such as peters twinspot, African fish eagle, African broadbill, crowned eagle, double toothed barbet among others.
Chimpanzee trekking experience
Chimpanzee trekking is an exciting and extraordinary activity which starts with a briefing about the rules and regulations of chimpanzee trekking at the park headquarters. After the briefing you will be grouped, allocated a chimpanzee family to trek and a park guide who is well conversant with trails in the jungle. Trekking takes about 30 minutes to 3 hours or even more depending on where the chimpanzees are found and during trekking you will have spectacular views of animals like warthogs, roan and sable antelopes, mongoose, bird species like forest livingstons turaco, crested guinea fowl, other primates like baboons, blue monkeys, view different plant and tree species among others. Once the chimpanzee family is found you will be able to spend one hour with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat which gives you an opportunity to learn more about their behaviors, habits, watch them carry out their daily activities like feeding, playing, breastfeeding, hunting, resting among others. After spending time with the chimpanzees you will trek back to the park headquarters and either return back to your lodge or go for other activities in the national parks.
Apart from Tanzania chimpanzee trekking is also carried out in other countries in East Africa such as Uganda where it’s done in Kibale national park a protected area that harbors over 1500 chimpanzees, Budongo forest in Murchison falls national park, Kalinzu forest and Kyambura gorge in Queen Elizabeth national park. In Rwanda chimpanzee trekking is carried out in Nyungwe national park and in Congo it’s carried out in Virunga national park.
Best time to go for chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania
Chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania can be done anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to October because during this period there is little rainfall in Mahale national park and Gombe stream national park therefore the trekking trails will be passable compared to the wet season when the trekking trails are muddy and slippery which makes chimpanzee trekking difficult.
Chimpanzee trekking in Mahale national park and Gombe stream national park can also be done during the wet season in the months of November ,march to may because during this time there is plenty of food in the forests therefore chimpanzees will not move very deep hence making trekking much easier.
Where to stay during your chimpanzee trekking safari
Both Mahale national park and Gombe stream national park harbor a number of accommodations where you can stay during your chimpanzee trekking safari. The accommodations range from luxury, midrange, budget and they include Gombe Forest lodge, Mbali Mbali Gombe lodge, Kigoma Hilltop hotel, Mbuzi Mawe Serena camp, Mlukoyoyo guest house, Gombe bandas, Mahale Mango Bandas, Mbali Mbali Mahale, Kugwe beach lodge, Mahale Classic lodge among others.
Rules and regulations for chimpanzee trekking
- Visitors should not eat or drink anything while in front of the chimpanzees
- Do not smoke in the presence of the chimpanzees
- When taking photos visitors should not use flash cameras because they might frighten the chimpanzees
- Do not throw rubbish while in the forest but rather keep it and throw it in the dustbins at the park headquarters.
- In case you are feeling ill you are advised to stay back because chimpanzees are vulnerable to human diseases
- Chimpanzee trekking is only allowed to visitors who are 15 years of age and above
- Visitors are allowed to follow instructions from the park guides during trekking
- You should keep a distance of at least 8 meters when you are in the presence of the chimpanzee family.
- Visitors should keep quiet during trekking and while in the presence of the chimpanzees
What to carry for your chimpanzee trekking safari in Tanzania
- Long sleeved shirt and trouser, these clothes will keep your body warm especially during the wet season and they will protect your body from thorny bushes.
- Chimpanzee trekking permit, this is a card that is issued to a visitor allowing him or her to spend one hour with the chimpanzees in their natural habitat.
- Hiking shoes, the hiking shoes should be comfortable so as to allow you move in steep and muddy slopes.
- Garden gloves, these will protect your hands from thorny bushes during trekking but they can be removed when taking photos.
- A pair of binoculars, binoculars will be used to view picture of far wildlife species such as birds and small animals.
- Camera, the camera will be used to take photos and record the moments while in the presence of the chimpanzees.
- Energy snacks, the energy snacks include packed lunch and drinking water to keep you hydrated during trekking.
- Rain jacket, this will protect you from rainfall especially during the rainy season when it can rain anytime and any day.
- Backpack, this will be used to carry all your items such as chimpanzee trekking permit, rain jacket, energy snacks among others.
There are other interesting activities in Mahale national park and Gombe stream national park that you can engage in to make your safari memorable after chimpanzee trekking such as guided nature walks where you will get close and personal with animals, sport fishing , snorkeling , kayaking, bird watching and cultural tours.
Are you hungry for experience, chimpanzee trekking safari in Tanzania is an extraordinary activity that shouldn’t be missed because it gives you an opportunity to have breathtaking and unforgettable experiences during your safari and this will be possible if you contact and book with Focus East Africa Tours.