Chimp Tracking in Mahale

Imagine beginning the day with a guided nature walk along the trails of a lush rainforest.  The trained eye of your experienced local guide will find last night’s nests – shadowy clumps high in a gallery of trees crowding the sky. Scraps of half-eaten fruit and fresh dung become valuable clues, leading deeper into the forest. Butterflies take flight in the dappled sunlight as you listen for their distinctive call.

Then suddenly you are in their midst: chimpanzees grooming each other in concentrated huddles, squabbling noisily, or bounding into the trees to swing effortlessly from the vines.

Remote and mysterious, Mahale Mountains National Park is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees.  Over 600 square miles in area, the park is situated on the banks of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania.  It is one of the very few parks in Africa that must be experienced by foot. There are no roads or other infrastructure within the park boundaries, and the only way in and out of the park is via boat.  Pure adventure!

Tracking the chimpanzees of Mahale is a magical experience.  Noisy and curious, intelligent and social, the chimpanzee is the mammal most closely related to a human than to any other living creature. Chimpanzees share more than 98% of their genetic code with human beings.

Nkungwe Tented Camp occupies an idyllic beach location, and your luxury tented banda is appointed with an en suite bath and shower and its own large balcony overlooking the lake.  Swim, snorkel or just relax!  Enjoy a cocktail around the campfire before dining on delicious African and international cuisine.

The highlight is, of course, the walking safaris with our knowledgeable guides, who will ask you to listen for bird calls and the sounds of other animals.  By now you are aware that the park teems with more than just chimps—red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, and a kaleidoscopic array of colorful forest birds also compete for your attention.  If you are lucky, you may spot leopards, lions and African wild dogs.

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