Mahale Mountains National Park is home to one of Africa’s most studied chimpanzee populations. Imagine seeing chimpanzee-trekking in the National Parks of Gombe Streams or the Mahale Mountains.
Gombe Streams is Tanzania’s smallest National Park, located just 16 miles north of Kigoma on the shores of Lake Tanganyka in western Tanzania. It has become worldly famous for its’ chimpanzees – habituated to humans – and due to the pioneering work of Jane Goodall, who founded a behavioral research program in the 1960’s, and is still running. Here you can trek the chimps, hike, swim and snorkel.
Mahale Mountains National Park is home to some of the last remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa. Around 1000 of these fascinating animals roam the isolated and lush rainforest of Mahale, high above the beaches of Lake Tanganyika far below. Here one will search for the chimpanzees while guided along a trail, following clues such as the previous night nest- shadowy clumps high in the trees- or scraps of half-eaten fruit and fresh dung. Once found, the chimpanzees preen each other’s glossy coats in concentrated huddles, squabble noisily or bound effortlessly into the trees, swinging nonchalantly through vines. Visitors can additionally trace the Tomgwe people ancient pilgrimage to the mountain spirits, trekking through enclaves of rainforest to grassy ridges checkered with alpine bamboo. The best time for forest walks in Mahale is during the dry season (May to October).