Tanzania Chimpanzee Trekking Safari : Encountering Our Closest Relatives : Tanzania is known for its incredible wildlife safaris, including opportunities to see the famous Big Five animals. However, there is one species that often goes overlooked but is equally fascinating the chimpanzee. Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Tanzania offer a unique and unforgettable experience to witness these intelligent creatures up close in their natural habitat.
Tanzania is home to several national parks and reserves where chimpanzee trekking safaris are possible, including Mahale Mountains National Park and Gombe Stream National Park. Both parks are located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania and are accessible by boat or plane.
In addition to chimpanzee trekking, many visitors to Tanzania also choose to go on traditional wildlife safaris to see other iconic African animals like lions, elephants, and giraffes. Tanzania is home to several world-renowned national parks and reserves, including Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and Tarangire National Park.
Serengeti National Park is perhaps the most famous of Tanzania’s national parks, known for its vast grassy plains and annual wildebeest migration. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, and hyenas. Visitors can go on game drives to see these animals up close, and also have the opportunity to witness the incredible spectacle of the wildebeest migration.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the Ngorongoro Crater, a massive volcanic caldera that is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, elephants, and black rhinos. Visitors to the conservation area can go on game drives to see these animals and also have the opportunity to visit Maasai villages and learn about their traditional way of life.
Tarangire National Park is known for its large elephant population, as well as a variety of other wildlife such as giraffes, zebras, and various species of antelope. The park is also home to a diverse range of bird species and is known for its baobab trees, which are iconic symbols of Africa’s savannah landscapes.
Where can I see chimpanzees in Tanzania?
You can see chimpanzees in Tanzania at several national parks and reserves. The most popular destinations for chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania are Mahale Mountains National Park and Gombe Stream National Park, both located in the western part of the country along the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
Mahale Mountains National Park is known for having the largest population of chimpanzees in Tanzania, with an estimated 1,000 individuals living in the park. The park is home to the world-famous M Group of chimpanzees, which has been the subject of numerous scientific studies. The best time to visit Mahale Mountains National Park for chimpanzee trekking is between May and October, when the chimps are most active and visible.
Gombe Stream National Park is another popular destination for chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania. The park is home to a population of approximately 150 chimpanzees, which have been the subject of extensive research by the Jane Goodall Institute. The best time to visit Gombe Stream National Park for chimpanzee trekking is during the dry season, from mid-May to mid-October.
In addition to these two parks, there are other areas in Tanzania where chimpanzees can be found, such as Rubondo Island National Park and the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. These areas offer a unique and less crowded alternative to the more popular chimpanzee trekking destinations.
It’s important to note that chimpanzee trekking can be a physically demanding activity and requires a permit, so it’s best to plan ahead and book with a reputable Tanzania safari tour operator.
Overall, a Tanzania chimpanzee trekking safari is an incredible opportunity to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of Tanzania in a unique and unforgettable way. With a knowledgeable guide and the right preparation, you can witness the incredible intelligence and behavior of chimpanzees in their natural habitat. So, make sure to add this adventure to your Tanzania safari tour itinerary and get ready for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
After spending the morning tracking chimpanzees, you can spend the rest of the day exploring the surrounding forest or visiting nearby cultural attractions. Some of the cultural attractions include the Mto wa Mbu Village, where you can learn about local customs and visit local markets.
Can you smile at a chimpanzee?
While chimpanzees are highly intelligent and social animals, it is not recommended to smile at them or approach them in the wild. This is because chimpanzees are still wild animals and can be dangerous if they feel threatened or provoked. In addition, it is important to respect chimpanzees as fellow beings in their natural habitat, and avoid interacting with them in ways that could harm or disturb them. It is best to observe them from a safe distance and let them go about their daily activities without interference.