Tanzania is one of the only places left in the world where you can get up close and personal with our closest relatives in the wild. The chimpanzee is one of the last primates sharing their genes with man and an encounter with one of these beautiful creatures is something extra special.
There is nothing to match the sheer delight and wonder you will feel when you stumble through the wet and wild rainforest, splashed with bright flowers and dancing butterflies and into a clearing; there in a slant of sunlight you can see a family of wild chimpanzees grooming each other as the babies tumble and roll in infantile delight. Tanzania can offer the unrivalled privilege of spending some time in the presence of these fascinating creatures, the reward is nothing short of spectacular and will be a moment that will glisten in your memory forever.
Yet it is not only the reward of seeing the chimpanzees in the wild that will ignite your imagination, but the journey of trekking them through the rainforest is its own spectacular adventure. With a trained guide you can discover the mystical and magical Tanzania rainforest. With towering trees as old as time, ancient pathways that weave through the undergrowth and every step paved with wonder, this truly is a unique experience in the heart of Africa. The humidity closes in and the exotic and strange flowers burst to life and permeate the air, bright colored birds call from the tree tops and a pair of dik-dik antelope dart across your path and into the bush. Your guide beckons to show you the telltale signs of a chimpanzee passing through and for a moment your breath catches in your throat.
Trekking chimpanzees in Tanzania allows you to walk in the footsteps of some of nature’s most heroic figures. In the opulent greenery of the Gombe Stream Dr. Jane Goodall conducted some of her groundbreaking research into the behavior of chimps. She told the world that these chimps offered a mirror of humanity and many have hoped to catch a first-hand glimpse of this experience. One of her star chimps can still be found swinging in the branches above the cool refuge of the Gombe reserve. The Gombe reserve is a place of perfect wonder, the silver streams that weave through this area are bursting with freshwater trout and the spectacle of wildlife lounging in the shadows will take your breath away.
Another Tanzanian destination for chimp trekking is the Mahale Mountains, the high altitude velvet green rainforests are home to many exotic birds and wildlife species, often the air is ripe with the crystal clear orchestra of birdsong and the chimpanzee population is relatively high. Utterly remote and with the shimmering shores of Lake Tanganyika offering respite from the heat, this destination is one of the best in the world for chimpanzee trekking.
One of the joys of chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania is that you can be rest assured that the welfare of these chimps is always a priority. This may mean that you don’t get to feed or interact with the chimps but you get the once in a lifetime opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat, living as they have been living for thousands of years without suffering at the hands of tourism.
Tanzania has so much to offer those who want to keep the spirit of adventure alive, and for those interested in our closest relatives and the excitement of trekking them through the gorgeous rainforests of Africa, this is an experience that will change your world.
Tanzania’s stunning south, though perhaps not as well-known as the Northern Circuit, is diverse, beautiful, packed with game and well worth exploring. This particular itinerary is perfect for those looking for a Destination out of Dar Es Salaam, and for those who wish to take a relaxing beach extension in Zanzibar after their wildlife adventure!