Explore tropical rain forests inhabited by Chimps on the Chimpanzee Safari
Set on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania, the tropical rainforests of the Mahle Mountains are home to a large population of Chimpanzees, Black-and-White Colobus Monkeys, Brush-tailed Porcupine, Bushy-tailed Mongoose, Blue Duiker, Sharpes Grysbok, and over 300 species of birds.
This region is quite remote, with no set infrastructure within the park boundaries meaning that all explorations of the forested slopes are done on foot. The main attraction in Mahale are the chimpanzees, and you set out each morning in search of a family. Once located you have an hour to spend in amongst the Chimps, observing their daily routine, various antics and interactions.
A small camp of rustic luxury is set right on the beach of Lake Tanganyika, and after a solid day’s trek exploring the forest, you can relax with a cocktail on the beach and enjoy the sunset. The camp consists of 6 private chalets with all the necessary comforts and amenities, offering peace and tranquility so you can experience nature as it was intended.
A whole range of other activities await when you are not trekking the Chimps; follow the trails through the forest that run along the rivers, and find yourself at the foot of hidden waterfalls, or photographing one of the many endemic species of birds found only in these mountains. You can also head out on the lake on a traditional dhow boat for a sunset cruise or a spot of fishing, while kayaks are available for the more energetic travellers.
Flights into Mahale depart from Arusha, which is also the starting point for nearly every other safari in Tanzania, so connecting with other experiences is really easy. You can extend your safari to include any number of other amazing safari locations in Tanzania or the East African region. Contact our safari specialists to help you plan your dream safari!
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Photos from previous safaris. Click to view at full-size.
Suggested itinerary for The Chimpanzee Safari in Tanzania
Upon your arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be met by a local guide and transferred to the vibrant town of Arusha where you will spend the first night relaxing in a cosy lodge nestled amongst a coffee plantation perfectly set away from the hustle and bustle of Arusha Town, but close to Arusha Airport from where you will depart early the next day.
An early start and a hearty breakfast will get you ready for the morning’s travels. Taking a charter flight from Arusha Airport you will be flown into the Mahle Mountains National Park, from where you take a 40min boat trip to a small and intimate camp of rustic luxury set right on the beach of Lake Tanganyika. Spend your first afternoon relaxing on the beach, kayaking on the lake or exploring the camp and surrounding forests.
Day 3 - 4
An early start is essential so that you can begin trekking the chimps and get a head start on them before they get going for the day. Once located, you spend an hour with the Chimps where you can watch them thriving in their natural habitat. The Chimpanzees in this area are habituated to humans, so you will be able to walk amongst the family, for a truly captivating experience.
A sumptuous lunch awaits you at camp after your trek. Rest, relax and take in the magnificent views as you ponder your course for the afternoon: a swim in the lake, kayaking, a traditional Dhow cruise or another venture into the forest in search hidden waterfalls.
Spend your final morning exploring the forest around the camp and enjoy a good breakfast before starting your return journey to Arusha. A boat-ride and short charter flight later, you will find yourself back in Arusha in time for your onward travels.
Highlights from The Chimpanzee Safari in Tanzania
Best time to go:
This safari can be enjoyed year-round
4 nights/5 days
Rustic luxury lodge on the shores Lake Tanganyika
Kilimanjaro Airport, Tanzania
Chimpanzees, Black-and-white Colobus Monkeys, Red Colobus Monkeys
Full board accommodation
All internal flights and transfers
All required park fees
All required conservancy fees
Chimp trekking permits
Sunset dhow cruise
Drinks (excluding premium brand alcohol)
A La Carte:
If you would like to get that perfect shot, why not ask our professional photographer to guide you on this safari, and show you how! Make it a Photographic Safari!