Chimpanzee Safari - Tanzania 2016
OPTIONAL - 4 Day Chimpanzee Safari
LocATION: Mahale Mountains
25 August – 29 August (Prior Core Itinerary)
2 September – 5 September (Post Core Itinerary
Day 1 Mahale Mountains FOREST WALK
Fly from Katavi airstrip in a private charter (13 Seater Cessna Caravan). Upon arrival into Mahale you will be picked up from and continue cruising to Kungwe Beach Lodge. Have afternoon forest walks and sundowners overlooking Lake Tanganyika. Meals and overnight at Kungwe Beach Lodge. All meals included
Days 2 & 3 chimpanzee Trek & boat safari
After breakfast, head out into the forest on a chimpanzee trek. Mahale Mountains National Park, like its northerly neighbour Gombe Stream, is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, a population of roughly 900, they are habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1960s. Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience. Mahale Mountains National Park borders Lake Tanganyika-the World’s longest, second deepest and least polluted freshwater lake-harbouring an estimated 1000 fish species. One afternoon, have a boat safari on the lake. Accommodation is provided at Kungwe Beach lodge. All meals included.
Day 4 TRANSFER TO DAR ES SALAAM
Today after a final breakfast in the bush, your transfer to the Mahale airstrip will be via boat. Fly back to Dar es Salaam in a shared charter.
Accommodation: Mahale Mountains – Kungwe Beach Lodge
Set on a secluded beach on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, this small lodge has 11 tented rooms all with a thatched roof. En suite bathrooms have hot and cold running water and the rooms each have four poster beds. Perfectly located for chimpanzee trekking, this lodge is the blend between forest lodge and beach retreat. Barbeque candle lit dinners are served on the beach to the unique sounds of Africa.
$3999 / £2796 per person sharing (single supplement $350 / £240)
Safari Price Includes:
Meals and accommodation as specified in safari itinerary. Private charter flight from Katavi to Mahale / Mahale to Dar Es Salaam, as specified and airport transfer. Daily Park entrance fees, Concession, guide and activity fees. Tea, coffee, bottled water and laundry services.
International flights. Travel insurance, visas and items of a personal nature. Alcoholic drinks (available and payable in cash at the lodges). Extra activities not described.
About the Mahale Mountains National Park
Size: 1,613 sq km (623 sq miles).
Location: Western Tanzania, bordering Lake Tanganyika
Mahale Mountains National Park is located in one of the most remote locations , on the western border with the Congo, against the dramatic shores of Lake Tanganyika. Accessible only by small aircraft, the park is the home of a large chimpanzee population that is habituated to human contact for Tanzania Safaris.
The chimpanzees that inhabit the forest directly behind the two permanent tented camps in the park are used to people although they are not tame. This means that finding them can take a gentle twenty minute hike on a good day but could also involve a climb to the upper reaches of the mountain and hiking through thick bush. Whilst this kind of walking safari through the forest is a fantastic experience in itself, Tanzania Safari visitors should be prepared for a challenging hike and a reasonable level of fitness is required.
However knowing this adds to the excitement of the whole walking safari and once the screeching of the chimps is heard, adrenaline pumps through your veins and if you are privileged enough to be able to spend time with these amazing primates in their natural habitat then you will have one of the most rewarding Tanzania safari experiences of your lifetime.
The location of the park makes the travel time from Dar or Arusha more than worthwhile and makes it a really special experience after witnessing the annular eclipse. The mountains reach up from white sand beaches and clear blue waters of Lake Tanganyika which are home to a myriad of cyclids, and even hippo and crocodile. Watching the sunset over the distant shore of the Congo, sitting on the beach with the mountain backdrop you have the real sense of being in the heart of Africa on a real Tanzania Safari.
Set deep in the heart of the African interior, inaccessible by road and only 100km (60 miles) south of where Stanley uttered that immortal greeting "Doctor Livingstone, I presume", is a scene reminiscent of an Indian Ocean island beach idyll.
Silky white coves hem in the azure waters of Lake Tanganyika, overshadowed by a chain of wild, jungle-draped peaks towering almost 2km above the shore: the remote and mysterious Mahale Mountains. The area is also known as Nkungwe, after the park's largest mountain, held sacred by the local Tongwe people, and at 2,460 metres (8,069 ft) the highest of the six prominent points that make up the Mahale Range. A stunning Tanzania Safari backdrop.
While chimpanzees are the star attraction, the slopes support a diverse forest fauna, including readily observed troops of red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, and a kaleidoscopic array of colourful forest birds that are a must for any intrepid walking safari enthusiast. You can trace the Tongwe people's ancient pilgrimage to the mountain spirits, hiking through the montane rainforest belt – home to an endemic race of Angola colobus monkey - to high grassy ridges chequered with alpine bamboo. Then bathe in the impossibly clear waters of the world’s longest, second-deepest and least-polluted freshwater lake – harbouring an estimated 1,000 fish species - before your reluctantly return to camp, as you came, by boat, on this Tanzania Safari.