Travel by dhow boat on the crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second deepest lake, to visit with the chimpanzees in one of Tanzania’s most untouched destinations. In Mahale Mountains National Park, Japanese researchers have studied an estimated population of about 1000 chimpanzees since the 1960’s. Highlights of this safari include chimpanzee trekking, bird watching, fishing excursions, kayaking, barbeques and sundowners on the beach around a campfire.
With the only lodge in the park, Mbali Mbali allows you to explore the smallest of Tanzania’s national parks. Gombe Stream National Park is a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat that straddles the steep slopes and river valleys that hem the northern shores of Lake Tanganyika. It’s chimpanzees, habituated to human visitors, were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall who in the 1960’s founded a behavioral research program that now stands as the longest-running study of its kind in the world.
Day 1: Arrival
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) you will be met and transferred to Arusha to your hotel to rest for the night.
Days 2 - 5 : Mahale Mountains National Parks
Spreading out from the shores of beautiful Lake Tanganyika, the mountainous terrain of the Mahale Mountain National Park is home to some of Africa’s last surviving wild chimps, and trekking in search of these endearing primates is one of the main attractions of the reserve. Other highlights include on-foot game safaris that take in the park’s diverse wildlife, hiking up the 2460-metre Mount Nkungwe – the highest of the Mahale mountain range’s six peaks – and fishing and snorkelling in Lake Tanganyika on the park’s western border. While the park is home to over 900 chimpanzees, it is also home to a variety of other wildlife including: leopards, blue duikers, red colobus monkeys, giant pangolins, lions, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, otters and a variety of bird species.
Days 5-8: Gombe National Park
Covering a mere 52 square kilometres of surface area, Gombe Stream National Park is Tanzania’s smallest park but is exceptional for its prolific primate species, including chimpanzees, red colobus, red-tail and blue monkeys. The park’s connection to Jane Goodall has given it worldwide renown. The wild chimpanzee population is at the heart of Goodall’s groundbreaking research. Accessible only by water from the town of Kigoma, the park’s dense forests are also inhabited by a myriad of avian species and offer phenomenal bird watching and walking safaris. Other popular activities include chimp tracking, lakeshore walks, taking in spectacular views from Jane’s Peak and visiting the magnificent Kakombe Waterfall.
Day 9: Departure
Today you will be transferred back to Arusha Airport (ARK) for overnight/departure.
Full Board Accommodation and Meals as specified in the itinerary. Packed lunch on day of departure; Shared Charter Flights (Arusha - Mahale - Kigoma - Arusha). Luggage allowance of 15kgs per person. Minimum 4 seats all year round; Local beers, selection of spirits and house wines, soft drinks and water in Mahale and Gombe; Daily Conservation, Concession and Guide fees for park entrance; Guiding with English Speaking Driver/Guide; 1 x Chimpanzee Trek per day in Mahale and Gombe; 1 x Boat Safari in Mahale; Option 1: See the hippos, take a short river cruise, and try your hand at local methods of freshwater fishing; Option 2: Visit a neighboring fishing village, Katumbi, for a cultural tour; Pay for an additional boat safari and do both; Birding and forest walks in Mahale and Gombe; All Government taxes and levies; VAT and TDL; All transfers as indicated; Laundry services in Mahale and Gombe
What’s Not Included?
All items of personal nature; Tips and gratuities to hotel, lodges, camp staff and guides; Medical Insurance and Evacuation; Flying doctors coverage: Optional @ USD 50 dollars per person. Covers guest within East Africa for a period of 14 days. In the event of a medical emergency, guest will be airlifted to a hospital in Nairobi. All hospital charges with be payable by the guest. Request more information on coverage; Additional Boat Safari / Fishing Excursion in Mahale - $85 per person; Boat Safari in Gombe @ $25 per person; Visit a neighboring fishing village, Mwamgongo, for a cultural tour. Stop at the village with our guide to understand fishing activities, palm oil extractions, embroidery, boat making, and visit the chief’s palace. Experience also the traditional Ha Dance. This village is 3km away from Mbali Mbali Gombe.