Have you heard of chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania? If not then brace up because if you are planning a Tanzania safari, then you will come across many such marvels that are either unheard of or not much talked about. For instance, there is this Serengeti wildebeest migration across Tanzania onto Kenya where more than two million animals including wildebeests, zebras and gazelles migrate hundreds of miles and all along you can partake in the party.
Chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania is relatively less popular than the wildebeest migration or climbing Mt Kilimanjaro for that matter, but it is in no way any inferior an experience. Chimpanzee trekking will require your Tanzania safari to head towards the Mahale Mountains. Lake Tanganyika would obviously be on your itinerary because visiting the world’s second deepest lake and possibly taking a dive into it to explore the fascinating underwater world of the lake will be an amazing experience. On the eastern shore of this lake is Gombe. About a hundred miles south of Gombe lay the spellbinding Mahale Mountains. In these mountains live several hundred chimpanzees, not the small ones or trained ones but wild chimpanzees.
Fortunately, the chimpanzees are completely at ease in their own world and they don’t care if you are there. They are so comfortable amidst human presence that they would not even pay attention to where you are, what you are doing. Instead, they would be busy with their tricks, games and fights. You may even be lucky to witness some feuds and drama among the chimpanzees. It is these wonderful acts of the chimpanzees, almost always unassuming and far from being orchestrated, that makes chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania such a wonderful experience.
Chimpanzee trekking will be a little demanding because you will have to keep walking and would have to wait for the time when the chimps would show their acts. The chimps can be anywhere from the treetops to the peak of the mountains down to the shore. It isn’t that the chimpanzees would be waiting for you or would be around all day. But with a good guide, you will surely see dozens of chimps.
Usually, you would have to plan a two day or three day trip for chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania and this is a completely worthwhile experience. If you wish to capture the chimpanzees on video or click a few shots, then make sure you take a good camera that works well without flash. You can imagine what happens if you use your flash on some wild chimpanzees, flash photography is strictly prohibited.
Chimpanzees are a man’s closest living relative, and we share 98% of our genes with them. As a result, chimps are susceptible to most human infectious diseases but because chimps and humans are not the same species, the outcome of infection can be very different. Even simple human cold and flu viruses can be fatal to chimpanzees.
Tanzania’s chimps have been studied and habituated for more than 40 years, and are well accustomed to people. Nevertheless, they are wild animals and it is important that you avoid doing anything that may antagonize them or that they may see as a challenge or threat.