Mahale Mountains National Park is accessible all year round and is a stronghold for some of Africa’s last remaining Chimps.
For many a primate experience is the most rewarding of all safari experiences, and Mahale holds the key to possibly Africa's best chimpanzee moments.
Some of Mahale's chimp families have habituated over the many years, a testament to conservation success stories in the area. One such notable success is the Mimikire clan of the Mahale chimp groups. Habituated by the local research team since 1965, the group is currently led by an impressive alpha male called Alofu. Alofu's clan is over 50 strong, and they are very relaxed around people, allowing trackers and travellers much time in their presence before moving on to their next feeding ground.
While there is never a guarantee of sightings on any safari, the chimps in the Mahale Mountains are 'generally' seen on most days - you'd be exceedingly unlucky to stay here for several days and not find them. Quite possibly, you'll be sitting and watching them foraging and feeding, tussling and squabbling and grooming their young. Sitting in the presence of chimpanzees and watching them getting on with their daily lives is a life-changing experience – and that is what makes the chimp safaris in Mahale so unique and truly rewarding.
The hike to reach the Mahale chimpanzees can vary from a leisurely wander of 20 minutes to a more strenuous hike lasting up to three hours. Towards the end of the dry season (August to October) Mahale's chimp safaris are at their easiest, as the forest paths are at their driest and least slippery, and the chimps are usually at their closest to the shore. Walking boots, long trousers and small backpack (for cameras and binoculars) are always wise for safaris to see the chimpanzees.
For the good of the chimps' health, all visitors on chimpanzee safaris will be requested to wear the surgical masks provided before each trek; we recommend taking your own for comfort.
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