Tanzania > Mahale Mountains National Park (and Gombe Stream)

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  • Nigel, Ann, Emma and Charles from London travelled to TanzaniaHello Michele, many thanks for putting together such a good trip, we have had such a good time and there have been many highlights. We enjoyed all camps/hotels which contrasted very nicely with each other. At Oliver’s Camp on our first morning we saw a cheetah give chase to a reedbuck and bring it down and then, just as it looked as if the reedbuck was breakfast it kicked back and proceeded to chase the cheetah, a leopard with its kill safely up a tree and lions – a very impressive start. In addition, as predicted by Michele, we saw so many elephants, including some tiny ones, which we really enjoyed and we went on a bush walk which gave us a different perspective of the environment. Gibbs Farm was great and we spent 2 idyllic evenings sitting watching the sun go down and the bats come out whilst enjoying the lovely views over the hills. It wasn’t too far away at all from the Ngorongoro crater. We loved the landscape of the crater (and the drive through the highlands the next day was good too) and we had very good sighting of lions, including 6 males walking along in a strung out single file off on a mission and later on 6 cubs with 2 lionesses. Lamai Serengeti was off the scale, at Mkombe House we thought we had died and gone to heaven. On one afternoon we sighted a leopard, tracked him along a riverbed and then watched him as he rested; we then moved on to see a rhino with her calf. We had seen 2 rhinos at a distance at Ngorongoro but this was something else especially as we had a backdrop of a dark thundery sky with sunlight filtering through.  Our last night was our Tanzanian meal finished with a lovely birthday cake accompanied with terrific singing, much appreciated by Nigel, thank you. As you know we are not really beach people so the fact that we enjoyed our time at the Palms is an even greater compliment. The food at the Palms was delicious (lunches were especially good). So as you will see a really, really good trip. Thank you.Nigel, Ann, Emma and Charles from London travelled to Tanzania

    Nigel, Ann, Emma and Charles from London travelled to Tanzania
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Mahale Mountains National Park (and Gombe Stream)

The Mahale Mountains rise to some 8000 ft above sea-level on the western edge of Tanzania along the shores of Lake Tanganyika. The predominant habitat in one of sub-tropical forest, which tumbles down the mountains to meet the lake. The forests are home to around 1000 chimpanzees – the main reason to visit – and nine other species of primate, including red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys. A family of around 60 chimpanzees have now been habituated by Japanese scientists who have researched the area for some 30 years. Walking through the forest (sometimes this can be difficult), you should get the opportunity to view these great apes as they go about their daily routine. Mahale is arguably the best place in Africa to view chimpanzees in the wild.

The lake provides an inland sea of tropical delight with over a fifth of the 1000 or so species of cyclid fish endemic. Snorkelling and swimming (though limited for safety reasons), fishing or simply relaxing on the beach are all part of a day in Mahale.

Access to the park is by boat (1 hour) from a small airstrip just outside the northern edge of the park, with scheduled air transfers from Arusha and Ruaha flying in twice a week.

Much further north on the lakeshore, north of the town of Kigoma, Gombe Stream also offers chimpanzee viewing in a similar, if a little less dramatic, setting. Gombe is reached by boat from Kigoma, which is serviced by scheduled flights. Gombe Stream has been made famous by researcher Jane Goodall, whose research centre continues today.

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