Trekking to view one of mans closest relatives is an experience like no other. Unlike the Gorillas, the chimps are far more active, constantly moving, often at a high pace through their forest habitats. Often it is a harder task to find the chimps, but once you do find them, it is always an entertaining, fun and fascinating experience. There are several locations in Africa to view chimpanzees.
In Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest home to around 500 chimps is a superb place to trek with in one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rainforests and is also one of the oldest on the entire continent.
In Uganda there are 3 areas in Uganda from where you can track Chimpanzees: Kibale Forest, Kyambura Gorge (near Queen Elizabeth) and Budongo Forest (in Murchison Falls). Kibale is by far the most popular and chances of a sighting are high. In Budongo and Kyambura, sighting chances are just slightly less, although it is not as busy in these locations and one feels a greater sense of achievement when you finally track down the chimpanzees from their knuckle-tracks and calls in the forest.
In Tanzania the stand out location is the Mahale Forest. It is one of the most remote and beautiful parks in Africa, and home to around 700 chimps. Combined with beautiful mountains, lush forest, mind-blowing beaches and all on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, this park is sensational. Also in the west of the country lying on the shores of Lake Tanganyika is the better-known Gombe National Park, and where Jane Goodall performed her ground-breaking studies. The park is smaller than it's sister park to the south, and home to around 100 chimps.
Chimpanzees are very active and often very vocal. You can be treated to a range of behaviours from eating, to mating, to fighting to playing to grooming. A troop of chimpanzees hooting in the forest and/or drumming on tree buttresses is a sight to see and hear!
This is quite possibly the quintessential African destination. When it comes t...