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Shadowing the dusky blue waters of Lake Tanganyika the Mahale Mountains are dramatic and imposing.

Jagged peaks of over 2,000 metres soar into the clouds and are covered in canopy woodland and thick montane forest.

Shafts of sunlight pour through the trees into tiny gullies where pink and yellow butterflies flit and you can see each and every pebble in the crystal clear streams. Blue-cheeked bee-eaters flash across the forest, warthogs shuffle in the undergrowth and monkeys can be heard chattering in the treetops. Best of all though are the big primates — Mahale’s chimpanzees.

Mahale’s chimpanzees

The Mahale Mountains are the best place in Africa to track and observe wild chimpanzees. There is a population of around 1,000, one troop of which, the Mimikire clan, have been habituated to humans. Totally wild, this clan of 70-100 individuals can be tracked and observed from close quarters. Climbing up the leafy tracks in the misty morning and hearing your first shriek of a chimpanzee is a sound you will never forget. Crouching low, you can watch them grooming, drinking and playing. It is possibly one of the most intimate wildlife experiences known to man.

Lake Tanganyika

After a morning of chimpanzee-tracking you return to the shores of Lake Tanganyika, where sugar white beaches slope into gin-clear waters. There are over 500 species of cichlid fish in the lake in every colour of the rainbow and snorkelling and floating among them is the ultimate relaxation.

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    • Track Chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains
      Chimpanzee, Mahale Mountains National Park

      Track Chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains

      Track Chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains

      You will set off on foot from Greystoke Camp with your guide and will head up the steep forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains in search of primates. Six species of primates live in the mountains, but the main excitement for most visitors are the chimpanzees.

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