The Mahale Mountains National Park is home to some of the last remaining chimpanzees (chimps) in Africa, roughly 900. The park itself is accessible by air, road, and boat. The region however remains remote and this is partly why the chimp population is looking good by assessment. Scientific studies and chimp trekking Mahale Mountains are two primary reasons why the region is visited.
In a remote part of Western Tanzania, Mahale is flanked by Lake Tanganyika, which is longest and the second deepest in the world, and the chain of mountains (Mahale range) and forests, which collectively provide a safe habitat for the chimps. The primates are habituated to humans; this is a direct result of the Japanese research project instituted here to study them.
The Mahale Mountains National Park’s population of chimps are perhaps the most studied group of primates, in the wild, which make them acclimated to humans. Chimp trekking Mahale Mountains by visitors provide support toward the conservation efforts, by means of payment of park entrance fees. The monies go toward maintaining the park and safeguarding and protecting the population of chimps and the forest that they inhabit.
While chimp trekking Mahale Mountains, there are some important rules that visitors must abide by. The following was declared by the Mahale Mountains National Park authority: No more than 6 visitors (plus one guide) are permitted close to the chimps at any one time. If another group is with the chimps when you arrive, please wait at a spot chosen by your guide, at least 250m away from the animals. And the maximum viewing time is one hour. If the chimps are moving and viewing is interrupted, your time will be paused until they have been relocated, but tracking is not permitted for longer than 3hours after the initial chimp sighting, even if the one-hour total has not been reached. This is to minimize disturbance to the animals and to the forest.
The chimps here have been studied for over forty years and these guidelines are set forth to help preserve the species and their unique habitat.
Chimp Trekking Mahale Mountains is an exhilarating and unique event, we recommend that you visit the park and make a contribution to the preservation of the species.
For where to stay when visiting the Mahale Mountains National Park, see our lodge at Mahale.
Article by: Charles Williamson