The best African safari destinations, national parks and game reserves to see chimpanzees in their natural habitats
Chimpanzee trekking is a safari experience that lingers long in the memory. This unique activity brings guests into the wild, untamed forests of central Africa, to encounter these fascinating creatures in their natural habitats. Skilled guides will lead the way, as guests catch a glimpse of the way the chimps interact and behave in the wild. From the stunning forests of the shores of Lake Tanganyika, to the untouched jungles of Rwanda and Uganda, these are the best safari destinations for spotting chimpanzees.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is found in Rwanda. It is an untouched expanse of rainforest, swamps, bamboo thickets and grasslands, and is a prime destination for viewing chimpanzees. The park is also home to many other primate species, including Golden Monkeys and Black and White Colobus Monkeys. Besides the feature attraction of chimpanzee trekking, there are range of exciting activities on offer: hiking, cultural tours, biking, and an awe-inspiring canopy walk.
Gombe Stream National Park is a small narrow strip of protected forest found on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. Gombe is renowned worldwide, as it is here that the conservation pioneer Jane Goodall established her study of the park’s chimpanzees. The chimps are habituated to human beings, and can be seen as guests track them in their natural habitat. The park is also home to a host of other primate species, including olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and Colobus monkeys.
Kibale National Park in Uganda is a dream destination for anyone with an interest in primates. Its flagship specie is the chimpanzee, with over 1400 individuals residing in the park. Several hundred of the wild chimps have been habituated in order to allow people to track them on foot, and view them in their natural habitats. Other primate species found in the park include red and black Colobus monkeys, olive baboons and Uganda Mangabeys. Leopards, buffalo, and elephants are also found in the park.
Mahale Mountains National Park is found on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. This region is strikingly beautiful, and is also a haven for some of Africa’s last wild chimpanzees. The park is made up of a combination of tropical rainforest, savannah and woodland, and its forested peaks rise starkly against the lake’s white beaches. Guided safaris allow guests to track the chimps on foot. Other primate species found in the park include Colobus monkeys, blue monkeys, yellow baboons, and red-tailed monkeys, while other wild species include lions, buffalo and giraffes. The birdlife is the park is also superb.