Chimpanzee Trekking in Tanzania

Chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania is a guided adventure walks into the heart of the rain forest searching for the families of the wild chimpanzees. The trekking is done following the established trails to the areas where chimps used to feeds and nesting. Once you manage to locate family of the chimpanzee you will spend sufficient time with observing their social behavior, how they hunt, taking care of their babies, feed, playing and resting.  Your guide will also help you to identify types of fruits which are used by chimpanzees for food.  During the chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania parks you will also see other species of primates such blue monkeys, baboons, vervet faced monkey, colobus monkeys and more.

Where Can I See Chimpanzee in Tanzania?

Tanzania is endowed with abundant natural attractions and unique wildlife includes the chimpanzee among others.  The best places where you can trek and see Chimpanzee in Tanzania are Gombe and Mahale Mountains National parks which located in the most remote western part of the country along the shores of Lake Tanganyika. These two parks are indeed the wild chimpanzee’s paradise. Both Gombe Stream National Park and Mahale mountains national park are located in Kigoma region where Gombe is located 20 km north of Kigoma town and Mahale Mountains 157 kilometers south of Kigoma town.  Both two parks are accessible only by boat and within the parks there are trails which are followed during trekking of the chimpanzees.

How long is Chimpanzee Trekking?

There is no specific number of days requires to spend in the park conducting Chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania. Sometimes within half a day you can see the chimps while sometimes you have to spend a day or even two days. To avoid any inconvenience of not seen chimps we recommend you arrange two days as a sufficient time for your chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania. The time requires to trek in the forest range from 1 hour to 3 hours where after locating the family of chimpanzees you spend a maximum of 1 hour with them observing the social structure, intelligence, how they feed and nesting.  Since Chimpanzee are mobile and playful so you will find yourself following them and observe them jumping, playing, making noises and fighting with each other.

Where to stay During Chimps Trekking?

Gombe stream national park and Mahale national park have several accommodations options for you to stay during your chimpanzee trekking tour. Some of the accommodations are owned by the parks while others are private owned and they range from budget, mid-range to Luxury. To secure your accommodation a prior booking is required to be made.

The prices for accommodation vary from one property to another and it range from US $ 36 to several hundred US dollars per night.  The lodges are Mbali mbali Gombe lodge, Gombe forest lodge, Lusekelo camp, gombe rest house, Greystoke Mahale, Mbali mbali mahale and Mahale Rest House.

Which is the best time to go for Chimpanzee Trekking in Tanzania?

The best time to do chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania is during the dry season which is from May to October. During the dry season trekking are quite convenient since trails are not slippery and chimpanzee as also come closer to shore which will take less time to find them.  However, during the rainy season, which is from November to April chimpanzee trekking can be done especially by those who doesn’t fear wetness and mud. The major challenge in wet season is that there are few number of tourist which makes difficult to find out where the families of chimps are located because that rely more with the communications between guides and the trackers.

Clothes to bring for chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania

Chimpanzee trekking safaris in Tanzania are taking place in the tropical rain forest of Mahale Mountains and Gombe Stream National Parks. For excellent and comfortable trekking protective clothing against thorns, nettles and insect are required.

Below is the list:


  • Long Trousers: This can protect you from thorns, brushes, nettles and insects
  • Wool socks: Wool socks will absorb moisture from your feet during the trek.
  • Long-sleeved shirt: It is just for your protection just like long trousers.
  • Rain jacket with hood or poncho: This is suitable during the rainy season. You can just put in into your daypack and take it out when it rains.
  • Hat: A wide-brimmed hat is best for sun protection

Other things

  • Sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses are optional
  • Face mask: The face masks will prevent the transmission of respiratory diseases from human to chimps.
  • Binoculars: A set of binocular is requiring during the chimpanzee trekking because sometimes chimps will at a distance which you cannot see them well. .
  • Camera in the pouch: Good Camera capable to zoom objects at a long distance will enable you take best pictures of the chimpanzee.
  • Insect repellant: Bear in mind that you are trekking chimpanzee in the tropical forest where there are lots of bugs and insects. The insect repellant will protect you from the insect bites.

How much is the chimpanzee trekking in Tanzania

The costs for chimpanzee trekking tours in Tanzania vary from one park to another and from the duration of the tour and the services included in the package. However the chimpanzee trekking fees per person per day in each park remain standard.


Gombe Chimpanzee trekking fees

US $ 118 per adult per day for non-resident

US $ 59 per adult per day for expatriate

US $ 23 per child per day for non- resident

US $ 11.8 per child per day for Expatriate


Mahale Mountains Chimpanzee trekking fees

US $ 94.4 per adult per day for non-resident

US $ 47.2 per adult per day for expatriate

US $ 23 per child per day for non- resident

US $ 11.8 per child per day for Expatriate

Chimpanzee Trekking Guidelines

For the purpose of safety and security viewers and trackers must:

  1. Maintain a distance of at least 10m from the Chimps at all time in order to minimize risks of disease transmission.
  2. Wear masks over the nose and mouth whenever Chimps are spotted.
  3. Do not eat or drink whenever Chimps are spotted.
  4. Do not leave personal belongings on the ground or where they are accessible to the Chimps.
  5.  Cover nose and mouth in the urge of coughing or sneezing to reduce chances of germs transmission.
  6.  Do not track the chimps if affected with infectious diseases.
  7. Adults and children older than 12 years of age are allowed to participate in Chimpanzee trekking
  8.  Do not make noises when tracking the chimps.
  9. Do not mimic the calls of Chimps as this will disturb them.
  10. Do not point at the Chimps, make any sudden movements or have direct eye contact as they may perceive this as an act of aggression.
  11. Stay in a tight group when near the Chimps, and try to sit or squat rather than standing, as this minimizes disturbance. Also be sure that your group does not completely surround the Chimps.
  12. Move to the nearest tree, stand up and hold on tightly to the trunk in the event that a chimp charges (don’t panic or run).


Guidelines for Chimpanzee Viewing

Chimpanzees are the wild animals regardless of being habituated for many years they still the characteristics of the wild animals. The guidelines will help you not provoke them.

  1.  Not make any sudden movements if the chimps move closer than 10m (Simply back away slowly).
  2.  Not use flash cameras.
  3. During chimpanzee trekking do not spend more than one hour with one troop of the chimps.

Start Planning

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Chimpanzee Tracking Safari

3 Days Chimpanzee Trekking Gombe

From $ 880 per person

Chimpanzee Tracking Mahale

3 Days Chimpanzee Trekking Mahale

From $ 2500 per person

Chimpanzee Trekking Tanzania

2 Days Chimpanzee Trekking Gombe

From $ 600 per person

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