Safari & Wildlife

Where Best to Spot Chimpanzees

Where Best to Spot Chimpanzees

We're on a little bit of a BBC Dynasties hype of late, and after Sunday's episode, who can blame us. Getting to know David the Senegalese chimpanzee (no, not our sainted David Attenborough) and his group was every bit as epic as we'd hoped, and we're sure left many of you craving to head out on your own chimp focused adventure.


Lucky for you, we happen to have a team of ape experts who can recommend and organise the trip of a lifetime, trekking to get up close and personal with our wild cousins - with whom we share 98% of our DNA. So without further ado, here are our Africa team's three favourite chimpanzee spotting destinations...


Mahale Mountains, Tanzania

Tanzania's Mahale Mountains National Park is home to the world's largest habituated wild group of chimpanzees and yet it remains a relatively unknown (and consequently unspoilt) destination. For an ultimate trip to Tanzania, pair a safari in the Serengeti and some beach time in Zanzibar with a few days chimp trekking near the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Stay at Greystoke Mahale, your luxury lodge base for the chimp trekking element of your trip. Here we can arrange a private guided hike into the neighbouring mountains, during which you'll cross lush river valleys and bypass tumbling waterfalls as you wind your way through the forest in search of the magnificent chimps.


Kibale National Park, Uganda

In Kibale National Park, join our expert guides for a full day 'nest-to-nest' trek with the resident group of habituated wild chimpanzees. Though there will still be plenty of trekking and searching involved in the day, getting to see the chimps interact and work together to build their nest for that evening is a really unique and special experience. While you're here, Kibale also offers great black and white colobus monkey, red tailed monkey and grey cheeked mangabey spotting. In fact, there are 13 different species of primates found in the park alone, plus a host of more traditional big game too. If that wasn't enough, and to top off Uganda's wildlife wonders, gorillas can also be spotted in nearby Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.


Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda

Deep in the heart of the 386 square miles of pristine tropical rainforest which makes up Nyungwe National Park is a large group of habituated wild chimpanzees. Join our specialist guides and trek into the forest past giant ferns and old mahogany trees to find the chimps, spotting some of the 310 different bird species as you go. For ape aficionados who want to pair chimpanzee trekking with mountain gorilla trekking, Volcanoes National Park in the north of the country is one of our favourite places to do so, and makes Rwanda a one-stop-shop destination for ape activities.