Exploring Africa's Wildlife And Wild Places

Chimpanzee Trekking Guide Video, Part Two

by David Tett
May 4, 2017

Chimp Trekking, Greystoke Mahale, photographed by Samantha Barbitta

If you've ever wondered why people love primate safaris, watch top chimpanzee trekking guide, Mwiga Mambo in this video as he tells his story of a very clever female chimp at Greystoke Mahale.

Guides like Mwiga are the reason our travelers come home from Africa inspired not only by the wildlife, but by the people who reveal it to them.  Mwiga has spent much of his life in the forests of Mahale and is the camp's resident chimpanzee expert, following in the steps of his uncle, Kasakampe, who worked for the original Japanese research team from Kyoto University in the 1960's.

When you visit Mahale, your specialized chimpanzee trekking guide will take you on a two to three hour walk into the forest in search of the chimpanzees. While much of the walking follows forest trails, you should be prepared for the occasional scramble through foliage when you are chimpanzee trekking. Once you've located them, you'll enjoy an hour observing their interactions and antics, all the while wearing a face mask to prevent transmitting human diseases to the chimpanzees.

Mahale Mountains National Park is the largest protected area for wild chimpanzees in Tanzania, and the Japanese research project that began in 1965 is the second longest continuous field study of chimpanzees in the world. Thus, the habituated chimpanzees at Mahale are used to the presence of humans, and will go about their business while ignoring you, sometimes in very close proximity. The guides and trackers, too, are very familiar with the animals' individual temperaments based on years of observation, as you can tell when you watch Mwiga tell his story about this charming "towel thief," a companion video to "the romantic chimp" video.

 "They think, they watch, and then they learn." -Mwiga Mambo

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Topics: Conservation & Wildlife, Our Field Experts

Posted in: Conservation & Wildlife, Our Field Experts

AUTHOR BIO  |David Tett

Bushtracks' Founder & Owner is a sixth-generation Southern African, born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe, later earning a Bachelor of Science degree in DNA technology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He founded Bushtracks Expeditions in 1989 and has been traveling extensively throughout Africa for more than 45 years. Combining his interest in ecosystems and the varied ecology of Africa with photographic safaris, he develops educational programs that include traditional cultures and wildlife. He is keenly interested in how nature tourism affects rural African communities and has worked with several projects that successfully integrate communities, the environment, and wildlife viewing.