Like the gorillas in Rwanda or the orangutans in Indonesia seeing the chimpanzees is a very thrilling experience. You can have this fabulous face to face experience during your trip to Tanzania.
The Gombe Stream National Park is undoubtedly the best place to see chimpanzees in Tanzania. Covering little more than 50 square kilometres and situated around 15 kilometres from the town of Kigoma, it is the smallest of all the national parks in Tanzania. If the Gombe Stream National Park is the first choice for tourists, it is because it is very easy to get to from Kigoma and also because it was made famous by Jane Goodall.
The entrance fee is quite expensive, 100$ per day plus the cost of a guide, around 20$. The ideal stay is 2 days and 1 night to get the best chance of seeing chimpanzees. As you will probably need to walk a long way in this wonderful tropical forest, you will need sturdy walking shoes and waterproofs. The best time to visit is between July and October or the end of December.
Mahale Mountains National Park is very difficult to get to and so is less well known and less frequently visited than the Gombe Stream National Park. You have to travel 170 kilometres south of the town of Kigoma. Planes also arrive here from Dar Es Salaam, Arusha and Kigoma.
The park covers slightly more than 1600 square kilometres. There are five times as many chimpanzees here as there are in Gombe and the wildlife is far more varied. So, during your visit, you will perhaps be lucky enough to see buffalo, elephants, lions, leopards and practically all the animals present in Tanzania. Another advantage to coming here is the price: 80$ per day plus 20$ for a guide.