Mahale is undisputedly the best place for an encounter. The park is home to Africa’s eastern most population of wild chimpanzee, with about 600 individuals in 15 groups. They have been fully habituated to human visitors after a Japanese research project in the 1960’s.

Other primates whose shrieks echo from the slopes are the red and Angola colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys and yellow baboon. But there’s more to a visit than just monkeys. Alongside the western shore tame warthogs and bush pigs wander around, with the occasional giraffe or even the rare roan and sable antelope to spice things up. With Katavi National Park less than 100 km away, several mammals are believed to roam between Mahale and its neighbor. Butterflies sprinkle the park with colour, while bird species such as the bamboo warbler and Stuhlman’s starling are seen nowhere else in Tanzania.