Gombe or Mahale???

Oct 23rd, 2007, 05:22 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Gombe or Mahale???

Trying to decide between these two. Seems easier to get to Gombe, but I have heard that the treks to see the chimps at Gombe is a bit steeper and more strenuous than Mahale. Gombe combines with Kigoma and Mahale with Katavi. We then go on to the northern circuit. Time frame is late August 08. We're in fairly good shape, but is this something to consider. Better chance of seeing the chimps at one vs the other? I know seeing the chimps is no guarantee. Thoughts?
hymjr is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:09 AM
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Note: Plans are underway, if not already in effect, to charge a daily permit fee to visit the chimps at Mahale. And, maybe only 1/visit (max. 6/guests) will be permitted during your 3-4/day stay at Mahale. Something to check when inquirying and making your decision.
sandi is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 02:39 PM
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But not so for Gombe??? I guess that would pretty much lean in favor of Gombe. Any ideas about one trip more strenuous than the other?
hymjr is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 06:07 PM
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We just returned from Mahale last month,and were able to trek for chimps on two successive days.On day 1,we hiked up the side of the mountain for about 3 hours and about 2800 feet of vertical-strenuous,but worth the trek.That evening the chimps quickly moved down to our camp,so the next day we found them not 15 minutes away,but spread out more and not in their nests as they were way up the mountain-so you will probably see them but no guarantee as to where!
toontowndoc is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 01:07 AM
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Mahale is supposedly a lot easier than Gombe. It is unlikely that the new restrictions and fees will only be at Mahale.
At Gombe I understand that the only camp in the park is run by Chimpanzee Safaris, judging by my experience with them at Mahale I could not trccomend them. It may also be of interest to know that the same owners run 18 hunting camps in Tanzania.
Oct 24th, 2007, 05:09 AM
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Can you elaborate as to why you would not recommend Chimpanzee Safaris? I've already gotten a reply from them that my dates may not be available, so I may have to pursue Mahale if I want to see the chimps. I also think there are other opeators of accommodations beside Chimpanzee Safaris at Mahale. Anyone have experience or recommendations at Mahale? And opinions about the effort level of the treks at either location?
hymjr is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Contact Nomad's or have your TA do so, to coordinate with air and land. The Nomad's camp at Mahale is Greystoke, which is pricey.

Nomad's also runs flights out of Arusha on either Monday (for 3/nt stay) or Thursday (for 4/nt stay). If you're in the Serengeti prior heading to Mahale, flight can arrange flight from here via Arusha. Return from Mahale gets you into Arusha about 4:30pm, so unless you're departing that night from Kilimanjaro (JRO), you'll probably require an overnight.

Flights are in small aircraft, about 4-4.5/hr flight time. They may stop midway for fuel.
sandi is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 08:39 AM
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Here's a trip report with Gombe http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35019570

Aside from Nkungwe (Chimpanzee Safaris), there's Greystoke (Nomad) and the Flycatcher Safaris camp in Mahale. There are some past threads about the first two but very few comments about the Flycatcher camp.




On your other thread you mentioned you're scheduled to fly into DAR. The shared charters to/from Mahale depart from Arusha, so getting there from Dar would be more complicated vs heading to Selous as on your original itinerary.
Patty is offline  
Oct 24th, 2007, 08:58 AM
Join Date: May 2006
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I was just at Nkungwe in Mahale, and would be happy to answer any questions, but I have never been to Gombe so cannot offer any comparisons.

jenack is offline  

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