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BEACH MEETS THE BUSH

Western Tanzania

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Western Tanzania is where the bush meets the beach. There are two national parks in western Tanzania: On the shores of Lake Tanganyika are among the best places in the world to track chimpanzees in their natural environment. Gombe Stream National Park protects a hilly stretch of lake shore bisected by forest-fringed streams. Most visitors arrive from the lakeside town of Kigoma by charter boat. Guided forest walks can be easily arranged on arrival, with a near-certainty of encountering chimps in the mornings.

To the south, Mahale Mountains National Park extends across a peninsula of rugged, forested mountains that rise sharply from sandy beaches, through tangled woodland and grassland, to the 2,462-metre-high Nkungwe Peak. Mahale is most famous for its chimpanzees, which are usually seen at close quarters on daily tracking expeditions. Smaller primates, such as red colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys and yellow baboons can also be encountered. There is no road access to the park – most travellers arrive by charter flight from Arusha.

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