The Mahale Mountains rise just beyond the beaches of Lake Tanganyika, home to the world’s largest known population of chimpanzees, with approximately 1000 individuals inhabiting the national park. This unique location is unserviced by roads, the only way in is by boat or aircraft. From beachside camps guests venture up into the forested slopes to observe and commune with chimp families as they groom , wrestle and forage across the leafy floor. The forest itself is special, with eight other species of primate, shyer forest mammals, birds, butterflies, giant vines and waterfalls. Treks are only in the early morning and the amount of time depends on where the chimps are located - sometimes close to the camp but sometimes high in the mountains. The actual visit is limited to an hour and guests that have any bacterial infection or virus are forbidden by the park authorities from entering the park (in order to protect the health of the chimps).
The beachside camps are relaxed and comfortable, in the shade of fig trees and with easy swimming in the lake. Relax in the afternoon, or take a gentle forest hike, swim or snorkel in the clear lake water, kayak along the lakeshore, or hire a boat to fish (there are over 250 species of cichlid). In the evening enjoy candlelight dinners and drinks in the setting sun, with the feeling of a castaway on a far foreign shore.
NOTE: This itinerary is only available on Monday (4 days) or Thursday (5 days), due to limited air options.
Kensington Tours has its own offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and Arusha, Tanzania. We also have our own tented camps (www.kensingtoncamps.com). Our prices include the support of our own dedicated team on the ground! Another reason we deliver unbeatable value.
Airport transfer with private vehicle and guide.
Relax during this charter flight departing Arusha, and arriving in Mahale, Tanzania. This flight will make multiple stops during the approximate 4 hour travel period.
Luggage restriction applicable to this flight: 15kg (32 lb) per person, for both carry-on and checked luggage. Your checked luggage needs to be soft-sided - no wheels / no spine, a duffel bag is recommended. A small purse/backpack, is recommended as a carry-on, to keep your camera, passport, hat, sunblock or other items you need within easy reach.
While you are in the care of Kensington Tours, your safety and security are our number one priority. As such, in the unlikely event of serious illness or injury, all Kensington Tours clients are covered by “Flying Doctors” Insurance policy. This emergency evacuation insurance covers the cost of the evacuation flight back to Nairobi for treatment. This insurance policy however DOES NOT cover the cost of any medical treatment received. We highly recommend travel insurance for full coverage.
A morning hike into the mountains to visit a chimpanzee family. There is only 1 chimp trek per full day, and time spent with the chimps is 1 hour only - but the trekking time is variable depending whether the chimps are close to camp or are up in the mountains. Most guests will see the chimps at least once but a sighting is not always guaranteed. Each group has a maximum of 6 people per group. Any guest showing symptoms of any contagious disease (viral or bacterial) will NOT be able to go into the forest in order to protect the health of the chimps.
Please Note: The chimps come down off the mountain or cross the river in August & September. Please note that this can be a strenuous hike.
Enjoy optional activities at your camp, including swimming in Lake Tanganika, snorkelling, kayaking, or relaxing on the beach. Other activities may be booked at the camp (not included in tour price) include fishing or a boat safari along the shore. Park fees included.
Relax during this charter flight departing Mahale, and arriving in Arusha, Tanzania. This flight will make multiple stops during the approximate 6 hour travel period.
Time permitting, visit a local handicrafts market to stock up on souvenirs.
Airport transfer between your Arusha hotel and Kilimanjaro International airport with private vehicle and english speaking driver.
Overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika with breathtaking sunsets, on a stretch of golden sandy beach, the recently refurbished Kungwe Beach Lodge is the perfect blend of comfort and luxury in a romantic setting. The camp is run on solar power, making it a quiet stay in an untouched and unique landscape.The 7 double-bedded tents, 2 twin-bedded tents and triple-bedded tents are light, airy and spacious and are furnished in traditional ‘safari’ style, with unbeatable sunsets over the mountains of Congo. Enjoy a breakfast buffet in the morning, buffet meal at lunch and a delicious three course dinner in the evening. Barbeque dinners are served on the beach and packed snacks are available for guests going chimpanzee trekking. Activities in and around the camp include chimpanzee trekking, forest walks, bird watching, swimming and snorkeling, kayaking and more! For guests wishing for something a little more low key, board games and books are also available.
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
Nathan Nerland ,
December 15, 2014
"Kensington Tours is always our only guided company we use because every staff has been amazing along the way and they accommodate everything we request, and more."
December 12, 2014
"Our week-long tour in Morocco went without a hitch in the company of a great driver and knowledgeable guide who were always prompt, courteous, helpful, and very nice. Kensington Tours' picks for our overnight accommodations were excellent, as well as the excursions planned for us. We're grateful to our conscientious agent, Lily, who went out of her way to make us feel welcome in Morocco. We feel confident that we are in very capable hands whenever we travel with Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"Our trip was a perfect 10 - exceeding all expectations! Starting with Christine Willner's attentiveness to our wish list and balancing it to our budget, every leg and element of our journey took place without so much as a hiccup. We were blown away by the quality of our tours, accommodations and guides. Thank you for giving us a great experience and wonderful memories!"
Rebecca Warren ,
August 02, 2014
"My 26 year old daughter recently traveled alone to Madagascar using Kensington tours. I was a little concerned about her safety and wanted to make sure that she would be well taken care of. Kensington was great from start to finish. Our travel agent, Marc Sisson, put together the tour in very short order with very little notice, had no problem doing it for just one person, and gave me a sense of security that my daughter would be well cared for. She did the Anjajavy 5 Day Beach extension. The tour guide who picked her up at the airport in the capitol city was outstanding -- very knowledgeable and helpful. The Anjajavy hotel was extraordinary. Her pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. She kayaked, swam in the ocean and saw lemurs feeding. She got to practice her French with the outstanding hotel manager and otherwise was able to just relax and unwind. She described the experience as "visiting Eden." I highly recommend Kensington. I contacted a number of tour/travel agencies and none of them compared to Kensington. "
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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