Gombe Stream National Park.
An excited whoop erupts from deep in the forest, boosted immediately by a dozen other voices, rising in volume and tempo and pitch to a frenzied shrieking crescendo.
It is the famous ‘pant-hoot’ call; a bonding ritual that allows the participants to identify each other through their individual vocal stylizations.
To the human listener, walking through the ancient forests of Gombe Stream, this spin-chilling outburst is also an indicator of imminent visual contact with the man’s closest genetic relative: the chimpanzee.
Size: 52 sq km.
Location: 16 km north Kigoma on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania.
Getting there: There are connected scheduled flights from Dar to Kigoma or chartered flights from Arusha and Mwanza.Also by slow rail service from Dar to Kigoma.
What to do: Chimpnazee trekking; hiking, swimming and snorkeling, visit the site of Henry Stanley’s famous “Dr Livingstone I Presume “at Ujiji near Kigoma, and watch the renowned dhow builders at work.
When to go: The chimps don’t roam as far in the west season (February-June, November-mid December) so may be easier to find, better picture opportunities in the dry (July-October and late December).
Accommodation: 1 new luxury tented lodge, as well a self-catering hostel, guest house and campsites on the lakeshore