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Special Tours

Bagamoyo

Bagamoyo offers you a rich historical past and endless white sandy beaches with a sea changing colours from aquamarine, turquoise to azure blue.

The town of Bagamoyo was once a thriving, rich cultural town for the Sultanate. Enriched by ancient architecture and culture, the character of Bagamoyo suggests that history is standing still and is indeed a tentative UNESCO world heritage site.

Fancy a trip to the past and retrace the steps of the legendary explorers like David Livingstone. Bagamoyo tourist attractions include the Kaole Ruins and the first Roman Catholic Church in East Africa.

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 stylisations. To the human listener, walking through the ancient forests of Gombe Stream, this spine-chilling outburst is also an indicator of imminent visual contact with man's closest genetic relative: the chimpanzee.

Gombe is the smallest of Tanzania's national parks: a fragile strip of chimpanzee habitat straddling the steep slopes and river valleys that hem in the sandy northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Its chimpanzees - habituated to human visitors - were made famous by the pioneering work of Jane Goodall, who in 1960 founded a behavioural research program that now stands as the longest-running study of its kind in the world.

The matriarch Fifi, the last surviving member of the original community, only three-years old when Goodall first set foot in Gombe, is still regularly seen by visitors.

Chimpanzees share about 98% of their genes with humans, and no scientific expertise is required to distinguish between the individual repertoires of pants, hoots and screams that define the celebrities, the powerbrokers, and the supporting characters.

Perhaps you will see a flicker of understanding when you look into a chimp's eyes, assessing you in return - a look of apparent recognition across the narrowest of species barriers.

The most visible of Gombe's other mammals are also primates. A troop of beachcomber olive baboons, under study since the 1960s, is exceptionally habituated, while red-tailed and red colobus monkeys - the latter regularly hunted by chimps - stick to the forest canopy.

The park's 200-odd bird species range from the iconic fish eagle to the jewel-like Peter�s twinspots that hop tamely around the visitors' centre.

After dusk, a dazzling night sky is complemented by the lanterns of hundreds of small wooden boats, bobbing on the lake like a sprawling city.

About Gombe Stream National Park

Size: 52 sq km (20 sq miles), Tanzania's smallest park.
Location: 16 km (10 miles) north of Kigoma on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania.

Getting there
Kigoma is connected to Dar and Arusha by scheduled flights, to Dar and Mwanza by a slow rail service, to Mwanza, Dar and Mbeya by rough dirt roads, and to Mpulungu in Zambia by a weekly ferry. From Kigoma, local lake-taxis take up to three hours to reach Gombe, or motorboats can be chartered, taking less than one hour.

What to do
Chimpanzee trekking; hiking, swimming and snorkelling;
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 wet 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.

NOTE
Strict rules are in place to safeguard you and the chimps. Allow at least 2 days to see them - this is not a zoo so there are no guarantees where they'll be each day

Gorilla Trekking

Under guidances from the best, most highly trained people for the job, you find yourself face-to-face with something that seems so unequivocally human, it takes your breath away. Trekking through dense rainforest and that early start are totally worth it for the privilege of an hour with these fascinating mammals. Youngsters may show off and huge silverbacks may beat their chests, but nothing beats just witnessing a gorilla family as they go about their daily business, chomp on bamboo, and watch you in return. It is no wonder that a gorilla trekking safari is often referred to as 'the most memorable in the world'.


Best Time to Visit
It is possible to track the mountain gorillas throughout the year, however there are wet seasons between March to April and October to November. Wetter conditions can mean that the trekking conditions are a bit more difficult and the gorillas sometimes hide a bit more to shelter from the increased amount of rain.

Safaris Available
We offer a range of safari options for trekking to see the mountain gorillas in Uganda and Rwanda. We are happy to design you a bespoke safari, or you can join a small group safari - great for solo travellers or those who wish to travel with like-minded people.

No other wildlife encounter can match the awe-inspiring experience that is a mountain gorilla trekking safari. As face-to-face encounters go, which only takes place in very select locations in East Africa and involving animals quite literally on the brink of extinction, gorilla trekking is for sure a life-changing & once-in-a-lifetime experience. Our expert knowledge means we can put you in the right place at the right time to meet these wonderful animals in their natural environment. Having started as World Primate Safaris back in 2005, you know you are in the perfect hands, whatever your needs and wants. Make sure you become one of the special few who get to meet the gorillas in their own homes within Uganda or Rwanda.

About Mountain Gorillas
Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of the Eastern gorilla living in the Virunga Mountains across Uganda Rwanda and the DRC, as well as the Bwindi Forest of Uganda. With just 840 left in the wild after severe poaching and dwindling habitat, witnessing the few reachable groups in these areas is, for most, a once in a lifetime experience.

Predominantly ground dwelling, mountain gorillas prefer open canopy forests that allow light to reach the forest floor; their diet consists of bamboo, roots, stems, leaves and vines. Female gorillas actively choose their breeding partners as the male protection is essential to a successful reproductive cycle. Communication varies between barks, screeches, pant grunts and chest beating. Movement is usually on all fours via "knuckle walking". Group size varies from 2-30 individuals but a common average is 9. Mountain gorillas have a fairly limited home range, making them easier to track and habituate for tourism and research possibilities.



Similar to a human fingerprint, mountain gorillas can be identified by their completely unique nose print. They have large jaws and teeth and long black hair that is often thicker and longer than the other species so they can survive in the colder, mountainous temperatures. Adult males can weigh up to 200kg and be up to 6ft tall, females can be half the size with an average weight of 100kgs and height of 4 foot 11 inches when standing upright.

Level of Protection
Critically Endangered.
Recent efforts have seen the population increase from 650 to 840 mountain gorillas. Habitat is under constant threat from logging and civil unrest in DRC. Poaching is also still a threat.

Mombasa Beach... Sultry, dusty Mombasa is the gateway to Kenya's sparkling Indian Ocean coast. Crammed onto an island that is connected to the mainland by a short causeway to the west, a bridge to the north and a ferry to the south, this distinctly tropical city is steeped in history. Its chunky fort, historic houses and cosmopolitan population bear witness to its long pedigree as a trading centre: Swahili, African, Indian, Chinese, Omani and British traders have been striking deals here since the 12th century, and dhows (traditional sailing boats) still ply the surrounding waters.

Beach: 
Mombasa's best suburban beach, Nyali, just north of Mombasa Island, is close enough to town to get busy at weekends. Here you can lounge on pale, palm-shaded sand, hire windsurfing or snorkeling equipment, drink coconut juice fresh from the shell, take a camel ride along the shoreline or visit the Mombasa Marine National Park. Water sports centers at or near resort hotels also rent pedalos, bogie boards and catamarans. Some places even offer accredited diving courses.

Beyond the beach: 
Mombasa's Old Town, a maze of alleyways dotted with historic Swahili houses and mosques, is engrossing to explore on foot. Presiding over the harbour entrance is the late 16th-century Fort Jesus, a chunky coastal defence built by the occupying Portuguese to keep the coastal Swahilis at bay; it has battlements to climb, and a small ethnographic museum to nose around. Central Mombasa's signature landmarks are the gigantic aluminium elephant tusk arches on Moi Avenue: they commemorate a visit by Britain's Princess Margaret in 1956.

Family fun: 
Central Mombasa is not an obvious family destination, but kids may enjoy a visit to Fort Jesus; they'll also love splashing around in the pools of the suburban beach hotels, snorkelling off Nyali Beach, and spotting elephants and zebras on a day trip to Shimba Hills, 33km (21 miles) southwest of town.

Exploring further: 
Many visitors to Mombasa build a safari into their stay. The closest destination is Shimba Hills National Reserve, 33km (21 miles) southwest of town. This is one of East Africa's last remaining coastal rainforests, where elephants wander through the morning mist and you stand a good chance of seeing rare and magnificent sable antelopes. With more time to spare you could head inland to Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, 140km (87 miles) northwest of Mombasa, which together form one of the largest game-viewing areas in the world. Far less crowded than Kenya's more popular parks, they are home to lions, hippos, elephants, zebras and a great many species of antelope and gazelle.

Splashing out: 
On special request, you can explore Mombasa harbour in style aboard a traditional dhow. For a real treat, book a private sunset cruise. The crew will do all the work, leaving you free to relax on a pile of cushions with a dawa (the classic Swahili cocktail of vodka muddled with brown sugar, honey and lime) and enjoy the gentle lapping of the waves against the wooden hull.

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