moutain gorilla holidays PHOTOGRAPHY & WRITING BY IAN WOOD

Close Encounters with cats and chimpanzees

And the amazing thing is - this trip offers so much more than just big cats and chimpanzees ! Elephants, hyenas, giraffes, baboons, vervet monkeys, hippos, an array of bird life, bat eared foxes, jackals, huge herds of wildebeest and zebra are all but guaranteed. But our close encounters with lions, cheetahs and chimpanzees make this holiday exceptional. For a limited period of time each year we have permission for off road driving in Ndutu, Tanzania. Hugging the south east border of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, this region offers unique wildlife viewing. Over 300,000 wildebeest are born within a 3 week period and this amount of easy prey never goes unnoticed. We use 2 specially adapted 4 wheel drive vehicles with open top roofs to ensure everyone has the best opportunities to see and photograph the immense amount of wildlife. Numbers are restricted to just 4 people in each vehicle so that we have plenty of space.  We'll also visit the world heritage site of the Ngorongoro crater which is home to some of the greatest densities of wildlife in the whole of Africa before heading onto the lovely Tarangire national park. From here we'll fly across to Gombe Stream National Park, an area of beautiful mosquito free forest that cascades down to the shores of a lake - so big that it appears like an ocean. Mornings will be spent tracking Jane Goodall's long studied troop of over 60 chimpanzees; afternoons offer swimming in the crystal clear waters of lake Tanganyika while baboons wander along the shore. Nowhere else on our planet affords chimpanzee encounters quite like this ! A donation of $400 per person from this trip is given to the Jane Goodall Institute whose work in conservation is legendary.