Mahale National Park rules and regulations are the various rules and regulations put in place to protect and conserve the wildlife in Mahale National Park, especially the chimpanzees, as well as the park and the travellers who do visit the park. Mahale National Park is home to one of most studied chimpanzee populations in the world, thanks to immense support by the concerned government and private entities, as well as the travellers whose funds in form of Mahale National Park fees. There are a number of Mahale National Park rules and regulations that travellers ought to follow, to protect themselves and the nature and wildlife of the park. Below are some of the rules and regulations in Mahale National Park that travellers ought to follow;
- Travellers ought to keep to the authorized trails created in the park, at all times.
- Do not disturb wild animals in any way. Travellers are not expected to make noise in the park as this stresses out the animals especially chimpanzees in Mahale National Park.
- Do not take firearms into the park.
- Do not take pets into the park. The park is only for wild animals, and not domestic or pets.
- Do not destroy the park, leave it as you find it. Do not uproot, pick, pluck, cut or damage any plant in the park.
- Do not smoke in the park. Smoking in the park is prohibited, and travellers can only do so in designated smoking areas, especially in the lodges and camps of stay and not in the park, during any activity in the park. Smoking in the park risks setting the park ablaze, destroying the park and its inhabitants.
- Do not litter in the park. Keep all your rubbish including food wraps with you until you find a rubbish bin to dispose of it.
- Mahale National Park is open from 6am and 6pm, so travellers ought to work around that set time or risk being closed out or not be let in before the time.
- Mahale National Park entrance permits are valid for only 24 hours, beyond that travellers are supposed to pay for another day.
Given that chimpanzee trekking is the most done activity in Mahale National Park, there are rules and regulations in place to safeguard both the chimpanzees and the travellers who do track them. Below are the chimpanzee tracking regulations to be followed in Mahale National Park;
- Maintain a distance of at least 10m from the chimpanzees at all times. Keeping a distance of 10m reduces the risk of transmitting bacteria and other illnesses to the chimpanzees should the travellers be sick unknowingly.
- Always wear a mask over your nose and mouth when near the chimpanzees.
- Do not eat or drink while near the chimpanzees. Eating should be done at least 250m away from the chimpanzees. Chimpanzees can easily grab at what you are eating, or even get stressed over it.
- Do not leave personal belongings on the ground or where your belongings are easily accessible to the chimpanzees. Given the curious nature of the chimpanzees, they just can take your belongings and with your belongings being exposed, the chimpanzees are prone to getting illnesses from your belongings since they are foreign materials in the park.
- Do not sneeze or cough near the chimpanzees. Should you feel the urge to do so, please make sure to cover your nose and mouth to reduce the distribution and spread of germs to the chimpanzees.
- Should you feel the urge to make use of the toilet, kindly excuse yourself at least 250m away from the chimpanzees and have your guide help dig for you a hole after which you should make sure to cover properly after.
- Chimpanzee tracking is only for persons 12 years and above, given children below that age are a risk to the chimpanzees as they can easily transmit transmittable diseases like measles, cough and flue among others.
- Do not visit the chimpanzees should you be sick. If you do fall sick on the day of tracking, you are advised to forego the chimpanzee tracking adventure and have the permit rescheduled to when you are fine again.
- Only 6 travellers at a time can visit the chimpanzees per Chimpanzee trekking session.
- A maximum of 1 hour of viewing is allowed to travellers to see the chimpanzees in their natural habitat.
- Avoid direct eye contact with the chimpanzees, as the chimpanzees can perceive this as a threatening gesture.
- Do not use flash cameras while chimpanzee tracking
Mahale National Park is one of the best kept secrets of Tanzania that travellers can visit especially for amazing chimpanzee tracking adventures. Get in touch with a reputable tour operator to help you put together an amazing chimpanzee tracking safari. You could combine your chimpanzee tracking safari with a Tanzania safari tour in the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and beyond.