Editor's Note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.
Thoughts of the holiday season usually evoke images of snowmen and reindeer, but chimpanzees? Not quite. Natural World Safaris and EvoJets are trying to change that. The companies have teamed up to create an eight-day safari experience complete with private jet transportation.
Exploring the more secluded areas of southern Tanzania, the safari will allow guests to experience both the wildlife encounters and idyllic beaches. And since December is an excellent time for spotting wildlife in Tanzania, particularly the migratory birds that arrive every year, travelers can spend Christmas with the chimpanzees or ring in the new year with the big cats.
The safari will begin with a trip through “big cat country,” where guests are all but guaranteed the opportunity to admire lions, leopards, and cheetahs living among other impressive mammals.
Then, they’re off to the Mahale Mountains National Park to be immersed in the world of more than 1,000 chimpanzees that live there. Following the call of the chimpanzees, guests will trek into the mountains on foot. This lush landscape inspired Disney’s "Tarzan" movie, but more importantly, it offers animal enthusiasts the chance to watch chimpanzees play, fight, groom, and take care of their young. The chimpanzees in this national park are accustomed to seeing humans, so guests can expect some up-close encounters.
After a day of trekking, relaxation awaits at the beachfront Greystoke Camp. This jungle-chic lodge provides a luxurious and private retreat for its guests, with wide-open decks, an open-air bar, and dinner under the stars.
Pricing for the eight-day safari starts at $215,000, with flights from New York City to Tanzania, though guests can also choose to fly from other U.S. cities. If eight days of wildlife and luxury isn’t enough, the company can also bring guests to Zanzibar or Pemba Island and extend the trip to 30 days or even more.
For more information, visit the Natural World Safaris website or check out EvoJets, which also offers a range of other luxury travel experiences.
Jessica Poitevien is a Travel + Leisure contributor currently based in South Florida, but always on the lookout for the next adventure. Besides traveling, she loves baking, talking to strangers, and taking long walks on the beach. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
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