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Faces of Africa – The Chimp man of Mahale

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Mwiga Mambo is passionate, about Monkey Business, literally. Mwiga a primatology guide, at the Greystoke Mahale National park knows his chimpanzees; he oozes Knowledge and a deep understanding of the M group chimpanzees of the Mahale National Park. Mwiga knows the characteristics of the primates, their temperaments, the food they eat, age and a lot of other information which he shares freely with any group that he guides.

Mahale National Park is home to around 1,000 chimpanzees.

Mahale Mountains National Park lies at the Western tip of Tanzania, on the shore of Lake Tanganyika, in the greater Mahale Eco system, with the Mahale Mountains National Park at its core. The park covers an area of almost 20,000 square kilometers. This national park is home to around 1,000 chimpanzees. Most significantly, one group of Mahale chimps – the Mimikire clan, the M-group, as they are commonly known, has around 56 chimps.

From a young age, Mwiga knew he wanted to work with chimpanzees and as luck would have it, at the age of 16 years he met Jane Goodall, a world renowned primatologist and anthropologist, who came to give a talk at his school. Jane would give Mwiga a prize and a picture of a chimp for his exceptional knowledge of the primates. With such pedigree, and his insatiable curiosity, Mwiga was always going to become one of Mahale’s top guides.

Mwiga Mambo is one of Mahale’s top primatology guides.

In 1996 his Uncle managed to secure him a job at Greystoke Mahale, helping him realize his childhood dream of working with chimpanzees. He started from the bottom though, as a waiter and housekeeper. Eventually he managed to get out into the forest as a tracker where he spent blissful days following one group after the other as they traversed the forest, observing unique chimpanzee behavior and learning their individual characteristics. To date, he still finds that each day with the chimps brings new discoveries and, as he says, he is a full-time student at the best primate university in the world.

One of the chimps in the Mimikire clan, the M-group, as they are commonly known

Mwiga Mambo has over twenty years’ experience under his belt, on matters Primates at Greystoke Mahale, a place he has known since birth. Mwiga’s family was local royalty – his maternal grandfather was a well-respected Tongwe chief and his grandmother was born in a village not far from where Greystoke sits today. In 1975, 35,000 thousand people including Mwiga’s Family were forced to leave the Mahale area after it was declared a national park.

Mwiga Mambo is passionate about the chimpanzees at the Greystroke Mahale National park

Due to his passion for chimpanzees Mwiga has traveled far and wide sharing his knowledge of Chimpanzees with the world, as knowledge is immortal.

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