Like its northerly neighbour ‘Gombe Stream’, Mahale is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, with a population of roughly 900. They have been habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1960s.
Tracking the chimps of Mahale is most certainly a magical and unique experience. Watch their hierarchy and social structure unfold before your eyes, noticing the uncanny resemblance to humans in many ways, including emotions shown and family structure.
The best time to visit Mahale is during the dry season from May to October, during which chimpanzees are regularly seen in big groups, however Mahale Mountains National Park is accessible all year round. In addition to trekking to see the chimpanzees, the chain of mountains forming the Mahale Range is home to dense forest teeming with fauna and flora -including the Angola colobus, red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, and countless forest birds. Its landscape includes alpine bamboo woodlands and montane rain forest. Below the beaches of Lake Tanganyika are picturesque, and the local fishermen can be seen fishing as the sun sets on the Lake’s horizon.
Mahale is located in Western Tanzania (to the South of Kigomatown) bordering Lake Tanganyika-the World’s longest, second deepest and least polluted freshwater mass, harbouring an estimated 1000 species of fish.
What to do
Chimp tracking (allow two days)
Hiking to the Park’s highest point “Nkungwe” (8,069ft) held sacred by the local ‘Tongwe’ tribe.
Sports fishing and many more water sports activities
How to get there
Mahale is accessible by air, road and boat. Scheduled and especially chartered flights are available from Dar or Arusha.