The park like its northerly neighbor Gombe is home to some of the Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, a population of roughly 900, they are habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1960s.
Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience.
Mahale is located in the Western Tanzania to the South of Kigoma town, it is bordering Lake Tanganyika-the World’s longest, second deepest and least polluted freshwater lake-harbouring an estimated 1000 fish species.
Best time to visit the park
The dry season (May -October) is the best period. During this period, chimpanzees are likely to be seen in big groups, the sunshine illuminates the fish in the Lake and the beach is an inviting place to relax. However, Mahale Mountains National Park is accessible all year round. A visit in the rainy season can also be a memorable experience, made remarkable by views of the neighbouring country DR Congo across the water and by incredible lightning storms that light up the lake at night.
- The Chimpanzees
- Chain of Mountains (Mahale range)
- Forest fauna and flora (Angola colobus, red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, forest birds, alpine bamboo, montane rain forest etc).
- Beach along Lake Tanganyika
- Local fishermen
- Sun set on the Lake horizon
What to do
- Chimp tracking (allow two days)
- Hiking to the Park’s highest point “Nkungwe” (8,069ft) held sacred by the local Tongwe people.
- Camping safaris
- Sports fishing and many more water sports activities
Mahale Mountains National Park is home to one of Africa’s most studied chimpanzee populations. The support that visitors give through payment of park entrance fees provides the Park with the means to safeguard and protect this unique population of chimpanzees and the beautiful forest that they inhabit.
Park rules and regulations
- Keep to the authorized trails.
- Do not disturb wild animals in any way. Do not make noise.
- Be considerate to fellow visitors – do not disturb them or the animals they are watching.
- Do not take any pets or guns into the park.
- Do not uproot, pick, cut or damage any plant or be in possession of any part of a plant indigenous to the park.
- Do not light any fire or discard any burning object.
- Do not discard any litter.
- Between 7.00p.m and 6.00a.m remain in the immediate vicinity of designated accommodation facilities (tented camps, tourist bandas, rest house or campsites).
- A permit is valid for single entry within 24 hours only.