Located in the shorelines of Lake Tanganyika in Kigoma Region, Mahale National Park is one of the chimp’s specialist national parks amongst the 2 in Tanzania. The other one is the Gombe Stream National Park.
The national park got its name from the Mahale mountain range that resides in the border of the national park. The mountain range adds more luxury to the beauty of the national park.
The national park is well known for its iconic chimpanzee population and remoteness. Mahale mountainnational park welcomes around 1000-1100 tourists per year. Covering 1650 km² the national park was established in 1979. The vast area of the national park offers a quiet peaceful environment with very less crowd.
It is accessible through the airway and roadways. You can take a charter flight directly to the airstrip of the park.
While chimpanzee tracking is the iconic attraction of the park you can explore various other activities like; forest walking, fishing, snorkeling, and bird watching. The national park is home to few last remaining chimpanzee groups of the African continent.
You can also take a great opportunity of hiking the Nkungwe Mountain’s altitude and capturing the breath-taking view of the misty mountain.
Lake Tanganyika is another attraction of the national park that flows through the park. The lake is the largest clean water lake in Africa. The lake offers a great opportunity of exploring various fish life. Chichild fish that are living in Lake Tanganyika are well known as the smartest fish due to their excellent social behavior.
Chimpanzees are considered as the closest relatives of humans sharing 98% DNA with humans. Many times they act like humans like you can spot them hugging, kissing, playing, and caring for their young like a human. The national park is a great point where some researches on this iconic species are going on and the research is some of the longest researches going on.
Apart from the chimps, you can meet many other primates’ species along with lions. The national park is hence well known as the only land where lions and chimpanzees stay together.
You can also spot some hippos, crocodiles along with a decent amount of colorful birds.
Chimpanzees and Lake Tanganyika.
The park can be visited throughout a year; but the best time is during the dry season (May – November) but can be visited also in wet season (December - April), however you will need additional gears such as rain coat and boot for trekking and walking safari.
May – November
December - April
By Air: Mahale can be reached by chartered flight from Kigoma.Dar es salaam, Mwanza, Arusha or any airport in Tanzania.
By boat: From Kigoma town it takes 3 - 4 hours (by speed motorboat upon priorarrangement with the park), or Twice per month Mv Liemba ferry from Kigoma (8-10 hours) to Lagosa point then arrange a boat with the park to pick you to the park.
By road: From Kigoma to nearby villages through Simbo junction (4 hours) then arrange for boat pick up to the park which takes about half an hour cruising through the lake.
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