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Mahale Mountains National Park

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.

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

Snorkeling

Sports fishing and many more water sports activities

PARK REGULATIONS

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.

You Will See

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

100%
Giraffe

Giraffe

50%
Elephant

Elephant

100%
Zebra

Zebra

100%
Lion

Lion

80%

Fox

30%
Wildebeest

Wildebeest

70%
Leopard

Leopard

80%
Hippo

Hippo

90%
White Rhino

Rhino

0%

When to go

Mahale Mountains is accessible throughout the year, however the best time

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Mahale Mountains is accessible throughout the year, however the best time to visit is during the dry season. It is the time when chimpanzees are easily spotted.

Best time to visit:

July to October. There is no rainfall and you can go for trekking without any problem.

Time to avoid:

April and May. As most lodges are closed and your chances to spots the chimps are less.

Art & Culture

Mahale Mountain situated on the eastern shores of Lake Tangayika in the Kigoma region

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Mahale Mountain situated on the eastern shores of Lake Tangayika in the Kigoma region of Tanzania. The Lake is surrounded by four countries –Tanzania and DRC along the east and west coasts, Burundi in the north and Zambia in the south. It is referred as meeting place of Africa where north, east, west and south meet. The lake is a kaleidoscope of culture, nature and landscape.

You can see the influence of Arabia on the design of the wooden boats and dhows which navigate this ancient trade rout, while the life style of inhabitants of the Lake changed little over the centuries.

However, people of the lakeside villages still are closer to their tradition, and fishing is the way of life and still they believe and pay respect for the Spirit of the Lake.

Culinary

The food of the region is similar to the mainland and is truly delicious. For breakfast,

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The food of the region is similar to the mainland and is truly delicious. For breakfast, you can have chai with chapatti, flatbread, Mandasi, or cereals, eggs, and jam. For lunch Ugali, or chapatti bread or pilau along with beans, chiken, veggies such as Mchicha. Dinner gets exquisite with the addition of succulent lamb, beef or goat meats to go with salads, pieces of bread and desserts.

How to go

Mahale Mountains National Park is one of the remote national park of Tanzania.

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Mahale Mountains National Park is one of the remote national park of Tanzania. However, it’s appealing view and surrounding with the chimpanzee makes it one famous tourist destination of Tanzania. However there no road ways available to Mahale Mountains and the only way to visit it is through water ways or air ways.

Waterways:

You have to reach Kimoga first which is 130 km from Mahale from where you can take boat ride to MV Liemba from where you have to reach Lagosa by boat, from where the park’s boat would take you inside the park

Airways:

You can take scheduled flight from Kilimanjaro International Airport found in Arusha city, or Julius Nyerere International Airport to Kigoma Airport from where you can take a chartered flight to the airstrip in Mahale. You can also take have direct chartered flight into a direct chartered flight into Mahale.

Activites

Mahale Mountains National Park is not just for chimpanzee trekking. You can also go for game

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Mahale Mountains National Park is not just for chimpanzee trekking. You can also go for game drives at the Lake Tanganyika, which gives you an experience which is not available at other parks. Other activities you can enjoy at the park are:

  • Birding safari
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkelling
  • Fishing
  • Water sports.

What to see?

Mahale Mountains is world famous for its Chimpanzee. Apart from chimpanzees.

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Mahale Mountains is world famous for its Chimpanzee. Apart from chimpanzees, you can see other animals such as leopards, hippos, crocodiles, monkeys, along with forest birds at Mahale. You also visit the beach on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, watch the breathtaking sun rise and sun set on the horizon of the Lake Tanganyika.

The Uniqueness of Mahale Mountain National Park

  • Mahale Mountains National Park has no roads within the park. You can only walk or sail in the park.
  • Lake Tanganyika is the world's longest freshwater lake.
  • You can track chimpanzees in the wild - there are only around 900 left here.

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