Mahale Mountains National Park is located in western Tanzania to the south of Kigoma town. The park lies on the shores of Lake Tanganyika which is the world’s longest and second deepest freshwater lake. At Mahale, mountain forests cascade down to the shore of Lake Tanganyika, mist-covered mountain peaks stand tall in the background and the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tanganyika beckon you to beaches covered by the finest powderlike white sands.
Mahale is one of the best places in the world to encounter chimpanzees up-close; it is home to about 900 chimpanzees. Although the park is accessible throughout the year, the dry season(May -October) is the best time to visit; during this season the undergrowth is less dense and the chimps come down from the trees.
Apart from chimpanzee tracking, you will also enjoy snorkeling, kayaking, and basking in the beaches along Lake Tanganyika; the forests are also rich in birds, so bird watching is also on the menu. In the evening you will enjoy magical sunsets as the sunsets over the mountains across the lake.
If you have additional time you will hike to the top of Mount Nkungwe (2462m) which is the park’s highest peak. Although encounters with animals are rare you will still be accompanied by an armed ranger during the hike because elephants, giraffes, roan antelopes, sable antelopes, warthogs, and lions are known to wander around the eastern slopes of the mountain. Usually, the climb can be done in two or three days.
Popular activities inside Mahale National Park
Mahale’s over 900 protected chimpanzees are the main attraction inside the park. Hike to Mount Nkungwe (2462m) which is the Mahale’s highest peak. Snorkel and dive in the clear water along the shore of Lake Tanganyika.