Just north of Gombe, perched on the remote western fringes of Tanzania is the picturesque Mahale Mountains National Park. A hidden treasure the park has been the focal point of rich appreciation with conveys that the park is anything but quotidian. Remote, tough and expensive the access the park evokes a surreal feeling with the pristine white sand beaches set to the backdrop of misty mountain ranges, draped in lush vegetations and some stunning waterfalls and the crystal clear Tanganyika lake. Spread over an area of 1,613 sq km (623 sq miles) it is one of the best places going around for spotting the chimpanzees, with nearly 1600 chimpanzees living the Mahale sanctuary. Among the Mahale chimps – the 60 strong Mimikire clan or the M-group is of particular interest to the researchers. The group is not shy of humans so you would be required to wear surgical masks on the chimp safari as the chimps have no immunity to human infections or flu. The park also is home to other nine other species of primates like the yellow baboon, red colobus, blue, red-tailed and vervet monkeys never failing to make their presence felt. Besides the primates, the park is home to 73 other mammal species like roan and sable antelope, mongoose, warthog alongside 355 species of birds including malachite kingfishers, pied kingfishers, and fish eagles, Livingston’s turacos, Narina trogons etc. An occasional lion and leopard can leopard can also be spotted as do hippos are crocodiles in the waters of Tanganyika.
Without a doubt the dry seasons (July to October) are the best time to visit the park. The sun is out and so are the chimps in large numbers. The forested trails are dry and the beach is also alluring when bathed in sunshine. The wet season, from November until May, renders the forest trails muddy and the chimps are hard to track as they spend much of their time in the trees
Besides the chimp safari the park also hosts a bevy of natural attractions, like the scenic beaches, the Mahale range of mountains, magical sunsets, breathtaking array of avifauna species and assorted wildlife. The added feature of Kayaking, snorkelling, hiking and fishing options make the park an irresistible draw for the active and adventurous.
Access to Mahale is by air, road, and boat with the flight option being the most convenient though an expensive proposition. There are several flights flying the route beside four wheelers and boat options. Direct flights are available from Dar or Arusha and visitors can also arrange their own charter flights. You can also get to Mahale via Kigoma through flights
Four wheelers also available.
Direct flights are available from Dar or Arusha and visitors can also arrange their own charter flights.
Boat options also available.