Located in the far west of the country on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and home to the best chimpanzee viewing in Africa, Mahale would stake its claim as one of the most exceptional and unique safari destinations on the continent.
The Mahale Mountains National Park is situated on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika in remote western Tanzania. It's spectacularly beautiful, with the backdrop of the Mahale Mountains and lush, tropical flora. The main attraction is walking safaris to observe the chimpanzees who live here. They share their forest paradise with a range of other primates, mammals and beautiful birds.
Overlooked by the Mahale Mountains which run across the park, it is lush, green, and hilly. Most of the park is miombo woodland, with Kasoge forest, riverine forest, montane forest, and montane grassland in some areas. This provides ample habitat for the array of creatures who call Mahale home.
Mahale is most famous for its chimpanzees, which number close to a thousand. One group, in particular, is highly habituated to humans after being studied since the 1960s by Japanese researchers. There are many other animals that live in the forests of Mahale. These include the Colobus monkey, squirrel, porcupine, and mongoose. On the more open savannahs, African favorites such as lion, giraffe, and zebra roam amongst a wide range of antelope.
Best time to visit
Mahale Mountains National Park can be visited throughout the year. The best time to visit is in the long dry season from July to October when the chimpanzees tend to gather in bigger groups, closer to shore. You should still be able to see them in the wet season, it may just require a little more walking.
During the wet season, spectacular thunderstorms over the lake delight visitors! Some camps, however, close during the big rains.