Located deep within the Great Rift Valley, in the isolated difficult to get to western part of Tanzania lie the Mahale Mountains. This region presents a sheltered habitat for numerous chimpanzees. These mountains are very impressive and are well-known for their remarkable sunsets over the gorgeous Lake Tanganyika as well as Eastern Zaire.
The environment comprises of rainforests on the steeper mountain slopes, in addition to woodland, alpine-bamboo as well as grasslands. The most excellent times to visit this area is starting the month of May all through to October.
This somewhat small park is located half-way up to Lake Tanganyika and just below Gombe-Stream National Park. The park is supposedly one of the least traveled parks in Tanzania It does not have roads, and even though it is small as compared to the other Tanzania parks you will be rewarded with a lifetime experience as you explore this mesmerizing area.
Lake Tanganyika is grand for snorkeling and in addition to prides in ninety cichlid species as well as offers community / village walking plus photography safaris opportunities. Other than the chimpanzee plus the yellow baboon additionally there are several other animals found in this area among which are numerous monkeys like the red tailed, Sykes monkeys. Furthermore, colobus monkeys both the black and white, plus the red, are commonly seen as they often swing from one tree to another, move around and the trees and heard evocative echoing out to each other through the verdant forest. Oh what a memorable experience!
The area is isolated so the only way to access it is by flying. The Rail services across the country towards the lake-region are not very dependable and yet they are quite slow. Accommodation offered is basic with counted usually expensive alternatives for those searching for something more luxurious. Fortunately a number of tour operators in Tanzania handle tours in this area and posses their private tented camps.
Even though the close by Gombe Stream National Park is more well-known than Mahale, the Mahale Mountains offer more spectacular views of chimpanzees as they normally tend to spend more time within the Mahale.
Witnessing the chimpanzees in their verdant natural habitat is such a moving experience. Even if this region is isolated, taking a chimpanzee safari to the Mahale Mountains National Park is very worth the effort. Taking a hike to the chimpanzees’ habitation areas is very accessible and yet not exhausting. However being in very good physical-condition will actually make it very simple for you to walking through the verdant jungle. This encounter will offer you a lifetime experience. The Mahale Mountains although isolated will certainly be an African destination that you definitely not forget.
How to Get to Mahale Mountains
Catch a charter flight from the town of Arusha, Kigoma or Dar Es Salaam. You can travel private or using the motorboat from the town of Kigoma, and this will run for 3 to 4 hours.
there is a Weekly steamer that runs from Kigoma, and it goes for 7 hours, and from there you can hire a traditional fishing boat or alternatively organize with park Head Quarters to be picked up in park-boat, and this will go for one to two hours.
What to do Mahale Mountains
enjoy Chimp tracking best done in two days, hiking, camping safaris, snorkeling, or set out fishing.
When to go Mahale Mountains
the best time to visit is in the Dry season from May to October and this time is ideal for forest walks. However during October and November, the area experiences some slight rains.
Accommodation in Mahale Mountains
There are 3 seasonal luxury-tented camps, large campsite plus two small rest-houses.
Mahale occupies an area around 1600sq km over the far eastern shore on the Lake Tanganyika, southerly of Kigoma. It derives the title by the Mahale ranges and also mountains which edge the park’s boundaries. The region is additionally known as Nkungwe, from the park’s greatest mountain, taken holy within the local Tongwe people, and also at 2,460 metres, the tallest from the 6 notable points that make up the Mahale Range.
Mahale Mountains is a habitat for a number of Africa’s surviving wild chimpanzees: a number of about 800, familiarized with tourists by the help of a Japanese research project started from the 1960s. Many other animals include giant squirrels, porcupines, colobus monkey, mongoose, grysbok, leopards, lions, African wild dogs, kudus, sable antelopes, giraffes, elephants as well as buffalos. Butterflies fly around the park too.
The foot hills on the ranges in addition support different flora varieties with above 500 plants. Particularly, more than 100 of such are ingested by chimps besides other animals. Hike over the montane rainforest, the elevated grassy ridges and alpine forest vegetation.
A plethora of Tanzania safari wild birds are documented in the park. The lakeshore makes the vital home for water birds; the reed swamps, plains and smaller swamps also house a handful of birds. A number of these are; red collared widow birds, crown eagles, mouse birds, bee eaters, rollers, guinea fowls, parrots along with turacos.
The world’s best, deep and also least-polluted lake has a projected many fish varieties.
travel and transport
Charter airfare from Arusha, Dar as well as Kigoma. Boats also are offered on routine departures of 3 to 4 hours. You will find a weekly steam boat that departs Kigoma for the six hour journey. From there, arrange for a fishing boat, alternatively arrange for transfers from the park headquarters just before you arrive.
Things to do
Chimp tracking is done within a couple of days. The guides identify the nests and indistinct clumps from the jungles. Leftovers from half-eaten fruit and fresh dung become valuable evidence, leading deeper to the forest. The experience is simply memorable.
Walk in the low lying forest to find different birds and wildlife. Climbing for the peak on Mt Nkugwe makes another thriller which will go for 2 to 3 days. There is at all times night camping on the mountain in the course of the dry season.
Lake Tanganyika comes with options meant for diving in the vast inland sea. Often the fresh lake waters are best for your swim in addition to sport fishing, however under license alone. Popular fishes caught include the big tiger fish.
Cultural visits to the nearby village towns of Kigoma and Ujiji.
When to go
Dry season from May until October is normally perfect for nature walks along with lighter rains. The surfaces is normally rocky mounting for some 2462 m having a some tracks inside of the park
3 temporary luxurious tented camp sites, two easy resthouses and a large campsite at the mountain.