Mahale Mountains National Park


  2 reviews
Chimpanzee. Mahale Mountains National Park
Chimpanzee. Mahale Mountains National Park
About Mahale Mountains National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
1613 km² (623 mi²)
Year established:
1985
Anti-malarial:
Absolutely!
Park wildlife:
  • Famous for its chimpanzees
  • Climb the Mahale Mountain Range
  • Large lake fishing and snorkeling

Mahale Mountains National Park is located in eastern Tanzania, and is one of the smaller parks of this country. Bordered by Lake Tanganyika and diverse with jungles and plains, Mahale Mountains National Park’s main attraction is its chimpanzees. It is the pre-eminent chimp habitats in all of Africa.

Along the water and beaches, there are countless fishing options and snorkeling. Just inland from the water is the Mahale Mountain Range. Its summit at Mt. Nkungwe is a three day trek and worth the trip for its exquisite terrain, adventurous camping, and spectacular views. 

Out on the plains, walking safaris can last for days, where giraffes and hippopotamuses can be spotted.  Four of the big five are also common—lion, elephant, buffalo and leopard—in Mahale.

Visiting with the chimpanzees

Mahale maintains strict regulations on tours to help ensure the survival of its endangered residents. When visiting the chimps, it is forbidden to bring any food, drink or belongings. Backpacks will be left with guides at a safe distance to ensure curious primates are kept safe. The group size is kept small. No more than six people plus a guide are allowed in one group and viewing times are kept to one hour maximum. These rules are very similar to other primate trekking experiences, such as the mountain gorilla trekking in Rwanda and Uganda.

Access to the 1613 km² (623mi²) park is most difficult by car. The recommended route is through Kigoma, and most trips in Tanzania originate in Dar se Salaam. From Kigoma, speedboats can reach the park in about three hours and freight boats can take as long as a day. There are regular flights from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma.  A three day cross country train or car ride from Dar es Salaam is the most feasible terrestrial route to and from the park. 

When is the best time to visit Mahale Mountains National Park?

May through October dry season is the best time to go. October and November, the start of the rainy season, is not terribly wet. 

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Reviewed by:

(4/5 stars) Written on: Jan 04, 2016   |   Visited: Dec 2010.
One of my favorite spots in Tanzania, this park is a bit of a slog to get to (on light aircraft via Tabora and Katavi, then by dhow on Lake Tanganyika), but totally worth the journey. Probably the best chimp trekking experience I've had on the continent, and a fantastic overall experience to boot.

The chimp trekking is somewhat strenuous (it's called Mahale *Mou... read more
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Reviewed by:
** Safari guru **

(3/5 stars) Written on: May 27, 2013   |   Visited: Dec 2011.
Deep inside Tanzania, along the shore of lake tanganyika, lies Mahale National Park. A park famed for "chimping". A bit interior and expensive to visit, our stay was at the greystoke mahale lodge, which is set in the park. From the mahale airstrip the lodge is only accessible by boat on the beautiful lake tanganyika. After an hour of amazing scenery during the boat... read more

I saw

Chimpanzee
Vervet monkey
Warthog
Baboon
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11 people gave this review kudus.
Safari suitability: 8 / 10
Park is very remote, four out of the big five, but the chimpanzee refuge is one-of-a-kind.
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Articles about the Mahale Mountains

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Lion
Lion
Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee
Giraffe
Giraffe
Chameleon
Chameleon
Bushbaby
Bushbaby
Mongoose
Mongoose
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Getting to Mahale Mountains

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Boating / canoeing
Boating / canoeing
Cultural / Tribal visits
Cultural / Tribal visits
Fishing
Fishing
Photography
Photography
Trekking
Trekking
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