Mahale Mountain National Park

Mahale Mountain National Park

Mahale Mountain National Park is located within the depths of Tanzania and unreachable by road transport. It lies just 100 kilometers / 60 miles south from where Stanley spoke the everlasting greeting “Doctor Livingstone, I presume”. The isolated park offers quite a lot to its visitors and is a destination worth visiting as it holds its own natural beauty.

Mahale chjimpanzee trekkingSilky white cove border in the blue waters of beautiful Lake Tanganyika are bordered by silk-white coves. Further inland is a wild verdant jungle with trees towering high into the blue skies on the slopes of the remote inexplicable Mahale Mountains.

Mahale Mountains is habitat to a number of some of the remaining untamed chimpanzees in Africa. The population is estimated to 800, however, just 60 individuals are habituated for human visits and these form a group called the “M group”. The habituation is conducted by a Japanese research project which was established back in the 1960s. Chimpanzee tracking in the Mahale Mountains is such a magical encounter worth trying. If fortunate, your tour guide will show you some of the night nests that the chimpanzees would have used the previous night hanging up in the towering tree canopy. You will come across leftovers of the partially eaten fruits plus fresh dung and these will definitely be helpful clues to the chimps’ trail, leading you deeper into the verdant forest. Beautiful butterflies fly in the mottled sunlight.

suddenly you will find yourself in their midst: cleaning each other’s coats in big clusters, wrangling noisily, or even camouflaging into the verdant trees as they effortlessly swing from one branch to another. Visitors are allowed to approach the chimpanzees to within just a few feet and observe them feed, clean up play about and wrestle across the floor of the forest.

This area is additionally renowned as Nkungwe, named after the largest mountain in the pack which is considered by the resident Tongwe people as sacred. The mountain peak stands at a height of 2,460 meters / 8,069 feet, being the highest of all the 6 outstanding points that constitute the Mahale Range.

Although the chimpanzees are the major attraction in Mahale ranges, the slopes of the mountain support a variety forest wildlife among which are:, the common groups of red colobus monkeys, civet, blue monkeys, yellow baboons, hyrax, bush babies plus the red-tailed monkeys in addition to a kaleidoscopic collection of vivid forest birds.

Fortunately, you can slowly trace-out the pilgrimages taken by the long ago Tongwe people up the mountain as they went to pay respect to the spirits of the mountain, a hike through the verdant montane rainforest strap which is a dwelling for the endemic Angola colobus-monkeys all the way to high grassy edges scattered with alpine bamboo is quite adventurous. Ultimately, you can enjoy a bath in the incredibly clear waters of lake Tanganyika which is the longest, least polluted as well as the second deepest fresh water lake in the entire world. It is approximated that the lake supports close to 1,000 species of fish. At the end of this very memorable adventure you will head back to your place of accommodation.

 

Getting to Mahale National Park

This Park is unreachable by road transport. The finest alternative is to board a weekly steamer which starts from Kigoma which travels for seven hours, thereafter hire one of the local fishing-boats for an extra 1 or 2 hours. On the other hand you can opt for a charter flight that starts in  Kigoma, or in Arusha or in Dar Es Salaam and afterward board a motor boat to Mahale from Kigoma.

trekking mahale mountains

What to do Mahale Mountains
Chimpanzees tracking which is allow for two days, camping safaris, mountain hiking, breath taking sightseeing, fishing or snorkeling.

The best time to visit Mahale Mountains
the finest time to enjoy a safari in the Mahale ranges is in the dry season which is from May to October. This period is very conducive for forest walks. However between October and November, the area is experiencing some short rains.

Accommodation in Mahale Mountains
There are 3 seasonal luxurious tented camps plus 2 small rest-houses and a large campsite to

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