Mahale National Park

Set among the spectacular, forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains, the Mahale Mountains National Park was originally created to protect the thousands of chimpanzees that inhabit the region. It is renowned for its fantastic sunsets over Lake Tanganyika, which makes it an essential stop for keen photographers and safari enthusiasts.

The Hunt of Chimpanzee

The famous Mahale mountains sit next to the longest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika. What makes this location extra special is the presence of chimpanzees in the thick forests that cover the mountains. Jane Goodall made the area famous and has done much to highlight awareness of the chimpanzees and promote their conservation.

Close observation by these scientific studies over the years have made the chimpanzees approachable, allowing the unique and rare experience of getting up close to our closest cousins in the animal kingdom, which is the main attraction of coming to this area.

The park’s breathtaking array of habitats include rainforest, grasslands, alpine bamboo and woodlands; where some 50 species of animals have been recorded, predominant among these being representatives from various monkey and ape families, and over 90 unique species of fish swim in the clear waters of the lake. The chimpanzees are not the only feature however, as the lake itself is quite beautiful and home to abundant bird and aquatic life.

When to go

The dry season between June and October is best for the chimps who search for fruits lower down the slopes; it can be hot though. The green season from November to March is ideal for colourful photos and incredibly clear views over the lake.

What to do

  • Hiking for chimps
  • Fishing
  • Relaxing on the shores

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