Mahale Mountains National Park may be ignored by most tourists visiting Tanzania, but those wanting to get closer to their closest genetic relative, the chimpanzee, simply have to visit the Mahale Mountains.
The park presents the best chimp tracking experience in Tanzania and visitors also fall in love with its stunning beauty. Better yet, Mahale Mountains is home to some of the glittery sand beaches that Africa is so famous for.
Best time to visit the park
The dry season (May – October) is the best period. During this period, chimpanzees are likely to be seen in big groups, the sunshine illuminates the fish in the Lake and the beach is an inviting place to relax.
However, Mahale Mountains National Park is accessible all year round. A visit in the rainy season can also be a memorable experience, made remarkable by views of the neighbouring country DR Congo across the water and by incredible lightning storms that light up the lake at night.
– The Chimpanzees
– Chain of Mountains (Mahale range)
– Forest fauna and flora (Angola colobus, red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, forest birds, alpine bamboo, montane rain forest etc).
– Beach along Lake Tanganyika
– Local fishermen
– Sun set on the Lake horizon
What to do
– Chimp tracking (allow two days)
– Hiking to the Park’s highest point “Nkungwe” (8,069ft) held sacred by the local Tongwe people.
– Camping safaris
– Sports fishing and many more water sports activities
Where to stay
Mbali Mbali Mahale Lodge
Situated on a stretch of golden sandy beach and overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika the recently refurbished Kungwe Beach Lodge is the perfect blend of comfort and luxury in a romantic setting.
The light, airy and spacious tents are furnished in the traditional ‘safari’ style, with unbeatable sunsets over the mountains of Congo. In the gathering darkness fishermen’s lanterns light up across the lake, mirroring the stars above.
Candlelit dinners are served either on the beach or in our dining area, to the unique sounds of Africa – beetles, crickets and the night calls of chimpanzees, the perfect way to relax after a perfect day! As well as being famous for chimpanzee tracking, this part of Lake Tanganyika offers some of the best fresh water fishing in Tanzania.
Here you can catch ‘Sangara’ (Nile Perch), ‘Kuhe’ (Yellow Belly) to name just a few. So be it a strenuous chimpanzee trek, a scenic boat trip, an adventurous fishing excursion or just time spent relaxing on cushioned sun beds while listening to the lapping of the waves, your stay at Kungwe Beach Lodge will be a memorable experience to take away with you.
On a white sandy beach at the foot of the Mahale Mountains, overlooking Lake Tanganyika, Greystoke Mahale is exceptional in a way that must be seen to be believed.
The Mahale Mountains are home to one of the largest populations of chimpanzees in Africa. Each day, you’ll be just feet away from them as they go about their daily lives, while they remain entirely indifferent to your presence.
Home at Greystoke Mahale is in exotic open-fronted rooms, looking out across the soft sand beach and crystal-clear water. The lake is mesmerizing, the air scented and the living very easy indeed.