Mahale Mountain National Park : Mahale Mountain National Park is an ultimate beautiful safari destination that rewards every sight of the visitor on visit, it is located on the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika in Kigoma region of Tanzania. However, the park was named after the Mahale Mountains range that sits within its borders. More so, Mahale Mountains national park is one of the two protected areas for chimpanzees in the country which is Gombe Stream National Park a home also to chimpanzees and other species, a famous destination where Dr. Jane Goodall made her researcher about chimpanzee population and training them to get used to human eye contact.
Furthermore, Mahale Mountains National Park renown as a home to the largest population of eastern chimpanzee and due to its size and remoteness it’s the great reason why chimpanzee population is increasing. The park is also a place where chimpanzees and lions co-exist.
Mahale Mountain National park is among the few accessible areas in Africa to be adventure by foot, note there no roads within the park boundaries and the easiest way in and out of the park is via boat on the lake.
Traditionally, Mahale mountains ranges were inhabitant of the Batongwe and Holoholo people who used to reside here in 1987 respectively. But after establishment of Mahale Mountains Wildlife Research Center these tribes had to be expelled way from the park which was officially opened in 1985.These people were highly attuned to the natural environment due to no impact on the ecology.
Mahale Mountain national park was created to protect the huge population of chimpanzees that inhabits the region. Still a great location for the remarkable sunsets over Lake Tanganyika which makes it a stopover for photographer lovers and safari enthusiasts.
Originally, Mahale, offers breathtaking array of habits including rainforest, grasslands, alpine bamboo and woodlands where more than 50 species of animals have been recorded among these being representative from various monkey species and chimpanzee families and over 100 fish species that inhabits Lake Tanganyika.
Mahale Mountain National Park gazette in 1985 and covers about 1,500 square kilometers of its fertile land on the eastern shores of deepest Lake in Africa and second deepest in the world named as Lake Tanganyika.
Below are gorgeous activities to be done on visit to Mahale Mountain National Park as follows;
They include; Chimpanzee tracking /viewing, hiking and nature walk, Aerial view of Lake Tanganyika shore, Sundowners on Lake Tanganyika, boating on Lake Tanganyika, Kayaking, Forest walks, Snorkeling, bird watching, hiking up the Mountain, Camping safaris among others.
The park famously known as a home for great apes which are habituated to human eye contact after being studied by Japanese researchers.
Guided walking safaris is the best way to encounter these unique species in their natural habitat. Please always follow rules and regulations given in order to protect both the environment and the chimpanzees as the better way to make the place a famous safari destination. Other wildlife to see include Colobus monkeys, squirrel, porcupine and mongoose.
Snorkeling; You can enjoy snorkeling at stunning Lake Tanganyika as you dive under deep water and experience unique sights species that inhabits the lake.
Sport fishing; You can do fishing experience at Lake Tanganyika a home of several water species and the better way is to carry your fishing equipment or you can hire them here at the park.
Game viewing; Game viewing can be done in an open savannah grassland where you can be able to adventure lion, giraffes and zebra roaming around.
Getting to the park
Mahale lies in the remote areas which makes it uncrowded in all seasons. And the easiest way to get there is by air, during peak season from June to October, you can decide to book a scheduled flight from Arusha and Dar es Salaam which is 3 to 5 hours to the Mahale Airstrip are available. Then during low season flight are less regular. You can as well book a Charter flights for your easy movement to access the park.
By road; The road is rough especially during rain seasons. From Arusha to Kigoma, it takes about two to three days by car.
By boat; You still reach the park by water transport, right from Kigoma with speedboat which takes 4 to 6hours ride. If to use timber boat takes 15 hours to access Mahale Mountain national park. In a week, the MV Liemba and a large steamship travels twice a week from Kigoma ‘’10hours’’.
Best time to visit –Mahale Mountain National Park is all year around though the best time is in dry season which starts from May to October, the better way to watch chimpanzee’s species on large groups and from the beach as you enjoy overlooking the crystal blue water.
Where to stay at Mahale Mountain National Park
While at Mahale Mountain National Park, you can sleep in comfortable lodges such as Mbali Mbali Mahale Lodge and so many others, you staying here have a great chance of viewing the chimpanzees at close view in their nature environment which is once a lifetime experience.