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Northern Circuit

Mahale Mountains

On the shores of Lake Tanganyika, the oldest and deepest lakes in the world lies a pristine and remote park; the Mahale National Park which holds and protect the largest known population of chimpanzees, the jungle and the mountains. Visiting the park is a gratifying experience as you have a chance to carry game drive, chimp-trekking, hiking, snorkeling and bird watching.



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Mahale Mountains National Park is situated in the western part of Tanzania, bordering Lake Tanganyika. It is renowned for its population of wild chimpanzees and its stunning natural beauty.

The park covers an area of approximately 1,613 square kilometers (623 square miles), encompassing a diverse range of habitats including montane forests, grasslands, and alpine meadows. The towering Mahale Mountains dominate the landscape, providing a dramatic backdrop to the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tanganyika.

Mahale Mountains National Park is home to one of the largest populations of wild chimpanzees in the world, with an estimated population of over 1,000 individuals. Habituated to human presence over several decades of research and conservation efforts, these chimpanzees offer visitors a unique opportunity to observe them up close in their natural habitat.

In addition to chimpanzees, the park is home to other primates such as red colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and blue monkeys. The surrounding forests are also rich in birdlife, with over 350 species recorded within the park, including many endemic and migratory species.

Visitors to Mahale Mountains National Park can participate in guided chimpanzee trekking expeditions led by experienced park rangers. These treks involve hiking through the forest in search of the chimpanzee groups, and once located, visitors can spend a designated amount of time observing them from a safe distance.

In addition to chimpanzee trekking, other activities available in the park include hiking, birdwatching, swimming, snorkeling, and fishing in Lake Tanganyika. The park also offers opportunities for cultural encounters with the local communities, including visits to traditional fishing villages.

Getting There:

The park can be accessed throughout the year by road, water and air.

Road: From Kigoma town the park can be accessed by road 128km (5hrs drive) south, the road running south-east of Lake Tanganyika shore

Air: Using charted flight (Zantas air, Coastal aviation, Air Excel and safari air link) from all major cities and towns

Water: Also can be reached by ship (9-10hrs cruise) via Lake Tanganyika to Lagosa point and then by using boat with 30 minutes cruise to the park. Also there is a public transport at Rukoma village or Mgambo village where you can hire a local boat or arrange with park for boat pick up, or public transport to Park Headquarter.

Park Attractions:

Mahale Mountains National Park is famous for chimpanzees, However there are other attractions like the Lake Tanganyika which is the second oldest freshwater lake in the world ,the second largest by volume and the second deepest in all cases after lake Baikal in Siberia. Other attractions include beautiful varieties of waterfalls like Ntale, Kasiha and Sansa , wild animals like warthogs, mountains and sand beaches


The park experiences two rainy seasons, the short rains (mid October-November) and heavy rains (March to mid may) with an annual range of 1,500 – 2,500mm. The park is located at an altitude between 750 and 2,250 meters.

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