Mahale Mountains National Park : Mahale is a remote, wonderful Tourist destination with steep, lush woods, lakeside beaches, and some of Africa’s best chimp safaris. This is a must-see safari attraction in your Africa safari tour. The Mahale Mountains National Park, nestled among the magnificent, forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains, was established to conserve the region’s thousands of chimps. It’s famous for its spectacular sunsets over Lake Tanganyika, making it a must-see for photographers and safari fans.
The park’s diverse habitats include rainforest, grasslands, alpine bamboo, and woodlands, with over 50 kinds of animals reported, the majority of which are members of the monkey and ape groups, and over 90 different fish species swimming in the clean waters of the lake. The park is a range of untamed, jungle-draped peaks that rise about 2 kilometers above Lake Tanganyika’s sapphire waters. A dhow trip is the finest way to experience the geology of this classic Rift Valley Lake, with its sheer escarpment and beautiful sandy beaches. Another activity available is a hike to a lovely waterfall in the rainforest.
Mahale is most known for its chimp population, which numbers in the thousands. After being researched by Japanese researchers since the 1960s, one group in particular has developed a strong aversion to people. Walking safaris are a great way to visit these interesting animals and watch them in their natural surroundings.
Other wildlife of Gombe
The Mahale woodlands are home to a variety of different animals. The Colobus monkey, squirrel, porcupine, and mongoose are among them. African favorites like lions, giraffes, and zebras roam with a diverse range of antelope in the more open savannahs. A variety of fish swim in the lake, including several species that are only found in Tanganyika, making for fantastic snorkeling. There are also numerous beautiful forest birds and butterflies to be found. Warthogs are occasionally spotted near the camp.
Climate and weather of Gombe
The Mahale Mountains’ altitude varies dramatically, as one might expect. This has an impact on average temperatures, which become cooler as you climb higher. The two distinct seasons, dry (May to October) and wet (November to April), can have a significant impact on circumstances.
The best time to visit the park
The best time to visit is during the dry season (May to October). Chimpanzees are more likely to be spotted in large groups around this time, when the sun shines on the fish in the lake, and the beach is an inviting area to rest. Mahale Mountains National Park, on the other hand, is open all year. A visit during the rainy season can be a wonderful experience, with views across the water of the neighboring country of DR Congo and incredible lightning storms that light up the lake at night.
Mahale is secluded and therefore uncrowded. Air travel is the simplest and fastest way to get there. Regular scheduled flights from Arusha and Dar es Salaam (three to five hours) to the Mahale Airstrip are available during the peak season, from June to October. Flights are less frequent during the off-season. Charter flights are also possible.
By vehicle: The roads are rugged and can become impassable during rainstorms. It takes two to three days to drive from Arusha to Kigoma (from whence you’ll need to take a boat or plane).
By boat, there are speedboats (four to six hours) and timber boats (up to 15 hours) available from Kigoma to Mahale. The MV Liemba, a huge steamship, operates from Kigoma twice a week (10 hours).
Visitors, on the other hand, can arrange their own charter flights. There are numerous charter flight companies in Tanzania, including Air Excel, Northern Air, and Regional Air, to name a few. Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, and Zanzibar are all good options for private charters. The Mahale airstrip can only accommodate light aircraft with a capacity of up to 12 people.
Tourist Attractions in Gombe
The main attractions in the Mahale National Park include chimps and other wildlife. Forest wildlife and flora are among the park’s other highlights (Angola colobus, red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, forest birds, alpine bamboo, montane rain forest etc), local fisherman, a beach beside Lake Tanganyika, the setting sun on the lake horizon, and so on.
Tourist activities/ things to do
Tourist activities in Mahale Mountains National Park are more of a one-of-a-kind adventure because the park is only accessible by air and boat, and there are no roads that run through it. Exploring Mahale Mountains National Park on foot guarantees tourists a complete wild, living, and hedonistic wilderness cocktail of exploration as they partake in the following tourist activities in Mahale Mountains National Park.
Chimpanzee trekking is one of the most popular activities in Mahale Mountains National Park. The Mimikere, or “M” group, which has been habituated and thus tourists can have close encounters with these close human relatives in the dense forests of the park, is the focal point for visitors doing chimpanzee trekking. You might not see any chimps on your first visit, but it’s rare to go two or three days in the park without seeing one. The experience of seeing chimps in their natural habitat is fascinating, as a chimp brushes past you on the trail almost without warning, and several other chimps are visible in a clearing just ahead or high above in the treetops.
Mahale Mountains National Park is a wild frontier that rewards intrepid hikers with a wealth of animals and birdlife, as well as the opportunity to climb the imposing Mount Nkungwe, the park’s brooding peak and a place of spiritual significance to the Tongwe people who once lived on the mountain. Mahale Mountains National Park rewards intrepid hikers with a wealth of animals and birdlife, as well as amazing scenic views. Nkungwe is eminently climbable and makes for a great 2–3 day adventure as you hack your way to the top through high grass and brush, supervised by an armed park ranger, with en route camping that adds to the overall experience.
Tourists also take hikes in the Mahale Mountains National Park’s majestic forested slopes, which are constantly rewarded with incredible attractions following the hooting calls of chimpanzees and musical voices of many bird species.
Bird watching is one of the most popular tourist activities in the Mahale Mountains National Park, thanks to the forested Mahale Mountains and lake shorelines. Bird viewing is popular in the forests around the main lodge area, which are usually teeming with birds such as guinea fowl, hornbills, and kingfishers on the coasts, and many others, all of which may be viewed on short hikes through the park’s various woodlands.
Kayaking is a fascinating pastime that involves paddling a small watercraft through the water with a two-bladed paddle. Kayaking on Lake Tanganyika is best done when the weather on the lake is calm, and you will have incredible moments as you maneuver through canals.
Snorkeling is one of the enjoyable activities to partake in when on safari in Mahale Mountains National Park. Snorkeling at Lake Tanganyika allows you to cool down, get up close to gorgeous underwater wildlife such as cichlids, hippos, and crocodiles, snap wonderful photographs of animals that come to drink water along the shoreline, and refresh yourself, among other things.
Sport fishing is available in Mahale Mountains National Park, which is one of Tanzania’s protected regions. Sport fishing is an exciting sport that may only be done between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. in approved places with the assistance of an experienced park guide. Visitors who want to participate in this activity must first get a fishing ticket or license from the park headquarters before going on an exciting sport fishing activity, including catch and release.