Mahale Mountains National Park

from $191 /person

Location and How to Reach:

Mahale National Park is located in western Tanzania, along the shores of Lake Tanganyika. The park is quite remote and can be accessed primarily by boat or small aircraft. The nearest major town with an airport is Kigoma. From Kigoma, visitors can take a charter flight to Mahale airstrip or opt for a boat ride along Lake Tanganyika, which can take several hours depending on the weather and water conditions.

Fun Facts:

  1. Mahale National Park is renowned for its population of wild chimpanzees, which are habituated to human presence, allowing for unique opportunities to observe them in their natural habitat.
  2. Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second-largest freshwater lake by volume, provides a stunning backdrop to the park’s landscape.
  3. Mahale is home to diverse wildlife, including other primates like red colobus monkeys, as well as various bird species and forest mammals.
  4. The park offers opportunities for both wildlife viewing and water-based activities, such as snorkeling and fishing in Lake Tanganyika.

Tourist Attractions:

  1. Chimpanzee Trekking: The main attraction of Mahale National Park is undoubtedly the opportunity to track and observe wild chimpanzees in their natural habitat.
  2. Hiking Trails: Mahale offers several hiking trails through its lush forests, providing opportunities to spot other wildlife and enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
  3. Lake Tanganyika: Visitors can explore the pristine waters of Lake Tanganyika, either through boat safaris or by engaging in water sports like snorkeling and swimming.

Best Time to Visit:

The best time to visit Mahale National Park is during the dry season, which typically runs from June to October. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and chimpanzee trekking is easier as the trails are not muddy. However, it’s essential to note that Mahale can be visited year-round, with each season offering its unique advantages.


  • Budget: There are basic camping facilities available within the park for budget travelers who prefer a more rustic experience.
  • Mid-Range: Some mid-range options include comfortable lodges and tented camps situated near the park’s entrance, offering a blend of comfort and proximity to nature.
  • Luxury: For those seeking luxury accommodations, there are upscale lodges and safari camps overlooking Lake Tanganyika, providing top-notch amenities and exclusive experiences.


  1. Is it safe to trek with chimpanzees in Mahale?
    Yes, chimpanzee trekking in Mahale is conducted by experienced guides who prioritize visitor safety and the well-being of the chimpanzees.
  2. Do I need a permit for chimpanzee trekking?
    Yes, a permit is required for chimpanzee trekking in Mahale National Park, and it’s advisable to book in advance due to limited availability.
  3. What should I pack for a visit to Mahale?
    Essential items include sturdy hiking shoes, lightweight clothing suitable for both warm and cool weather, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a good camera for capturing wildlife encounters.
  4. Are there any health risks to be aware of in Mahale?
    Visitors should take precautions against malaria and other tropical diseases by consulting a healthcare professional before their trip and taking necessary medications and vaccinations. Additionally, it’s essential to stay hydrated and avoid contact with wild animals to prevent any potential risks.