The dense mountainous forests of Mahale Mountains National Park are a far cry from the open grasslands of the Serengeti. Yet visit Mahale Mountains National Park and you’ll discover an ecosystem just as fascinating.
Protecting a rounded peninsula protruding into Lake Tanganyika on Tanzania’s western border, Mahale Mountains National Park is best known for its chimpanzees. In fact, Mahale is one of only two places in Tanzania geared up to protect them. Approximately 1,000 cross the forest floor and rest in its dappled shade each day – the largest population of eastern chimpanzees in existence.
One group of around 100 individuals, named the Mimikire clan, has been habituated to the presence of humans since the 1960s. This allows visitors to Mahale Mountains National Park to observe some of our closest living relatives separated by just a few feet of forest. Along the way, the forest will reveal its many wonders, from birds and butterflies, to bushpig and several species of smaller primate including yellow baboon, vervet monkeys, and red colobus.
With no roads within the boundaries of this magical national park, travelers get to experience its many wonders on foot, having arrived by way of Lake Tanganyika, its 500 species of colorful endemic cichlid fish, and its powdery white sand beaches. There’s really nowhere else like it.
Top Tanzania Travel Destinations
Arusha / Gombe Stream National Park / Lake Manyara National Park / Mount Kilimanjaro / Ngorongoro Conservation Area / Nyerere National Park / Serengeti National Park / Tarangire National Park / Zanzibar