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Mahale Mountains

Mahale Mountains image

In the extreme west of Tanzania on the shores of Lake Tanganyika is the Mahale Mountains National Park, one of the most remote, rewarding and peaceful parks in Tanzania.

It is not easy to get to (most of the best places aren’t!), but is very different to anywhere else in the country, completely magical and probably one of the best places in Africa to see chimpanzees. Created in 1985, the Mahale Mountains National Park is predominantly a chimp sanctuary to some of the last remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa, but you can also see a variety of other primates, as well as birds, butterflies, warthog, bushbuck, porcupine and even the elusive pangolin.

Set on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, which boasts crystal clear waters abundant with fresh water fish and a lakeshore of the finest powder-white sand where you can go fishing, off shore swimming and kayaking. There is one large family group of chimpanzees who are completely habituated and daily treks are made to visit this family and you will spend one hour per day in small groups of 6 observing the chimps feeding, grooming, fighting, playing and going around their daily life.

The family have been studied since the mid 60s so much has been learnt about chimp behaviour and each and every chimp is known by the guides and researchers. It’s a privilege to be introduced to their lives in this wild and magical place which I guarantee will stay with you for ever.

Did you know?

  • Lake Tanganyika is the longest (673km) freshwater lake in the world and the second deepest (1,470m) after Lake Baikal in Russia.
  • You can do a boat safari from Lake Shore lodge in the south to Mahale and camp at the national park camp site.
  • There are hippo in the lake so best to only swim off shore from the dhow.
  • Depending where the chimps are feeding you can walk for 20 minute or up to 3hrs to find them.
  • Chimps make nests each night to sleep in so if you know where they have gone to bed you should find them waking up at dawn.
  • Chimps mainly feed on fruits, seeds, flowers, honey and insects but they also hunt and eat other wildlife like monkeys and small antelope.
  • Chimpanzees were one of the first animals to be recorded using tools like stones to crack nuts and fishing for ants and termites with sticks.
African sun symbol

Area highlights

Lives of the Chimpanzees
Beautiful sunsets 
Kayaking on the lake
Flying into Mahale 

Let’s plan your trip together
Please contact Vicky at or call +44 (0)131 315 2464

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