Extraordinary Journeys

Destination Overview

Mahale, in wilderness terms, has it all: a unique combination of forests, mountains and lakes supports an amazingly diverse range of fauna. Leopard, warthog, giant squirrel, brush tailed porcupines along with at least nine species of primates are just some of the larger mammals found here. The abundant birdlife includes the Crowned Eagle, Scaly Francolin, Crested Guinea Fowl, Ross’ Turaco and the globally threatened, endemic Nkungwe Apalis. Commercial fishing is prohibited along the park's shoreline, affording protection to some 350 known fish species of the lake. Mahale National Park lies 120 km south of Kigoma and is 1,613 sq km in size.

Mahale Mountains is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees: a population of over 1000 Chimpanzees in Mahale. The ‘Mimikere’ community of about 70 individuals live in a territory including our camp. This group has been studied by members of Kyoto University of Japan since 1965 and as a result the Chimpanzees are accustomed to the presence of humans. Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience. The guide's eyes pick out last night's nests - shadowy clumps high in a gallery of trees crowding the sky. Scraps of half-eaten fruit and fresh dung become valuable clues, leading deeper into the forest. Butterflies flit in the dappled sunlight

What to see and do

Over 60 chimps live in the Mahale Mountains and have become habituated to human presence over 2 decades of contact. There is also the opportunity to observe leopard, bushbuck, bush pig and a multitude of birds and butterflies. The forest itself is unique in that is houses 8 other species of primate, shyer forest mammals, birds, butterflies, giant vines and waterfalls.

There is the opportunity to explore the clear waters of Lake Tanganyika, which is said to contain about 1000 different species of fish, including 250 species of cichlid (colourful tropical fish). This enormous lake is suitable for fishing, snorkelling and kayaking, activities which are offered at the various accommodations.

Tracking the primates is the most sought after activity at Mahale, particularly the endangered chimpanzee. A trek through the rainforest takes guests to Mahale's chimpanzees. Guests can sit quietly and watch the chimps go about their daily lives; grooming, wrestling, bickering, foraging and mothering.

Where to find Mahale Mountains National Park



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