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Mahale Mountains

About Mahale Mountains

The small and remote Mahale Mountains National Park is found in the very West of Tanzania and on the shoreline of Lake Tanganyika. Access is provided with two flights a week to the area and then you need to take a boat trip across the lake to reach the park. The journey is however well worth it and incredibly rewarding as you get to explore one of Africa's most unique parks with just a handful of other visitors. The main attraction here are the treks to see the chimpanzees in the forest but there is a range of other activities for you to enjoy as well.

Accommodation here is relatively limited but that doesn't mean it isn't spectacular. Greystoke Mahale can, in our opinion, rightly stake a claim to be the most extraordinary camp in Africa. Beautifully appointed on the white sand beach on the shore of Lake Tanganyika you enjoy stunning views out across the shimmering lake - an incredible sight at any time of day. To the rear, the camp is framed by the captivating Mahale Mountains which rise up to 8000 feet and are covered in dense forests.

As we mentioned, chimpanzee treks are the main drawcard here and seeing them in their natural habitat is a truly magical experience. The treks can be as short as an hour but sometimes you can be out for a full day depending on the season so do bear this in mind. When you are with the chimps you will be able to observe their very human-like behaviour as the younger ones play in the trees and the adults observe and squabble amongst themselves. However, this is not the only reason to visit here. Walks in the forest are enjoyable in their own right and those feeling brave can swim in the ice cold pools found on the mountainsides. Kayaking on the lake is a great way to start a day and dhow trips for sundowner drinks are great fun as well. You can also enjoy perhaps the most relaxing activity possible, just sitting on the beach and enjoying your truly remarkable surroundings - trust us, you will spend more time than you think doing this!

A remarkable destination. Completely unique and unlike anywhere else you will ever experience. It is more difficult and costly to get to than the more well known National Parks, but guests are simply blown away by this beautiful park and a visit here really does leave one with memories to last a lifetime.

For more information, why not speak to one of our experts on +44 (0) 20 7843 3500 or email info@africatravel.co.uk

Experiences

  • Chimp trekking in the mountains - watch their interactions with one another and fascination with their observers. Trek lengths depend on the season so do bear this in mind when considering this holiday.
  • Enjoy an early morning Kayak paddle from Greystoke Mahale out onto Lake Tanganyika and enjoy the sunrise from this impossibly tranquil spot.
  • A walk along the sandy shores of the lake is the ultimate barefoot luxury experience and one not to be missed.
  • Walks in the forest canopy, enjoy the variety of birdlife and take a swim in one of the many mountain pools you encounter along the way
  • Hiking to the Park’s highest point “Nkungwe” (8,069ft) held sacred by the local Tongwe people
  • Snorkelling the freshwater Lake Tanganyika 

Wildlife

  • Chimpanzee, Angola colobus, red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys and a great variety of birds in the forest. Hippo and crocodiles can be seen on the lake
  • Over 1000 species of fish are home in Lake Tanganyika which is the world's least polluted fresh water lake. Visitors can explore the waters snorkelling

Seasons

  • January to March - Warm and dry, a lovely time of year to visit
  • April and May - The long rainy season means this area is best avoided as the range of activities is severely limited
  • June to October - The dry season is the most popular time of year to be here, excellent for all kinds of activities and tends to be the time of year with the shortest walks to see the chimps
  • November and December - Another good time of year to visit, but you can get some rain in November which limits the activities that you can enjoy

In The Know

    • Lake Tanganyika is the world's longest, and second deepest lake and is home to over 1000 species of fish
    • Flights to Mahale operate from Arusha on Mondays and Wednesdays so please bear this in mind when planning your holiday
    • The time taken to trek to the chimps can vary greatly depending on the time of year. At certain times you can trek all day but in the drier months it can be as quick as an hour from camp
    • Prepare to feel very relaxed after some time here, we would recommend doing this area at the end of a trip where you can have some time to chill and reflect on your safari experience

Africa Travel Latest

Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience.

Laura Miles Sales Advisor, London

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