Mahale Mountains National Park
Location and Size Mahale Mountains National Park
Get away from the stress and fast paced modern lifestyle and embark on a soul-cleansing Tanzanian Holiday exploring the Mahale Mountains National park. Western Tanzania is where nature is at its best. Situated towards the Southern end of Kigoma, the park boasts an area of 1,650 Km2 of lush vegetation; rain forests and astounding mountain ranges mark their splendour throughout the year.
Getting there by air is the easiest way to the Mahale Mountains National Park. Regular flights are available from Arusha to the park during June to October. Flights are available twice per week from October to March. However, there are no flights between March and April since the Tanzanian Holiday camps remain closed during this period. Visitors can also arrange charter flights on their own. There are many providers of charter planes who provide flight services to the park operating in Mwanza, Zanzibar, Dar-es-Salaam, Arusha and Kilimanjaro. However, they may not carry over 12 passengers due to safety reasons. Air Tanzania provides flights daily to Kigoma from Dar-es-Salaam as well.
Visitors can reach Kigoma via land as well. But it is not easy due to the condition of the bad roads especially during the wet seasons. If you happen to travel by car, it will take about three days to reach the park. Visitors can reach Kigoma from Dar-es-Salaam by train as well, but it takes about three days. Trains are available about three times per week. You can reach Mahale National Park from Kigoma, by boat or a light aircraft. There are many speedboats providers in Kigoma and the park also provides boats for Tanzanian Holiday visitors. Normally a speedboat journey to the park takes about 5 hours. If you opt to hire a timber boat, it may take as much as 15 hours to reach the park. A big steamship is also operative twice monthly to the park from Kigoma. It reaches not only to the park but also other locations. The journey takes about 10 hours.
Special Features Mahale Mountains National Park
Tanganyika – the largest lake in the world – surrounds the Mahale Mountains National Park. Globally, the lake is the second largest in terms of depth, and the water of the lake is considered the purest of all other lakes. It is home to over 1000 species of fish and the Mahale forest and surroundings feed more than 100 chimpanzees. The population of chimpanzees in the area is one of the largest in the world. They are accustomed to Tanzanian Holiday visitors. You can observe them at close quarters. Studies of these amazing animals show a close resemblance to human behaviour.
The mountain range of Mahale National Park provides habitats to a variety of wildlife. Angola colobus, red colobus, red-tail and blue monkeys frequently visit the park and the forest. They welcome Tanzania Safari visitors with piercing screeches. The forest canopies of Mahale paint most of the park stretch in green with alpine bamboos and many flora and fauna types. The Tanganyika beach mesmerizes visitors with its picturesque landscapes and pristine waters. All those who have visited Mahale Mountains National Park will never forget the splendid sunsets over the horizon of Tanganyika Lake. The sight of illuminated boats of fisher folks who sail into the lake at night is enchanting.
Why to Go There Mahale Mountains National Park
If you want to observe or research the behaviour of chimpanzees, why don’t you visit Mahale National Park? It is one of the few African national parks where these amazing animals exist. The national park is a birdwatchers paradise as well. Most people reach Mahale to engage in a Tanzania Safari. Many prefer to engage in trekking, snorkelling, mountain climbing and swimming. A vast number of visitors arrive at the park especially to engage in water sports. The golden fish in the lake is visible while even on the shore. The sunlight illuminates most part of the lake on the shore exhibiting unbelievable beauty in the bottom to the human eyes. The Mahale Mountains National Park is fine for botanical research as well. The highest point of Nkungwa that the indigenous Tongwe folks treat as a sacred place is another special attraction for Tanzania Safari makers.
When to Go / Weather Mahale Mountains National Park
The best time to visit Mahale National Park in Tanzania and to join a Tanzania Safari is the dry season (June to September). Chimpanzees get together in groups during the dry season while the fish in the lake are clearly visible due to the bright sunlight on the water. Even though the dry season provides those opportunities, visitors arrive at the park throughout the year. In the wet seasons too, (March to the end of April and November –December) the chimpanzees prefer to stay together in one place abandoning their roaming. Viewing the spellbinding sights of the DR Congo which is very near to the park is also a great experience for visitors in the rainy season.
Extra Information Mahale Mountains National Park
Park authorities do not allow Tanzania Safari makers to reach the park with guns. They have to trek only on authorized trails. Making unnecessary noises within the park are also restricted including attempts to damage plants native to the park. There are regulations to follow when you engage in a Tanzania Safari for observing chimpanzees. Visitors have to keep their voices down when they observe chimpanzees. Use of perfume, smoke and spitting may cause unnecessary problems when observing chimpanzees.