Mahale Mountains National Park is located in the Western Tanzania to the south of Kigoma town, it is bordering Lake Tanganyika-the world’s longest. Mahale Mountains National Park covers the area of 1650km2, the park was established in 1985 and it is managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority.

Mahale Mountains national park is one of the two protected areas for chimpanzees in the country, the park harbors the largest known population of eastern chimpanzees and due to its size and remoteness, the chimpanzees flourish on the other hand in the park, it is the only place where the chimpanzees and lions co-exist, it is the park in Africa that is experienced by foot since there are no roads or other infrastructure within the park boundaries.

Attractions in Mahale Mountains National Park.


Mahale Mountains National park has various animal species  which makes Tanzania wildlife safaris attractive  and the chimpanzees being the star attraction in the park, not only that the park has other primate species though others are encounter during the Tanzania tour in the park, the species in the park includes the yellow baboons, red colobus, blue monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, vervet monkeys, nocturnal lesser , greater galagos and many others while the eastern slopes of Mahale support populations of the lions, elephants, wild dogs, roan antelopes, buffalos, giraffes, bush backs, water backs and many more.


Mahale Mountains national park is the most amazing place to see chimpanzee, certainty having the opportunity to see the human closet relatives that share the biggest 98% of the human DNA in their natural habitat. Chimpanzees are highly sociable in the park, they leave in 15 groups with one strong Mimikere numbering up to 60 individuals.

Mahale Mountains National Park
Chimpanzee Trekking in Mahale


Mahale national park has more than 350 bird species, most of the birds in the park are the forest birds the bird species in the park includes the Giant kingfisher, crested guineafowl, African Fish eagles, Ross’s turaco, hornbills, the best birding tour in Tanzania is always done from November to April during this period the birds in the park are always more including the resident birds in their breeding plumage, migratory birds from northern Africa and Europe.

Mahale Mountain Ranges.

Mahale mountain ranges in the western Tanzania, on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika, the Mahale ranges are the one of the spectacular places in the world with several huge peaks and steep slopes with montane and middle altitude forests, Mount Nkungwe is one among the peaks on the range of Mahale mountains National park, Nkungwe is mountain with seven peaks, the Mhesabantu 2,100m absl, Nkungwe 2,462 m absl, Sisaga 2,335m absl, Humo, Sibindi, Mfitwa, Pasagulu this is where the visitors enjoy the scenic beauty of the mountain.

Lake Tanganyika.

Mahale Mountains national park lies on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, which is the African great and the second deepest lake in the world which is about 1,470 meters, the park consists estimated number of 1,000 fish species and the only Tanzanian nature reserve where there is Nile crocodile and the slender. Lake Tanganyika is where the sugar white beaches slope into gin –clear waters the tourists can enjoy swimming in the waters of the deepest lake and as well carry out activities like boat safaris, scuba diving, sport fishing, snorkeling and among others. During the night the visitors can watch the view light on the lakes by the local fishermen as most fishing is done at night as virtually all fishing methods.

Activities done in Mahale Mountains National Park.

Chimpanzee Trekking.        

Mahale Mountains National Park is where one can able to see chimpanzees, this is widely regarded as one of the best places in the world to see wild chimpanzees. Here only one group of up to six people are allowed  with the chimps at any one time, this means that you might have to  wait for several hundred meters back from the chimps before you get a turn then each group is allowed only one hour a day with the chimps and this is strictly enforced.

 The face masks must be provided then worn at all times in the presence of the chimps in that the children under the age of 12 or anyone suffering from flue or any other illness are not allowed to visit the chimps because in the past some died because they caught flue from one of the guest in the park, A Tanzania chimpanzee safari is best done from July to October that’s when the animals favor the lower slopes of the mountains and the forest tracks are firm underfoot while in the wetter season the chimps are harder to find.

Bird watching.

Mahale Mountains national park is a haven of biding with over 350 species which are both residents and migratory in the park, the Kabezi area in the north sector is the best area where the tourists can watch birds in Mahale.

Mahale Mountains National Park
Birds in Mahale Park

Cultural tours.

The nearby villages around the Mahale Mountains national park are of the Holoholo and Batongwe people, also the Kigoma town and the historical town Ujiji  which is a historic town dating back to the days of German colonial rule in Tanganyika, the 19th century, Dr. Livingstone traveled to Ujiji in a bid to stop the slave trade.

Kayaking Boat.

Kayaking is a small narrow boat that is propelled by means of a double –bladded paddle, the Kayaking boat is different from canoeing by the sitting position of the paddler and the number of blades on the paddle this is done when the lake weather is calm.


Snorkeling is the swimming in the water body while with a diving mask through using fins in the park the activity is done in 3 hours and costing 10 USD.

Boating safari/Cruising.

Boat cruises is the great way to relax in the park to see various wildlife of the park while a water vessel and moving from one place to another for pleasure this activity is one within Lake Tanganyika.

Sport fishing.

Sport fishing is the one of the most admired activity in the park which is known as catch and release and mostly is done when the water in the lake is calm and with the help of the experienced guide in fishing and it is down between 7 am and 5 pm in the park the need of fishing permits are needed before the activity.

Mountain hiking.

Mountain hiking in the park is done at the highest peak which is Mount Nkungwe (2462 meters) is one of the spectacular activities available and its done of an armed ranger guide. Trekkers are remanded to bring their own food, the best time for hiking is during the dry season during the months of May to October.

Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park

Best time to visit Mahale Mountains National Park.

Mahale Mountains national park can be visited throughout the year, but the best time to visit is in the long dry season from July to October when the chimpanzees tend to gather in bigger groups, closer to shore.

Entrance fees of Mahale Mountains National park.

EA (Tshs) Non EA Citizen (USD) Expatriate/ residents (USD)
Of above the age of 16 years 5,000 80 40
Children between the age 5 and 16 years 2000 20 10
Children below the age of 5 years Free Free Free

Where to stay in Mahale Mountains National park.

Mahale mountain national park has the most loved  accommodation facilities where one can stay during the visit in the park with the most comfortable bedding facilities that ranges from Budget, Mid-range and the luxury facilities like the Mbali Mbali Mahale lodge, Greystoke Mahale camp, Mahale Mango Bandas and many others.

How to get to Mahale Mountains national park.

By Flight means.

Mahale is remote which makes it uncrowded, the easiest and quickest way to get there is by air, during the peak season from June to October, regular scheduled flight from Arusha and Dar es Salaam (three to five hours) to the Mahale Airstrips are available, and out of the season the flights are less regular.

By Road means.

From Arusha town to Mahale Mountains national park takes approximately 2 days, the distance from Arusha to the Mahale national park is 815km.

Mahale mountains national park is renowned for its fantastic sunsets over Lake Tanganyika, which makes it an essential stop keen photographers and safari enthusiast, and the most liked chimpanzees attraction in the park thus making it more special.

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