The dry season (May -October) is the best period. During this period, chimpanzees are likely to be seen in big groups, the sunshine illuminates the fish in the Lake and the beach is an inviting place to relax. However, Mahale Mountains National Park is accessible all year round. A visit in the rainy season can also be a memorable experience, made remarkable by views of the neighbouring country DR Congo across the water and by incredible lightning storms that light up the lake at night.
WHAT TO DO
Chimp tracking (allow two days)
Hiking to the Park’s highest point “Nkungwe” (8,069ft) held sacred by the local Tongwe people.
Sports fishing and many more water sports activities
The park has five self-contained tourist bandas. Each banda has two rooms with twin beds and a private bathroom. Kitchen facilities are available for self-catering and cooks can be hired locally to prepare your meals.
Other Options: Nomad Safaris Luxury Tented Camp, Nkungwe Luxury Tented Camp and Flycatcher Safari Camp
Mahale Mountains National Park lies 120 km south of Kigoma town, on a peninsula that cuts out into Lake Tanganyika. The park has an area of 1,577 sq. km and is dominated by the Mahale Mountains Chain running from north-west across the middle of the park, the highest peak being 2,462 meters above sea level.
The park vegetation is mainly Miombo woodland with narrow strips of riverine forests. The park enjoys the habitat of a variety of animal species from elephants, warthogs, giraffes, zebras, roan antelopes, buffaloes, hyenas, wild dogs to lions in the eastern woodland. Chimpanzees, blue monkeys are also found in Mahale.
According to recent census, there are more than 700 chimpanzees in about 15 communities.
Both Gombe Stream National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park provide ornithologists with an outstanding opportunity to view the more than 340 species that have been sighted there.