Mahale Mountains National Parks

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Mahale Mountains National Park is a natural treasure located in western Tanzania, along the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. This pristine wilderness area is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, and the world-famous chimpanzee population that makes its home here. Covering an area of over 1,600 square kilometers, Mahale Mountains National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and adventurers.

Mahale Mountains National Park was established in 1985 as a protected area, primarily to safeguard the chimpanzee population that calls this region home. The park was initially set up as a research site for studying chimpanzee behavior and ecology, and has since become one of the world’s premier primate research locations. Over the years, the park has gained a reputation as a world-class wildlife viewing destination, and has attracted visitors from all over the globe.


The park is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including elephants, buffaloes, leopards, and a variety of primates. However, the most famous residents of Mahale Mountains National Park are undoubtedly the chimpanzees. The park is home to one of the largest and most studied populations of wild chimpanzees in the world. Visitors to the park have the opportunity to observe these fascinating primates in their natural habitat, and to learn about their behavior and social structure from expert guides.

In addition to the chimpanzees, the park is also home to a variety of other primates, including colobus monkeys, red-tailed monkeys, and blue monkeys. The birdlife in the park is also abundant, with over 355 species recorded, including the rare white-winged warbler and the African fish eagle.

Things to do

Visitors to Mahale Mountains National Park have a range of activities to choose from, depending on their interests and preferences. One of the most popular activities is chimpanzee tracking. Visitors can set out early in the morning with experienced guides to track the chimpanzees, observing their behavior and interactions as they go about their daily lives in the forest. Chimpanzee tracking can be challenging, as the terrain can be rough and steep, but the reward of observing these incredible animals in their natural habitat is well worth the effort.

Another popular activity is hiking. The park is crisscrossed by a network of trails that wind through the forest and up into the mountains. Visitors can hike to scenic overlooks with stunning views of Lake Tanganyika, or explore remote corners of the park in search of wildlife.

For those interested in aquatic activities, the park offers excellent opportunities for swimming, snorkeling, and fishing. The crystal-clear waters of Lake Tanganyika are home to a variety of colorful fish species, and visitors can take a boat out to explore the lake and its shores.

When to visit?

The best time to visit Tarangire National Park is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. During this time, the vegetation is sparse, making it easier to spot wildlife. The animals also tend to gather around the Tarangire River, which is the only source of water in the park during the dry season.

However, visitors should be aware that the dry season is also the busiest time in the park, and accommodations and activities can book up quickly. For those who prefer a quieter experience, the wet season (November to May) can be an excellent time to visit, as the park is less crowded, and the landscape is lush and green.

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