Mahale Mountain National Park 170

Mahale MountainsMahale Mountains

It is located in southwestern Tanzania on the beautiful sandy shores of Lake Tanganyika. The park is located 120 kilometers south of Kigoma town, and is only accessible by boat service or charter plane.

The park altitude gradually rises from 773 meters at Lake Tanganyika to around 2,462 meters at Nkungwe Peak. Covering an area of 623 sq km, Mahale National Park is 30 times the size of Gombe Stream and encompasses the Mahale Mountain ranges as well as 63-kilometers of beautiful soft sandy beach and 1.6 km wide of Lake Tanganyika.

The park is renowned for its chimpanzee and baboon population and has savannah adapted species of East and South Africa. Also there are forest adapted species of West and Central Africa or Congo basin animals found in here. Among them are the giant squirrel, red-legged sun squirrel, brush-tailed porcupine, Angolan black and white-Colobus (which are regarded to be a new species in this area), Bushy-tailed mongoose, and sharp's grysbok. Besides the chimps, leopard, lion, kudu, eland, buffalo, roan and sable antelope, and a host of other game wander through this reserve.

Mahale is botanically rich with over 550 plant species, but researchers firmly believe that there are well over 1,000 flower plants found within the park boundaries. The plant diversity has been a major influence for the life of chimpanzees who utilize 328 food items from the 198 plant species.

Some of the plants are even used by chimpanzees as medicine and appetizers. Different birdlife like the red-collared widowbird, crested guinea fowl, Ross's Turaco, parrots, speckled mouse birds, Crown-eagles, bee-eaters and rollers have been recorded here. The best time for forest walks in Mahale is during the dry season (May to October). The light rains of October or November also present no real obstacle to visitors.

How to get there

The fastest way to reach Mahale is by air travel to Kigoma town and then to Kasoga in Mahale by boat