Mahale is an Earthly Eden, a divine playground of lush vegetation, virgin rainforest, high peaks, gin-clear lake waters and troops of man's closest living relative, the Chimpanzee. Nestled in a remote packet aside Lake Tanganyika, Mahale is accessible only by boat, a boat ride along forested shores of white sand and towering verdant peaks. It is the best safari approach of any park in Tanzania.
Mahale's principle attraction are the populations of chimpanzee that live in the forest, saved by the lack of roads and the protection of the National Park and habituated to human presence by the most devoted succession of Japanese primatologists. There are thought to be over 700 chimps in Mahale, but guests visit the M group, whose territory extends closest to the areas accessible to guests.
Compared to chimp encounters elsewhere, notably in Uganda, we found the chimps of Mahale to be the most accessible and the most uncaring of our presence. The studied nonchalance adopted by the chimps in these situations is very real, and the sense of having been amongst them as they go about their routine, rather than watching them watching us warily, is what makes this arguably the most genuine of wildlife encounters.
With swimming, hiking, birding, fishing and even snorkeling available, it is also what makes Mahale the most genuine of destinations. Any God would be proud to call this their home.
Best time to visit:
June – March
Outside of the rainy seasons. Remote location becomes marooned isolation when the weather changes.
- Greystoke Camp
- Kungwe Beach Lodge