Mahale Mountains National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park is part of Tanzania’s Southwest Circuit (along with Selous, Ruaha, and Katavi) and we love it! Located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Western Tanzania, Mahale can only be accessed by boat and is a pristine, rugged and mountainous land. The park is home to 82 species of mammals, 355 species of birds, and 9 species of primates that most famously include the largest remaining chimp population in the world. Most visitors to Mahale will embark on a hike through the forest to visit the habituated chimps, where they can sit and really observe them in their natural habitat. The hiking can be more strenuous in June to early July when the chimps are higher up the mountain. Other activities available in the park include hiking through the forest, swimming in waterfalls and natural mountain pools, sailing on dhows or kayaking on the crystal clear lake, and visiting a local community or school. There are only two properties from which to visit the chimps, and we only send guests to Greystoke Mahale, located at the foot of the mountains and on the shore of the lake. You can also combine a visit to Mahale with a safari in the Serengeti, but its remote location makes for a longer and somewhat expensive flight (only operating twice a week). We think that these more remote and challenging-to-reach destinations make them extra special and worth the trip!