As you step into the heart of the Mahale Mountains National park you can hear the distant cries of our closest native cousin – the chimpanzee. The Mahale Mountains National park is one of the best places in the whole of Tanzania where to can still spot wild chimpanzees living in their natural habitat at.
The cascading greenery tumbles down the mountain side stopping at the shores of crystal clear waters and in the distance the frosted peaks of the mountain gaze over the exotic tree tops. The Mahale Mountains are shrouded in mysticism and astonishing beauty. This park is completely off the beaten track and is one of the most remote national parks in Tanzania. Stepping foot on these wild and overgrown tracks is not for the faint hearted, but is the journey of a lifetime for those who have adventure engraved in their hearts.
The number one draw of the Mahale Mountains National park is to track the native chimpanzees. There are an estimated 800 chimpanzees roaming these parklands and whilst sometimes it can be difficult to trek these enchanting creatures, every step in the right direction is a fascinating reward. As you push through the canopies of fragrant trees with bright butterfly wings flitting past your face suddenly you are upon a family of chimpanzees. The little ones tumble around the ground whilst the adults sit back to back grooming each other, unaware of the human eyes watching. It truly is a stunning experience and one that will feed your memory forever and a day.
Yet despite the chimpanzees, the Mahale Mountains National Park has so much more to give. The rich slops are simply teeming with beautiful birds, exotic flora and decadent fauna. Blue monkeys swing through the low lying branches and red Columbus chatter to each other from the tree tops. Hippos and crocodiles wallow in the banks and schools of fish dance through the cool streams.
Visitors of the Mahale Mountains National Park can discover the underwater beauty of Lake Tanganyika or paddle out on the shimmering waters in a kayak. Hornbills and kingfishers skim the waters causing ripples in the glass like surface. There are opulent fishing opportunities as the lake is teeming with thousands of species. Cast out your line and sit back to relax in the golden shafts of sunlight as you fish for your supper.
Those seeking to embrace a high altitude adventure can climb the summit of Mount Nkungwe, along the slopes you can trek through the magnificent bush lands and step in the oversized footprints of elephants. On the eastern slope you can catch sight of long necked giraffes peering over the trees and lions slinking through the undergrowth. Warthogs dart through the shadows of the trees and you can often glimpse antelopes grazing on the long grasses that cushion the ground.
At the Mahale Mountains National park you can walk in the shoes of our ancestors and follow the ancient trail of the Tongwe people through the rainforest. This pilgrimage was a gift to the old spirits and is a startling expedition fraught with beauty and alpine bamboo.
There are three main luxury tented camps in the park for those wanting to stay in this remote wilderness whilst enjoying some home comforts. Sleeping in the serene and untouched beauty of the Mahale Mountain National Park is a truly soulful experience, listen to the wild calls of the chimpanzees as the sun settles beneath the boughs of the rainforest and watch the stars prickling the midnight sky. If you want a National Park that gives more than a big game experience than the Mahale Mountains is medicine for the heart, the mind and the body.