Mahale is one of the most remote and beautiful of all Tanzania’s National Parks and its dangling vines and cheeky inhabitants will make you think you have just stepped into a Tarzan movie! There are well over a thousand chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains National Park, some of which are so habituated that you can sit close to them as they groom, wrestle, feed and play.
There are no roads in the Mahale Mountains, so you must arrive by boat or aeroplane, or a combination of both in a floatplane as Bill Gates did on his holiday. The only way to explore Mahale Mountains National Park is on foot and the only lodge is Greystoke - which makes a visit here all the more exciting. This is a destination for the real safari adventurer.
The Mahale Mountains tower 2,462m (6,200 feet) above the world's longest lake - Lake Tanganyika, which forms Tanzania's western border. Almost the whole range of East African vegetation can be found in this park along with 62km (39 miles) of pristine lakeshore. The only people that live in this remote place are lodge staff, park rangers and primate researchers, who have been carrying out long-term studies resulting in some important scientific conclusions. Besides the chimps are Elephant, Buffalo, Warthog, Roan and Sable Antelope, Leopard and Lion, plus a host of other game.
Lake Tanganyika is an added attraction when visiting the Mahale Mountains National Park, as it is host to an incredible diversity of fish including over 200 types of chichlid, some of which are collected for freshwater aquariums. Lake Tanganyika is 1,470m (4,777 ft) deep - the world's second deepest lake after Lake Baikal in Russia - and contains Nile Perch weighing 20kg (45 pounds) lurking in depths of over 100 metres. On the top of the water you can sail on an Arab Dhow or go for a swim - so long as there are no crocodiles around!