Mahale Mountain National Park is home to chimpanzees, located in Western Tanzania, bordering Africa’s longest and deepest, Lake Tanganyika and covers an area of 623 miles. While not as well known as Jane Goodall’s Gombe River Stream Park, Mahale is preferred because there are fewer human visitors.
Mahale Mountains, like its northerly neighbour Gombe Stream, is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees: a population of roughly 800, habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1965. Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience.
The area is also known as Nkungwe, after the park’s largest mountain, held sacred by the local Tongwe people and at 8,069 ft the highest of the six prominent points that make up the Mahale Range.
And while chimpanzees are the star attraction, the slopes support a diverse forest fauna, including readily observed troops of red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, and a kaleidoscopic array of colourful forest birds.