Mahale was the research base for a team of Japanese anthropologists for several decades. Despite the gorgeous clear waters of Lake Tanganyika and the obvious draw of the chimps themselves, Mahale was not an established tourist destination until about decade ago. It’s still remote, but absolutely worth the trip. Mahale is located in the Western Tanzania to the South of Kigoma town, it is bordering Lake Tanganyika-the World’s longest, second deepest and least polluted freshwater lake-harbouring Besides the 1000 chimps, there are other primates to see too, including the red colobus and yellow baboons. You can take a kayak out on the lake, or spend hours walking through the forest spotting other smaller primate and plenty of birds as well as climbing through narrow tracks to discover hidden water falls. There is also fishing out on the lake. The park like its northerly neighbor Gombe is home to some of the Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, a population of roughly 900, they are habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1960s.
The best time to visit Mahale is during the dry season from May to October. A visit to Mahale is often combined with at least a few nights in Katavi. Mahale is linked by chartered aircraft to Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Kigoma. Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience. Mahale is accessible by air, road and boat. There are several flights, car and boat options to suit most travelers and chimps lovers.