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Mahale Mountains National Park/Tanzania

Introducing Mahale Mountains National Park

It’s difficult to imagine a more idyllic combination: clear, blue waters and white-sand beaches backed by lushly forested mountains soaring straight out of Lake Tanganyika and some of the continent’s most intriguing wildlife watching. And, because of the unrivalled remoteness, you might literally have the entire 1613 sq km park all to yourself. Like at Gombe, the rainforest blanketing Mahale’s western half is, in essence, a small strip of the Congo. It’s most notable as a chimpanzee sanctuary, and there are about 1700 of our primate relatives residing in and around the park, with leopard, blue duiker, black-and-white colobus, giant pangolin and many Rift Valley bird species not found elsewhere in Tanzania keeping them company. There are also hippo, crocs and otter in the lake and lions, elephants, buffaloes and giraffes roaming the savannah of the currently off-limits eastern half.

There are no roads in Mahale; walking and boating along the shoreline are the only ways to get around.