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Mahale Mountains National Park PDF Print E-mail



We Have a speciality on Mahale safari we are the only company doing it with the Tanapa Bandas

The Mahale map

Even without the chimpanzees, Mahale Mountains National Park would be a dream destination. Forget about bumpy game drives here; set on the shores of Lake Tanganyika (second-deepest lake in the world), there simply are no roads in Mahale. The only way to reach the park is by boat or private plane, and once here, the only way to get around is on your own two feet. With the lush and beautiful mountains rising right out of the shores, this pristine location is as far away from civilization as one can get in Tanzania. The park sees less than a thousand visitors per year (compare that to 300,000 tourists each year in Serengeti alone).

To make up for human absence, baboons and vervets are so numerous that after a day, you almost stop paying attention to them. But of course, the real primates of interest here are the chimpanzees. You do not need to be a primatologist to appreciate an hour, one-on-one, with the chimps. It's an experience that will haunt you for the rest of your life.

The only problem with Mahale is that to enjoy it for five days, you need to lay out about $4000 per person during the peak season. The only other way, to do it yourself, is pretty much impossible unless you make it your full time job to organize. Even for us, locals with years of safari planning experience, it took two separate trips to Western Tanzania to work out the logistics of planning Mahale trips.

But now that we've done the work and have started to bring groups to this far-off gem, we can offer a 7-day Mahale adventure (with five days in the park itself), with all flights, transportation, park fees, guide fees, accommodations, and meals included for just $2250 per person.


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Mahale Mountains National Park, commonly referred to as Mahale, is located in southwestern Tanzania on the beautiful sandy shores of Lake Tanganyika. The park is located 120 kilometers south of Kigoma town, and is only accessible by boat service or charter plane. The park altitude rises from 773 meters at Lake Tanganyika to around 2462 meters at the top of the mountain range at Nkungwe Peak. Mahale National Park is 623 square kilometers, 30 times the size of Gombe Stream National Park. Mahale Park status encompasses the Mahale Mountain ranges, 63 kilometers of beautiful soft sandy beach and 1.6 kilometer wide of Lake Tanganyika.

Mahale National Park: History, Community and Personalities

The area around Mahale on Lake Tanganyika is home to Batongwe and Waholoholo tribes of Tanzania, and the remoteness of Mahale makes it an area that not been settled in large numbers. The area around southwestern Tanzania was also visited by the Arab and European explorers each seeking royalty in goods, legitimate or otherwise and fame for the source of river Nile. The tracks and surrounding areas of Mahale like Ujiji and Kigoma bear the witness of men like Livingstone, Stanley, Burton and Speke, and possibly many others who never made it in the annals of history.

The story of Mahale Mountains National Park as we see it today began in 1965 when a Japanese researcher by the name of Dr. Toshisada was conducting assessment of the shoreline south of Kigoma town. Stumbling upon the mountain and chimpanzees, Dr. Toshisada setup the first research camp in Mahale National Park. With the potential of learning about the chimps; in subsequent years he petitioned for formal protective status of the region, which was successful in 1980 when the first informal protective status was granted to Mahale Mountains. The protective status included the abandonment of current housing structures and restriction of future residence with in the park. Full park status was granted to Mahale Mountains in 1985 thanks to firm efforts of Dr. Toshisada and Japanese Government and cooperation from Republic of Tanzania.

Best Time To Visit Mahale National Park For Chimpanzee Safari

Mahale National Park's dry season starts around the mid of May lasting to the mid November with patches of dry transition time between January and February when rains switch from the short to the longs rains. Long rains start from around the middle of February tapering off by the middle of May. Although the above information is a guideline to the weather pattern, Mahale is accessible at all times of the year.

Getting To Mahale National Park

There are three mains ways to get to Mahale National Park. The first is by flying from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma, which takes an average of three hours. The second way to get to Kigoma is by rail taking at least two days to get there and the third way is by taking a bus to Kigoma which takes around 52hrs. From Kigoma, Lipi adventure guest will travel on a relaxing journey via a speedboat while passing fishing villages and other beautiful mountainous regions within southwestern Tanzania. The speedboat takes approximately 1hr-30minutes from the pick up point which is either Ilagala, Sigunga or Sunuka. The trips are normally taken on a calm morning with little winds. The speedboats are a great improvement as in the past standard boats had taken up to 10 hours. The speedboat ride is wonderful, and time seems to fly by as guest lay back and gaze at the superb panoramic views of southwestern Tanzania.

Why Visit Mahale National Park Located in Southwestern Tanzania?

Chimp Safari Experience: Mahale provides an exceptional opportunity to undertake a chimp viewing and trekking safari in a natural setting. There are plenty of chimps to view, noted to be in the hundreds.

Dual Safari Experience: Southwestern Tanzania gives AfricanMecca two chimpanzee experiences within one region with one experience at Mahale and the other at Gombe Stream National Park. Each of the chimps found in the respective parks display different characteristics.

Historical and Cultural Tour: On the way to Mahale stop over at Ujiji and view the actual location where Dr. Livingstone and Stanley met along with other places of interest.

Beach Vacation: Mahale can be selected as an exclusive, paradisiacal and unmatched beach vacation destination where AfricanMecca guests have a whole beach stretch to themselves Guests can spend their days relaxing and enjoying time off. Activities available include fishing, snorkeling, sun bathing, and relaxation. The beach experience at Mahale Mountains National Park by far exceeds the experience at Gombe, and at many Indian Ocean beach locations.

Discerning Tourism: Mahale and Southwestern Tanzania region is an area where most visitors to East Africa often overlook making it a wonderful opportunity for those guests who want a personalized and authentic experience to view this part of the country.

Accommodation Fairly Priced: Accommodations at Mahale National Park cater to all personalities making it a must visit park for any person visiting Tanzania. The park has two categories of accommodations allowing guests to select a program that fits their budget.

We now have routes that we can arrange transfers using various types of speed boats owned by Tanapa and Transfers done by Tanapa but you can easily book through us, Find below the boat hire rates


6Days Mahale Mountains National Park.

Safari Details.

The 5days Mahale Trekking Safari is the middle of Chimpanzee swinging and chartering from tree to tree enjoying their bush life and welcoming visitors in their territory in the western corner of the country in Mahale Mountains National park bordered westward with the great world’s deepest lake Tanganyika for 3 nights. Lake Tanganyika and Chimpanzees are the major attractions of the park, mammals including variety of bird’s species and reptiles, accommodation in tented camp with bush shower or budget camping site booked on full board arrangements

6 Days Western Tanzania travel, chimpanzee tracking safari to Mahale Mountain National park. Costs from 1740$ per person Sharing, single traveler travels at extra alone 300$.

DAY 1 – Arusha to Kahama

06:00H,Shared Public bus from Arusha to Kahama ,Pick Up on arrival and transfer to the Patcom Lodge by Tax ,Hot Dinner at the Lodge  ,Overnight at Patcom

DAY 2 – Kahama to Kigoma
06:00H,Shared Public bus from Kahama to Kigoma ,Pick Up on arrival and transfer to the Kigoma Hotel by Tax ,Hot Dinner at the Lodge  ,Overnight at Kigoma Hotel

DAY 3 – Kigoma to Mahale Mountain National Park
06:00H,Breakfast at the Lodge transfer overland to Sigunga pickup by speed boat at 08:00H transfer to Bilenge and finally to the Bandas, Afternoon Chimpanzee Tracking in the forest ,After Hot Lunch at the Bandas , Bird Watching and Game Viewing ,Dinner and bonfire at the Bandas, Overnight at The Tanapa Bandas. You can also Do it with Mv. Liemba





DAY 4- Mahale Mountain National Park
07:00H_Breakfast at the Lodge 08:00H,Chimpanzee Tracking in the forest ,Hot Lunch at the Lodge ,Fishing on the Lake ,Dinner and bonfire at the Lodge ,Overnight at Tanapa Bandas

DAY 5- Mahale Mountain National Park - Kigoma
07:00H,Breakfast at the Lodge 08:00H,Relax on the beach 2:00H,Transfer to the lake shore boat to Sigunga pickup and transfer back to Kigoma overnight at Kigoma Hotel

DAY 6- Kigoma

Free day to choose self where to go after Mahale adventure

Never accept to pay expensive flight  to mahale while you can do it very cheap with Lipi Adventure. Call us , email us


We do have  boat Hires both from the North and the south please see below

Fibre boat (Capacity 5

Park HQ - Kigoma -Park                price 682usd



Park HQ - Sigunga -Park               price 361usd


Park HQ - Herembe -Park              price 331usd


Park HQ - Lagosa -Park                 price 100usd


MV Mahale 2.

Park HQ - Kigoma -Park                price 2309usd


(Ambassador) speed

Park HQ - Sigunga -Park               price1305usd


boat with capacity of 8

Park HQ - Herembe -Park             price 1104usd


people (more fast)

Park HQ - Lagosa -Park                price 541usd


MV Mawimbi.

Park HQ - Kigoma -Park                price 1807usd


(Kibanda cha simu)

Park HQ - Sigunga -Park               price 803usd


speed boat with

Park HQ - Herembe -Park              price 602usd


capacity of 12 people

Park HQ - Lagosa -Park                 price 401usd




The same  type of boats  sail from the north from

Park HQ - Ikola - Park

Park HQ - Kalya - Park

Park HQ - Ikola - Park

Park HQ - Kalya - Park