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Mahale Mountains National Park
Western Tanzania, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
1,615 Kms², of which 96 Kms² (5%) is part of Lake Tanganyika (a strip of water extending 1.6 Kms from the shore towards the middle of the lake.). The park has 50 Kms of shoreline.
60 Kms, from Southeast to Northwest
773 m (on the shore of Lake Tanganyika) - 2, 462 m (Mt Nkungwe). the second highest peak in the chain of mountains dividing the park is Mt Mhesabantu (2,100 m).
Two well-defined seasons (except in most of the forests, which are evergreen) - dry season from mid-May October / November, wet season from November to mid-May (less rainy in January / February). Negligible seasonal variation in the occurrence of animals, but the wet season is best for plants and insects. The best season to visit is June - October.
Some variation depending on the environment - mean annual rainfall is 800 mm - 1,000 mm on the miombo savanna (eastern half of the park), 1,700 mm - 1,900 mm and even > 2000 mm on the western slopes of the mountains and 1,300 mm - 1,400 mm in the northernmost lowland corner of the park. Rainfall is very low from June to October.
Dependent on altitude - daytime 26°C - 30°C and sometimes up tp 35°C, night time 15°C - 18°C beside the lake. Much chiller up in the mountains.
Guided forest walks
About Mahale Mountains National Park:
Located on Lake Tanganyika's eastern shoreline, Mahale Mountains National Park is another chimpanzee sanctuary, established as a national park in 1985 which covers an area of 1,577 sq km and lies at an altitude of over 1,800 m, extending up to 2,460 m at Nkungwe Peak. Mahale is simple awesome - remote, exotic, untouched and captivating! Emerald peaks and white sands lapped by the clear waters of Lake Tanganyika make this a stunning place.
The park is largely made of montane forest, grassland and alpine bamboo and it is here amongst this vegetation mosaic that is home to an estimated 1,000 chimpanzees which have been the focus of much research by scientists from around the world. It is a biological fact that we humans share more that 98% of our genetic make-up with the chimps and coming face to face with these creatures is an experience of a lifetime! Tracking and spending time with one of the groups will be among the most fascinating and rewarding experiences.
Besides the chimps, you may also see the Park's other wildlife species including baboons, red colobus and black & white colobus monkeys, white spot nose mangabeys, porcupine, zebra, buffalo and roan antelope. Birds seen here include fish eagle, kestrel, kingfisher, barbets and starlings.