The visit to Mahale Mountains is fairy-tale like. Travelers spend their days trekking chimpanzees in lush forests filled with butterflies, bright forest birds and waterfalls. “Home” is the original Greystoke camp that sits atop a pristine, white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise waters of Lake Tanganyika, with the forested slopes of the 8,000 ft Mahale Mountains rising behind. Sundowners take place on old wooden dhows that lazily drift over hippo populated waters. No, this is no dream…it’s Mahale.
Mahale Mountains National Park is where forest and lake unite in a glorious symphony of tranquility and seclusion. The park is located in western Tanzania and borders Lake Tanganyika (or, the longest, second deepest and least polluted fresh-water Lake in the world). There are no roads in the park, only forest paths forged by animals over the years. Mahale is only accessible by boat and just a scattering of villages mark a permanent presence of man.
The park is widely known for its population of roughly 900 chimpanzees. Of course, tracking the chimps of Mahale provides for an unforgettable and surreal experience. However, the park also provides a host of other activities, such as: kayaking, snorkeling, fishing and sailing.
Mahale’s population of chimps share the park with bushpigs, bushbucks, butterflies, forest birds and nine species of primates. Combine this wildlife with a pristine lake and a forest of mostly alpine bamboo and montane rain forest, and the result is truly breathless. It’s definitely no exaggeration to say there’s nowhere in the world like Mahale.
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