Mahale Mountains National Park was originally created to protect the thousands of chimpanzees that inhabit the region. It is renowned for its fantastic sunsets over Lake Tanganyika, which makes it an essential stop for keen photographers and safari fanatic
While originally the habituation of Mahale’s chimpanzees required the imputes of bait, the park’s chimpanzees now exist fully on wild food, making longitudinal studies that are a chip more equitable. Two results have confirmed findings elsewhere, namely that chimpanzees are tool users, and that they use certain plants to manage chronic diseases. Very close to Greystoke Mahale, there is a habituated group of around sixty chimps, allowing travellers the rare opportunity to observe the primates in the wild, on a daily basis.
The shoreline and lake is an area of expectational beauty. The water is wholly clear and filled with a vertiginous array of fresh water fish. The lake is one of the oldest in the world, and many of its fish are unique. Clams litter the beaches, and leisurely water sports (snorkelling and fishing) are actively encouraged. The forests are home to thirty-odd species of butterfly, and to birds (355 species and rising).
There are no roads, and sun-spotted paths provide the only access to the forest. The best time to visit Mahale is the long dry season from July through to late October. Chimpanzees can be viewed at other times of the year also, however it may just require a little bit more walking. In the dry season, it is definitely worth amalgamating Greystoke Mahale with Katavi. This is another fantastic National Park located in Western Tanzania that has huge herds of elephants and buffalo which eclipse those seen in Ruaha. The lure of visiting Western Tanzania is the aloofness it can offer and such an isolated African safari is hard to come across anywhere on the continent.
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