The Mahale National Park prides in an abundance of plants with over 500 different species of plants. This profusion of plant life has been a major attraction and a great contributor to the survival of chimpanzees within this park. Although the chimps major feed on this plant leaves, stems and roots, they use others as medicine to them, as well as appetizers. It is therefore important to note that the Mahale Mountains National park is habitat to the largest chimpanzee population in the whole world. The Mahale is situated south of the town from Kigoma just 150 km. the park covers an expanse of about 1600 sq km. back in the 1877, the park was initially documented ‘Across Africa by VL Cameron. However, in 1958 the park was brought to the spotlight when a team of scientists that traveled from Oxford began their scientific exploration.
One of the best places to track chimpanzees in Africa is the Mahale Mountains. The place supports a population approximated to about 1000 chimpanzee. Among the habituated groups is the Mimikire clan which has been familiarized to human presences. Fortunately these chimps can be tracked to close distance. Ascending in the misty mornings through the leafy tracks with the distant sound of chimpanzees will reward you will unforgettable experience. On finding them you will spend time observing them play, feed, look after their young and jump from one branch to another. This will be one of your lifetime memorable experiences with wildlife.
Wildlife in the Mahale Mountains National Park
Despite the fact that the park is renowned for its resident chimps and baboons, the Mahale Park supports a diversity of savanna species found both in Eastern as well as Southern Africa. In addition, there are a number of forest species of central as well as western Africa, plus animals of the Congo Basin. Among these are the huge squirrels, the Angola white & black Colubus monkeys which are considered a new species in this region, the sharp’s grysbok, the brush tailed porcupine and the bush tailed mongoose.
Other animals found within the Mahale National Park include: African wild dogs, lions, giraffes, elephants, sable antelopes, kudus, lions, roan antelopes and buffaloes.
Mahale National Park’s birdlife
There is quite a big number of birds that have been brought to book in this park. The various habitats such as the lake shore, the swamp, grassland, bush reeds and fields attract a diversity of species into this are. The section which was previously occupied by the Kasiha village is majorly covered with palm trees which offer shelter to various species among which are speckled mouse-bird normally seen making their nests. Mountain Nkungwe is on the other hand habitat to the crown eagles, rollers plus bee-eaters. In the forests that boarder the Kansyana valley you will find the crested guinea fowl, parrots as well as Ross’s Turacos a brightly colored bird commonly seen on tree tops.
How to reach the Mahale National Park
Unfortunately the Mahale Park has no access roads, and for that reason it can best be accessed by plane. There are flights from the town of Arusha, Ruaha and Katavi. Alternatively there is a large boat that sails from Kigoma and follows the course of Lake Tanganyika; and later sail by dhow which will get you to the gate of the park.
Book a safari today to the Mahale Mountains National park or opt to incorporate in your Tanzania safari so that you do not miss out on this special lifetime adventure.