WESTERN CIRCUIT

MAHALE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Like its northerly neighbour Gombe ,Mahale Mountains National park is home to some of the lasts remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa . Around 1,000 of these fascinating animals roam the isolated rain forest of Mahale,a chain of dramatic peaks draped in lush vegetation falling to lake Tanganyika’s beaches far below .Visitors are led on guide walks in search of the chimpanzees ,following clues such as the previous night’s nests,shadowy clumps high in the trees,or scraps of half –eaten fruit and fresh dung.once found,the chimpanzees preen each other’s glossy coats in concentrated huddles,squabble noisily or bound effortlessly into the trees,swinging non-chalantly through the vines.

In addition to hike on the trail of chimpanzees,visitors can trace the Tongwe people’s ancient pilgrimage to the mountain spirits,trekking through enclaves of rainforest to grassy ridges chequered with alpine bamboo. After a hot walk in the forest, the clear waters of the lake, home to 250 species of fish,benckon for a refreshing swim.

The best time for forest walks in mahale is during the dry season,from May to October,The light rains of October and November present real obstacle to visitors.