The park is located in Western Kigoma region, Tanzania. The park was established in 1968 and it’s considered as one of the smallest parks covering only 52sqkms. It lies along the hills of the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika. It’s composed of steep valleys, grasslands, woodlands, and tropical rain forest. The park gained fame when Jane Goodall, a researcher, conducted a behavioral research on chimpanzees. Olive baboons, chimpanzees, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, among other primates, have a home in the park. Other wild animals in the park include; bush pigs, hippopotamus and leopards can be seen occasionally, reptiles and many more. 200 bird species call the park home.
How to access the Park
The park can be accessed with water and air transport.
Air transport- you can get a regular flight from Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro Airport to Kigoma.
Water Transport, you will board a boat from Kigoma to the park.
What to Carry
You will need to come with a backpack, insect repellent, hat, hiking boots or shoes, drinking water, sun glasses, light rain jacket, first aid kit, gloves, a guide book, light pants and shirts, a mosquito net, a pair of binoculars, sunscreen, note book, camera with spare batteries, among others.
Things to do
The park is endowed with birds and these have a home and also birds which migrate from other continents. You will have an opportunity of seeing birds form Europe during the early wet season. The likes of African fish eagles, palmnut vulture, trumpeter hornbill, kingfishers, and sunbirds, among others will be clearly seen.
The highlight of the park and an activity worth enjoying. The chimpanzees have been habituated and tourists spend quality time trekking and then spending time with them, and enjoying their way of life. The creatures have a lot in common with humans and it will amaze you. Along your trek you will see more wildlife like the dik-dik, bushbucks, and bush pigs, among others.
Guided Nature walks
Touring and visiting some of the remarkable places in the park will be amazing. Guides will lead you to visit the old feeding station of Goodall’s foundation, you will have reflections of what she went through during her research, a place where she started her exercise of studying these creatures and also the same place where Henry Stanely met Dr. Livingstone in 1871. You will have reflections of what she went through during her research.
These are normally arranged in the morning and afternoons. You will have splendid views of this beautiful river. At the shores you will enjoy wildlife, birds. You will enjoy the cool environment on the lake and also a moment of photograpy.
The green hills, and the tropical forest are worth exploring. You will have up close views of the vegetation in the park during this activity. You see unique plantations, wildlife, and birds having a good time.
Fishing is enjoyable on this lake. To enjoy this activity, you will need to have a fishing guide and a permit. But the most amazing thing is the joy of catching a huge tilapia.
The park lies close to Lake Tanganyika which has clear fresh waters. You will need to take a swim under the scotching sun and also take a moment to refresh yourself from a long trekking activity.
When to visit the park
The park is enjoy all the time but the best time to visit is the period from February -June and November -Mid December. Primates during this period are easy to be seen and from July-October and late December, the park is dry, primates are easy to be tracked and the trails are easy to penetrate.
In the dry season, (May-October), chimpanzees are easy to truck, and the weather favors water activities. Although it’s a busy season, the park never gets crowded.
In the wet season that is November to April, vegetation in the Park is at its best, and there is no haze. It’s the peak season of bird watching. Chimpanzees are always hard to trek. Trails in the park are slippery to penetrate.
Chimpanzees and other primates.
The park has a large number of chimpanzees and tourists can enjoy seeing them and trekking them in the tropical forest. Primates in the park include: baboons, blue monkeys, red tailed monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, among others. You will get a great opportunity of trekking them and also be more conversant of their way of life since they are habituated.
The likes of African fish eagles, kingfishers, sunbirds, vultures, among other water birds will be enjoyed. To spice up the whole activity, the park is also visited by migrant birds from other continents. If you’re interested in them, you will not miss a chance of seeing them.
- GHN Lake Tanganyika Hotel
- Kigoma Hilltop Hotel
- Mahale Classic lodge