Accessing the Mahale Mountains National Park is an adventure all of its own; the whole area must be experienced on foot, and the only way in and out of the park is by boat.
The natural location is simply stunning. Forested mountains cascade down to the lake shore, the mist-covered peak of Mount Nkungwe rises up in the background, and crystal-clear waters teeming with fish lap against white sandy coves.
First and foremost, the park is a sanctuary for chimpanzee. There are estimated to be about 1,700 chimps here, but it can be a challenge to seek them as you climb through the dense vegetation. You’ll have a sense of achievement when you first catch a glimpse of a small group of chimps in a clearing or high up in the treetops, after hiking through the verdant forest.
In between chimp tracking expeditions, Lake Tanganyika beckons for snorkelling and kayaking, as well as hippo and crocodile spotting forays. The forests are filled with birds, guinea fowl and hornbill amongst them. And in the evening, prepare for yet another magical experience, as the sun sets over the distant Congo Mountains and tiny lights from fishing boats flicker across the lake.