Mahale is probably the loveliest national park in Tanzania. On one side are the high mountains with thick forest and on the other side you have the beautiful crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika. And in the middle there are the deserted beautiful white sandy beaches. Simply paradise. Besides tracking chimpanzees and other primates in the park, one can also do some other worthwhile activities such as swimming, snorkeling, fishing, walking on the lakeshore, boating and visiting the nearby fishing villages.
Mahale is relatively bigger, wilder and houses more chimpanzees than Gombe. Statistics indicate that there are more than 700 wild chimpanzees in different communities at Mahale. There is only one habituated group open for tourism and that is the Mimikere group. In size mahale is about 30 times bigger than Gombe occupying about 1,613sqkm. Topographically the park is dominated by the Mahale range, which is a part of the rift valley escarpment that rises sharply from the lakeshore up to the highest peak in the range. There are 4 main vegetation zones characterizing Mahale; these are Miombo woodland, rainforest, savannah and montane grassland.
GOMBE STREAM NATIONAL PARK DESCRIPTION
Gombe Stream National Park is located in western Tanzania, 10 miles (20 km) north of Kigoma town, the regional capital of western Tanzania.Established in 1968, Gombe is the smallest national park in Tanzania,with only 20 square miles (52 km²) of forest running along the hills of the northern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The terrain is distinguished by steep valleys, and the forest vegetation ranges from grassland to alpine bamboo to tropical rainforest Accessible only by boat, the park is most famous as the location where Jane Googdallpioneered her behavioral research conducted on the chimpanzee populations.The Kasakela Chimanzee Community,featured in several books and documentaries, lives in Gombe Stream National Park.
Gombe Stream’s high levels of diversity make it an increasingly popular tourist destination. Besides chimpanzees, primates inhabiting Gombe Stream include beachcomber olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys and vervet monkeys The park is also home to over 200 bird speciesand bushpigs.There are also 11 species of snakes, and occasional >hippopotamus and leopards. >Visitors to the park can trek into the forest to view the chimpanzees, as well as swim and snorkel in Lake Tanganyika with almost 100 kinds of colorful cichlid fish