Mbali Mbali Mahale




  • Luxury base for Chimpanzee trekking
  • Romantic wilderness retreat on Lake Tanganyika

The Mahale Mountains National Park on Lake Tanganyika in Western Tanzania is quite possibly the best place to see chimpanzees in the wild. Mbali Mbali Mahale is one of only two lodges in this important wildlife refuge and a perfect base for chimpanzee trekking. The intimate 9-room lodge sits on a secluded golden beach facing the sparkling clear azure waters, with densely forested mountains rising behind, ideal chimp habitat but also incredibly scenic. Most guests are here to trek in search of the chimpanzees but, in its own right, this romantic getaway is the perfect blend of adventure and comfort.

The location on the beach is magical and it is just the right blend of style, luxury and beach-appropriate simplicity. If you don’t care about décor, you won’t notice it, as the interior design is subordinate to the hospitality and the overall bush experience. But if you like comfort and attention to detail, then you will appreciate the generously sized mosquito nets, lamps just exactly where you need them to be, beautiful wooden floors, crisp linen and extremely comfortable beds.

The food is fresh, delicious and plentiful, served with personality and charm.

Accommodation at Mbali Mbali Mahale

Each well-appointed beach tent has been strategically tucked into the edge of the cooling shade of the forest canopy to offer guests privacy, while still allowing easy access to the beach and communal areas.  Each tent is under thatch on a raised platform. A private deck is furnished with a day bed to enjoy the lake and beach view. The tents have self-contained mosquito nets around the both the beds and bedside tables. The modern and spacious bathrooms have an indoor rain shower and double vanity with hot and cold running water. There is 24-hour electricity.

The price of comfort has not been at the cost of the environment.  Mbali Mbali Mahale is powered by solar energy and much care has been taken to reduce the carbon footprint.

The convivial main building houses a comfy seating area, a bar (using wood reclaimed from old dhows) and a dining space. Upstairs is a chill-out space with bean bags, ideal for an afternoon siesta or to watch the sun go down with a cool glass of something in hand.

Chimpanzee Tracking on foot

The primary activity in the park is chimpanzee tracking, carefully monitored so as to reduce human impact on the famous habituated M-Group chimps. Group size is limited to a maximum of six and the minimum age is 12.

The chimps spend most of their day playing, grooming and looking for food so they are fascinating to watch but fast-moving. At some times of the year they are to be found high up the mountains which rise dramatically behind the lodge; at others they can descend right to the beach, depending on what fruit is ripe to harvest at the time.

Other Activities

Guests can also take a gentle boat safari on the lake, or opt for a fishing excursion, where you may encounter crocodile, hippo and otter as well as an abundance of birdlife. Kayaks are available for exploring the lake at your leisure, or you may choose to simply stretch out under one of the salas on the beach, while the gentle lapping of the lake lulls you into an afternoon siesta.

Getting to Mahale

To get to Mahale, most smaller parties of guests take a shared light aircraft charter flight (on schedule Mondays and Thursdays) from Arusha via Katavi to the lakeside town of Kigoma. The overall flight duration is approximately 4 hours 10 minutes. From Kigoma, the camp is accessed by wooden sailing dhow.

Departure from Arusha to Mahale is usually 08:00 with the return flight from Mahale to Arusha at 12:25. As the charter flight is shared (rather than the whole plane being chartered by just your group) there will be other passengers flying to different destinations so flight routes and timings may vary.

Mbali Mbali Mahale on the map


Click on the Green Dot to see Room Images

Beach Tents

10 Beach Tents, furnished in contemporary style - have been strategically placed at the edge of the cooling forest canopy of the Mahale Mountains National park. All rooms are under thatch on raised platforms and have a private deck providing views of Lake Tanganyika and the beach. All guest rooms are within easy walking distance along the beach to the main lounge and dining areas.

All Rooms contain the conveniences to ensure a relaxing and comfortable stay, luxury bed linens and full bathroom amenities including an indoor rain shower and double vanity.



Full board, local beers, selection of spirits and house wines, soft drinks and water, laundry, Concession fees, 1 x Chimpanzee Trek per day, 1 x Boat Safari per stay (two hours - Option 1: See the Hippos and take a short river cruise and try the local methods of freshwater fishing. Option 2: Visit a neighboring fishing village, Katumbi, for a Cultural Tour. Pay for another boat safari to do both), Return Mahale Airstrip boat transfers, Kayaking.


Flying Doctor / Medical evacuation, gratuities, Conservation / Park fee per day ($94.40 Adult, $23.60 Child of 5-15 years, Free for child of 0-4 years), Tourism Development Levy ($1.50 per person per day), Additional Boat Safari / Fishing Excursion ($85 per person), Extra meals ($35 per meal), Boat Transfer from Lagossa of approx 2 hours ($350 per transfer one way).

Family Suitability

Family-friendly all ages

Malaria Rating

Malarial area year-round