Western Tanzania Adventure
$ 7,925 (Pps)
For the perfect escape from the crowds, take a week to explore the wild, remote but rewarding Tanzanian National Parks of Katavi and Mahale in Western Tanzania. Both are gloriously scenic but utterly contrasting, linked by convenient safari flights and by the fact that they are both marvellously isolated and little visited.
Where else but Katavi can one enjoy vast herds of buffalo, pools oozing with more hippo than mud and great river bridges of crocodile? And then secure such privileged, exclusive access to chimpanzees so close as in Mahale?
Wonderfully remote and un-touristy, Katavi offers a varied landscape of beautiful woodlands, floodplains and arid landscapes. In the dry season, there is nowhere to match Katavi National Park for huge herds of elephant. At any time of the year, the Hippo Pool puts all other hippo pools to shame; hundreds of closely-packed hippos grunting and snorting generally luxuriating in a great, black, sticky mud of hippo waste!
The Mahale National Park is the most remote and one of the smallest of Tanzania's National Parks, its forested mountain peaks hugging the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Western Tanzania and providing a protected habitat for chimpanzees. Inaccessible by road, Mahale covers an area of approximately 1,600km2. Access is initially by light aircraft, and then by dhow.
Chimpanzee trek in Gombe Stream National Park
Hilly and richly vegetated, Mahale is one of two chimpanzee protection zones in Tanzania; the other is the nearby Gombe Stream National Park. A Japanese research team has habituated one group of Mahale chimpanzees called the Mimikire Clan (out of a total population perhaps approaching a thousand), allowing some excellent sightings.
Don’t expect the reward of a great encounter without some hard walking and climbing! The best time to visit is generally accepted to be the dry season which runs roughly from July to October. It is possible to visit at all times of year, but away from the dry season you can expect the walking to be harder because of the slippery tracks and because the chimpanzees will tend to be further away from the lake shore. Your base here is the lovely Mbali Mbali Mahale.
You can also depart on a Thursday (instead of Monday) in which case you would have 4 nights in Katavi and 3 nights in Mahale. Ending this adventure with 2 night in Zanzibar to relax is perfect!
Note: This safari is not offered in the summer rainy season from January to March
- Chimpanzee trekking in Mahale Mountains
- Game drive in Katavi National Park
Western Tanzania Adventure at a glance
An idea of price
This is a set tour using specific camps. However many tours can be adapted. Chat to us about your options. It excludes international flights but includes an estimate for all domestic or regional flights within the tour.
Full Board, Accommodation and Meals as specified in the itinerary. Packed lunch on day of departure. Shared Charter Flights (Arusha - Katavi - Mahale - Arusha). Luggage allowance of 15kgs per person. Local beers, selection of spirits and house wines, soft drinks and water. Daily Conservation, Concession and Guide fees for park entrance. Guiding with English Speaking Driver/Guide. Game drives in a 4x4 vehicle on a shared basis in Katavi. 1 x Chimpanzee Trek per day in Mahale. 1 x Boat Safari in Mahale (Option 1: See the hippos, take a short river cruise, and try your hand at local methods of freshwater fishing. Option 2: Visit a neighboring fishing village, Katumbi, for a cultural tour. Or, pay for an additional boat safari and do both). Birding and forest walks in Mahale All transfers as indicated. All laundry services.
All items of personal nature. Tips and gratuities to hotel, lodges, camp staff and guides. Medical Insurance and Evacuation. Flying doctors coverage: Optional @ USD 50 dollars per person. Covers guest within East Africa for a period of 14 days. In the event of a medical emergency, guest will be airlifted to a hospital in Nairobi. All hospital charges with be payable by the guest.