Explore two fantastic and contrasting national parks in the remote reaches of Western Tanzania, and trek chimps in the forests of Mahale.
This exceptional itinerary offers a different safari experience to other Tanzania itineraries. There are not many places in the world where you can so easily combine the excitement of seeing chimpanzees with a more traditional safari observing some of African’s other iconic mammals on the savannah.
Seldom-visited Katavi offers excellent opportunities to see lion, African elephant, herds of Cape buffalo and leopard, whereas in Mahale, you experience the thrill of trekking to see chimps in the wild, whilst also enjoying the beach location of your accommodation on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
Day1: Depart the UK
Day2: Arrive Arusha
On arrival at Arusha you will be met and transferred to your hotel, a former working coffee plantation, located near the airstrip.
Accommodation: Arusha Coffee Lodge, 1-night
Days3-6: Fly to Katavi National Park; vehicle & walking safaris
After an early breakfast, transfer to Arusha airport for a charter flight to Katavi, where you'll be met and driven to your camp.
As well as your three nights at Chada camp, you can also spend a night out in a lightweight bushcamp, sleeping in a bedroll slung under borassus palms, or retreat to the relative civilisation of the main camp, with canvas tents, colonial-style furniture and long, lazy dinners.
Days7-9: Fly to Mahale, chimp treks & ctivities on Lake Tanganyika
Transfer to the airstrip and take a charter flight to Mahale, then transfer by boat to your accommodation. Enjoy two morning chimp treks in Mahale National Park, considered one of the best places to see these fascinating primates. There is also plenty of other wildlife in the park to keep you busy.
The park borders the enormous Lake Tanganyika, one of the best beach locations in the world.
Forming part of Tanzania’s ‘Western Safari Circuit’, Katavi National Park is a remote area of unspoilt nature. This undiscovered wilderness is awash with plains game and over 400 species of birds. Its isolated location results in low visitor numbers, making it ideal for watching wildlife in peace and solitude.
Where: Western Tanzania
Ideal for viewing: Cape buffalo, lion, puku, roan, sable
Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching
Mahale National Park is located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and split in two by the Mahale Mountains. Home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, this is a magical place of tropical forests with vines and tall trees growing on the banks of rivers which then tumble into countless waterfalls.
Where: Kigoma District
Ideal for viewing: blue duiker, chimpanzee, red colobus monkey, Sharpe’s grysbok, brush-tailed porcupine
Excellent for: Walking safaris
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
The pioneers of this camp were the first to arrive in Katavi – some 20 years ago – at a time when virtually no-one had heard of it. Today, Chada Katavi lies hidden in the shade of acacia and tamarind trees, with just six spacious safari tents, raised on wooden platforms for panoramic views.
With one of the most beautiful, remote and dramatic locations of any camp in East Africa, Greystoke is a really special place, with tented suites set on a white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise waters of Lake Tanganyika. Local guides are on hand to track chimpanzees in the neighbouring forest.