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A 9-day off-the-beaten-track safari to Tanzania's wild west

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What's Included

  • All accommodation
  • Shared safari activities in Katavi and Mahale Mountains National Parks
  • Shared charter light aircraft flights, transfers and airport meet and greet
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

As much an adventure as a luxury safari, this nine-day expedition will take you to the ‘wild west’ of Tanzania, to two stunning but rarely visited national parks.

Begin like most Tanzanian safaris with a relaxing night in Arusha before a light aircraft out to Katavi National Park, a relatively long journey that is soon rewarded. Plains, rivers, hills, lakes and woodland are home to thousands of elephant, zebra, impala and topi, along with a whole roster of predators from lion and wild dog, leopard and hyena, to hippos and crocodiles gathering in great concentrations. A vast and varied landscape, this untamed swathe of the Rift Valley is visited by just a few hundred people annually, meaning you have its almost 4,500 square kilometres to yourself while based under canvas at the intimate Chada Katavi camp.

From Katavi it’s a short flight north to the shores of Lake Tanganyika and the forest slopes of Mahale Mountains National Park. Staying under thatch in one of Greystoke Mahale’s beach and looking out to the lake’s water, spend your days here venturing into the forests on foot in search of habituated chimpanzee troops – the park’s most famous inhabitants – for an unforgettable and humbling encounter with one of our closest ape relatives. There will also be plenty of time to relax, kayak on the lake, fish from traditional dhows, swim under waters falls and enjoying incredible sunsets.

This is a great trip for second time visitors or those looking to extend the usual safari ‘circuit’ into something even more extraordinary.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-2

Arusha

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Meet and greet at Kilimanjaro airport

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Arusha

Accommodation in Arusha

Overnight in Arusha Overnight in Arusha

Enjoy a restful overnight stay in your chosen accommodation in or just outside of Arusha.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer from Arusha hotel to Arusha airport

Flight

Shared charter flight from Arusha to Katavi

Transfer

Transfer from Katavi airstrip to your lodge

Days 2-5

Katavi National Park

Accommodation in Katavi National Park

Three nights in Katavi National Park Three nights in Katavi National Park

Completely off the beaten track, Katavi is isolated and undiscovered by all but the most ardent safari goers. The national park encompasses huge grassland plains, marshland, rugged hills, woodland, lakes and rivers which, when combined with the surrounding game reserves of Rukwa, Lukwati and Luafi, form a great ecosystem of some 25,000 square kilometres. What’s even more appealing is that there with only a couple of permanent camps and just a few hundred visitors a year, you’ll get it virtually to yourself.

Countless zebra, impala and topi which fill the plains, while there are also strong populations of giraffe, buffalo, elephant, hartebeest and waterbuck. Predators such as lion prides and hyena are easily found while cheetah, wild dog and leopard can also be spotted. During the dry season, hundreds of hippo crowd into the remaining waterholes and rivers, while crocodiles sun themselves on the banks.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Shared transfer from Chada Katavi to Katavi Airstrip

Flight

Shared charter flight from Katavi to Mahale

Days 5-9

Mahale Mountains National Park

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Boat transfer from Mahale airstrip to your lodge

Accommodation in Mahale Mountains National Park

Four nights in the Mahale Mountains National Park Four nights in the Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park sits next to the longest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Tanganyika. What makes this location extra special is the presence of chimpanzees in the thick forests that cover the its slopes. Jane Goodall made the area famous and has done much to highlight awareness of the chimpanzees and promote their conservation.

Close observation by these scientific studies over the years have made the chimpanzees approachable, allowing the unique and rare experience of getting up close to our closest cousins in the animal kingdom, which is the main attraction of coming to this area. The chimpanzees are not the only feature however, as the lake itself is quite beautiful and home to abundant bird and aquatic life.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Boat transfer to Mahale airstrip

Flight

Shared charter lfight to Kilimanjaro Airport

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Wild Katavi and Mahale Chimp Safari

9-day example trip
 
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