Explore Katavi,Mahale national parks lake Tanganyika

Explore chimps at Mahale mountains. Wildlife viewing at Katavi national park.

Safari tour package:
A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Price per person*:
Includes internal flights:
Length of safari:
13 days
Best months:
April - May, August - December
Countries visited:
Parks visited:
Activity level:
Easy - Game drives, bush dinners
Safari type:
Camping safaris Camping Cultural safaris Cultural Birding safaris Birding
*Prices are estimates and used as guidelines only. Please contact the tour operator for an exact quote.
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Western Tanzania is rough, remote frontier land. The West serves a sense of adventure now extinct in the rest of the country, & this is precisely what attracts a trickle of travelers. Visit Katavi National Park: “how Earth must have looked before the dawn of man”. Track chimpanzees, man’s closest living relative, in the Mahale Mountains - one of the largest populations of remaining chimps, and then bask in the pleasures of the world’s longest, second-deepest, and least-polluted freshwater lake!

Day 1: Arrival in Tanzania / Safari Transfer to Your Hotel / Rest and Recover

You will be met by your professional safari transfer: Tanzanian guides who are familiar with the needs of foreign travelers. These guides are not taxi drivers; they are fluent in Swahili and, at the very least, competent in the English language. Breakdown Safaris works only with guides whom we know to be reliable and trustworthy.

The transfer to your hotel in the city center of Dar es Salaam takes you through the social, economic, and governmental center of the country, (though Dodoma is the capital). Your hotel has been selected to provide comfort and convenience for the next few hours, as you rest and recover from your international flight(s). There is no need to leave the hotel. The hotel has a restaurant that is open 24 hours; breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all included in your safari package. A spa on premises can further aid in your relaxation at your request.

Day 2: Travel Through the Western Frontier of Tanzania

Today begins with a short flight from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya. This flight is strategically designed to alleviate approximately sixteen hours of travel by road, West from Dar es Salaam. Upon leaving Mbeya International Airport (though only one airline currently flies in and out of this relatively new complex), we depart, via safari truck, for Sumbawanga.

Our journey takes us through Tunduma, a very busy and chaotic town on the border of Zambia. West of Tunduma, the land opens up and only sparse populations of residents can be seen. Enjoy watching the changing scenery and visions of local life as we travel further West on the new, paved highway. Sumbawanga is the final outpost of resources and civilization in Western Tanzania.

Day 3: Dust Roads and Arrival in Camp

Western Tanzania is rough, remote, & isolated frontier land, with vast trackless expanses, minimal infrastructure & few visitors. Travel is long & arduous here, much of it on “dust roads” with bottomless potholes. But, for that certain sort of traveler, Tanzania’s west is Tanzania’s best.

Katavi Nat'l Park is a true wilderness, providing the few intrepid souls who make it here with a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a century ago.

It is during the dry season, when the floodwaters retreat, that Katavi truly comes into its own. The Katuma, reduced to a shallow, muddy trickle, forms the only source of drinking water for miles around, & the flanking floodplains support game concentrations that defy belief. An estimated 4,000 elephants might converge on the area, together with several herds of 1,000+ buffalo, while an abundance of giraffe, zebra, impala & reedbuck provide easy pickings for the numerous lion prides & hyena clans whose territories converge on the floodplains.

Day 4-5: Katavi National Park

Highlights of Katavi National Park:

* High habitat and species diversity with high concentrations of large mammals

* Extensive wetlands and important water catchments areas

* Interesting vegetation mosaic ranging from wetlands & lakes to riverine vegetation and various types of woodlands and shrub lands

* Home to some endangered and unusual species: wild dog, cheetahs, roan & sable antelopes, and eland

* Historical and cultural resources: The Karema-Inyonga-Tabora slave route passed through the protected area complex.

* Stone age and iron age sites, Wamweru Hills and the Katabi Tree testify to the early settlement of human ancestors in this area. Sacred sites and places of worship still exist inside the park’s boundaries.

* Scenic diversity with escarpments, rugged hills, flat alluvial plains, marshes, lakes and rivers, hot springs, waterfalls, and beautiful views from the top of the escarpment down into the Rukwa valley.

* Katuma Valley / Paradise Springs in the dry season.

Day 6: Fly from Katavi to Lake Tanganyika and Mahale Mountains National Park

Lake Tanganyika is the world’s longest, second-deepest, and least-polluted freshwater lake. At somewhere between 9 and 13 million years old, it’s also one of the oldest. Thanks to its age and ecological isolation, the lake is home to an exceptional number of endemic fish, including 98% of the 250+ species of cichlids. Cichlids are popular aquarium fish due to their bright colors. Watch for several different species of monkeys, and a wide variety of forest birds.

Set deep in the heart of the African interior on a stretch of secluded golden beach, Kungwe Beach Lodge is the perfect blend of comfort and luxury in a romantic setting. 10 light spacious safari rooms, furnished in imitation of the surrounding lakeside villages, have been strategically placed at the edge of the cooling forest canopy. All rooms are under thatch on raised platforms & have a private deck providing views of Lake Tanganyika. The main deck is shaped like a dhow boat & contains the central dining & lounge facilities.

Day 7-8: Tracking Chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale Mountains Nat'l Park is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees. A population of roughly 1000, they are habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1960s. Though Mahale is accessible all year round, chimpanzees are likely to be seen in big groups during the dry season (May - October).

Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience. To the human listener, walking through the forests to hear the call of the chimpanzee can be a spine-chilling event. The anticipation builds until you come face-to-face with man’s closest genetic relative.

The guides have no control over the chimps’ location at any given time. Tracking on one day may be an easy stroll, while on another day, tracking may require strenuous scrambling up and down steep mountainsides, under fallen trees, and through dense foliage and brush. No one with signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection are allowed to track the chimps and surgical masks must be worn.

Day 9-12: Transfer to the Airstrip / Fly to Kipili / Revel in the Wonders of Lake Tanganyika

Perched on the banks of Lake Tanganyika, Lake Shore Lodge offers stylish and unique accommodation and enough adventure activities to keep you active for days! Relax in a hammock, wake at noon, kayak at sunset, snorkel or scuba dive in the morning and then watch the sunset before a sumptuous dinner on the beach under the African stars. Life is tough here!

The luxury beach chalets are built right at the water’s edge and only steps from the lake. The open-air design incorporates all of the natural elements: light, water and earth. The whole of the front of the room opens with sliding doors, to reveal a spectacular, personal view, of the magnificent lake, over your private beach. Lying in your bed, all you can see are your toes and the Lake!

The lodge is a small, owner-run business, so flexibility in your day is easy. Skip breakfast, have a private dinner on your beach, get the barman to make your favorite cocktail, or help him to make it – it has all been done and the owners love it!.

Day 13: Fly Back to Dar es Salaam

Following a leisurely breakfast and maybe a quick dip in the lake, your return flight to Dar es Salaam departs at 11:15 am. Your arrival at Julius Nyerere Airport positions you to prepare for departure on your international flights OR we are happy to arrange further accommodation or a transit room in the city.

Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.

  • Tiffany Diamond Hotel.
  • Kalambo Falls Lodge.
  • Katuma Bush Lodge.
  • Kungwe Beach Lodge.
  • Lakeshore Lodge.

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Rajatours & Safaris

- We offer private/custom safaris
- We offer group tours/safaris
- Our main focus is: Mid-level safaris
- We book pre/post-safari attractions
- We have 6 tour packages listed
T: +255744300848
Since: Jul 2016

Parks you will visit

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Animals you will see

African buffalo
African buffalo
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Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Boating / canoeing
Boating / canoeing
Bush walks
Bush walks
Game drives
Game drives
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