Katavi and Mahale safari in Western Tanzania
FROM PRICE: $ 9400 | ON SPECIAL FOR ONLY: $ 8957
Combine Katavi National Park with its wide open plains and herds of buffalo and elephant with the special forests and chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains on the shores of Lake Tanganyika.
Mark a special occasion with this rare experience.
Katavi National Park and Mahale Mountains, Tanzania - 8 days/7 nights.
Where is it?
Katavi National Park is rough, rugged and extreme in so many respects. It's Tanzania's third largest park with outstanding resident game and impressive populations of elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra. It's also good for giraffe, roan, sable, eland and others, with predators as good as you'll find elsewhere in East Africa.
From Katavi there's little to prepare one for the huge contrast that awaits your arrival in Mahale. It's a short flight due north west over the Mahale Mountains to a small airstrip on the edge of Lake Tanganyika followed by a motorised dhow for another 90 minutes down to Kangwena beach. The nearest road point is 100km away.
Lake Tanganyika is the largest body of freshwater in Africa, a mile deep (second deepest in the world), with around 50 incoming rivers and one outgoing, a pH of around 8 and no algal growth, its waters are crystal clear - the colour of gin! Bounded by Congo jungle on its opposite shore, the Greystoke side has this great towering Mahale range rising up around 2500m to Nkungwe Peak. This is a seriously dramatic beach spot - white beaches, clear fresh waters and verdant forests.
Mahale's main draw are the chimpanzees. The mountains are believed to hold around 600 plus individuals in 3 communities of which the Mimikere, or "M" community of 54 individuals (end 2007) has been habituated since 1965.
What is the best time of year to go?
Katavi is closed from 19 December to 1st June during the rainy season. Mahale stays open a bit longer before closing 3rd week March to end of May.
July/August/September are good months for this safari but that's also the busiest time of year in East Africa - we take bookings a year and more in advance, camps are small and available on a first come first served basis.
How to get there
Arrangements start and end in Arusha but are also available from Dar-es-Salaam on request and at an extra cost.
A night in Arusha is advised before the start of the safari; the price is not included in the cost.
Tips and Notes
Save US$450 per person by quoting KATMAH to your consultant to qualify for the special rate!
Best time for predators, crocs and hippos in Katavi is October and November - the rains usually start mid November. Best birds in Katavi are from late September through the rainy season. The Katavi skies and light for photographers is best in June.
Mahale's chimps are probably most difficult in June and February when they're regularly quite high in the mountains; a good time to visit is September/October/November when the chimps are often in the foothills.
If you're flexible then visit in October/November/December. Katavi has low season rates from November to camp close in February, Mahale is low season in November/December - except Xmas and New Year period.
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Tanzania Safari Spots
Tanzania Overview | Dar & the Coast | Katavi National Park | Lake Manyara | Mafia Islands |Mahale Mountains |Mikumi National Park | Mt Kilimanjaro | Ngorongoro Crater | Pemba | Ruaha National Park | Selous Game Reserve | Serengeti National Park | Tarangire National Park | Udzungwa | Zanzibar
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