Nature Experience Safari 8 Days
This tour takes you to visit 2 of the 3 exclusively western circuit National parks of Tanzania for game drives and walking while tracking the Chimps where few number of tourists travel to. These tour sites are Katavi and Mahale Mountains National parks where you will stay for 3 nights in Katavi and 4 nights in Mahale. The park hosts small and large mammals including the RARE CHIMPANZEE which are not found in any other wildlife reserve in Tanzania, it is also home to variety of birds species and reptiles. Accommodation in Luxury Tented camp with bush shower booked on full board arrangements.
You will enjoy and experience nature, wildlife, habit and habitat of the fauna and flora in the natural areas, also peoples and culture. Availability 90%
Minimum Rate Per Adult: US$
Departing From: Arusha
Duration: 9 Days / 8 Nights
Departure Time: 0830 Hrs (possible to leave earlier than)
Minimum Persons Required: 2
Best Time: All round the year
9 Days, 8 Nights
- Katavi, Mahale and Gombe
Day 1 – Depart by Air to Katavi National Park
START/From Arusha or Dar, by shared charter plane (two-hours), fly to Katavi National Park. Afternoon game drive and late afternoon/evening walking safari. Dinner and overnight at Katuma Bush Lodge
Day 2 – A Full Day of Walking Safaris & Game Drives in Katavi
After breakfast, Morning walking safari to explore the Katavi floodplain. Late morning break for picnic brunch. Afternoon game drive to Katavi’s inner side. Dinner and overnight at Katuma Bush Lodge
Day 3 – A Full Day of Walking Safaris & Game Drives in Katavi
After breakfast, spend another day exploring the Katavi floodplain.
Afternoon game drive to Katavi’s inner side. Dinner and overnight at Katuma Bush Lodge
Day 4 - Depart for the Mahale Mountains
After breakfast; take shared chartered flight (one-hour) to the Mahale Mountains. Transfer in boat along Lake Tanganyika. Afternoon foot-walking safari in the Mahale Mountains
Dinner and overnight at Nkungwe Beach Lodge
Day 5- The Mahale Mountains
Full day spent bird-watching and chimpanzee tracking in Mahale Mountains.
Picnic lunches in the mountain forest
Afternoon walking safaris in the mountains followed by late afternoon leisure time along the beach on Lake Tanganyika. Dinner and overnight at Nkungwe Beach Lodge
Day 6 - Depart Mahale for Kigoma Town
After breakfast depart for Kigoma by boat. Arrive in Kigoma Town in time for lunch.
Afternoon and late afternoon of leisure Dinner and overnight at Kigoma Hill Top Hotel
Day 7 - Depart Kigoma Town for the Gombe Stream
After breakfast; depart for the Gombe Stream by boat along Lake Tanganyika. After arrival, proceed with game viewing/chimpanzee tracking and climb the Kakombe waterfalls. Overnight at Gombe Forest Lodge
Day 8 - Game Viewing & Chimpanzee Tracking
After breakfast, go game viewing, bird-watching, chimpanzee tracking and climb to Jane’s peak in Gombe Stream National Park. Overnight at Gombe Forest Lodge
Day 9- Depart Gombe Stream for Kigoma then to Dar es Salaam
After breakfast, return by boat then 4WD to Kigoma Town.
Lunch at Kigoma Hill Top Hotel. Transfer to the airport for 18:00 scheduled flight to Dar es Salaam. Arrive in Dar es Salaam for overnight or for your connecting flight.
The package includes
- Accommodation and meals as per itinerary
- All airport transfers in private car
- Flights Arusha - Katavi - Mahale - Kigoma - Dar es Salaam. Boat Kigoma - Gombe - Kigoma
- Transport and wildlife drives in 4WD Land Cruiser or Land Rover with photographic roof hatch
- Services of a professional safari guide
- All wildlife reserve entry fees
- Conservation fees
The Package does not include
- International airfare & flights
- All items of a personal nature
- Gratuities for safari guide and camp staff
- Airport departure tax
- Travel insurance
- Visa and Passport fees
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and beverages in lodges
Mahale Mountains National Park
Silky white coves hem in the azure waters of Lake Tanganyika, overshadowed by a chain of wild, jungle-draped peaks towering almost 2km above the shore: the remote and mysterious Mahale Mountains.
Mahale Mountains is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees: a population of roughly 800 (only 60 individuals forming what is known as "M group"), habituated to human visitors by a Japanese research project founded in the 1960s. Tracking the chimps of Mahale is a magical experience. The guide's eyes pick out last night's nests - shadowy clumps high in a gallery of trees crowding the sky. Scraps of half-eaten fruit and fresh dung become valuable clues, leading deeper into the forest. Butterflies flit in the dappled sunlight.
Then suddenly you are in their midst: preening each other's glossy coats in concentrated huddles, squabbling noisily, or bounding into the trees to swing effortlessly between the vines.
The area is also known as Nkungwe, after the park's largest mountain, held sacred by the local Tongwe people, and at 2,460 metres (8,069 ft) the highest of the six prominent points that make up the Mahale Range.
And while chimpanzees are the star attraction, the slopes support a diverse forest fauna, including readily observed troops of red colobus, red-tailed and blue monkeys, and a kaleidoscopic array of colourful forest birds.
You can trace the Tongwe people's ancient pilgrimage to the mountain spirits, hiking through the montane rainforest belt – home to an endemic race of Angola colobus monkey - to high grassy ridges chequered with alpine bamboo. Then bathe in the impossibly clear waters of the world’s longest, second-deepest and least-polluted freshwater lake – harbouring an estimated 1,000 fish species - before returning as you came, by boat.
About Mahale Mountains National Park
Size: 1,613 sq km (623 sq miles).
Location: Western Tanzania, bordering Lake Tanganyika.
Charter flight from Arusha, Dar or Kigoma.
Charter private or national park motorboat from Kigoma, three to four hours.
Weekly steamer from Kigoma, seven hours, then hire a local fishing boat or arrange with park HQ for pickup in park boat, another one or two hours.
What to do
Chimp tracking (allow two days); hiking; camping safaris; snorkelling; fish for your dinner.
When to go
Dry season (May-October) best for forest walks although no problem in the light rains of October/November.
Three seasonal luxury tented camps.
Two small resthouses, large campsite.
Katavi National Park
Tanzania's third largest national park, it lies in the remote southwest of the country, within a truncated arm of the Rift Valley that terminates in the shallow, brooding expanse of Lake Rukwa.
The bulk of Katavi supports a hypnotically featureless cover of tangled brachystegia woodland, home to substantial but elusive populations of the localised eland, sable and roan antelopes. But the main focus for game viewing within the park is the Katuma River and associated floodplains such as the seasonal Lakes Katavi and Chada. During the rainy season, these lush, marshy lakes are a haven for myriad waterbirds, and they also support Tanzania’s densest concentrations of hippo and crocodile.
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, and 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-plus buffalo, while an abundance of giraffe, zebra, impala and reedbuck provide easy pickings for the numerous lion prides and spotted hyena clans whose territories converge on the floodplains.
Katavi’s most singular wildlife spectacle is provided by its hippos. Towards the end of the dry season, up to 200 individuals might flop together in any riverine pool of sufficient depth. And as more hippos gather in one place, so does male rivalry heat up – bloody territorial fights are an everyday occurrence, with the vanquished male forced to lurk hapless on the open plains until it gathers sufficient confidence to mount another challenge.
About Katavi National Park
Size: 4,471 sq km (1,727 sq miles).
Location; Southwest Tanzania, east of Lake Tanganyika.
The headquarters at Sitalike lie 40km (25 miles) south of Mpanda town.
Charter flights from Dar or Arusha.
A tough but spectacular day's drive from Mbeya (550 km/340 miles), or in the dry season only from Kigoma (390 km/240 miles).
It is possible to reach Mpanda by rail from Dar via Tabora, then to catch public transport to Sitalike, where game drives can be arranged. If travelling overland, allow plenty of time to get there and back.
What to do
Walking, driving and camping safaris.
Near Lake Katavi, visit the tamarind tree inhabited by the spirit of the legendary hunter Katabi (for whom the park is named) - offerings are still left here by locals seeking the spirit’s blessing.
When to go
The dry season (May-October).
Roads within the park are often flooded during the rainy season but may be passable from mid-December to February.
Two seasonal luxury tented camps overlooking Lake Chada. A resthouse at Sitalike and campsites inside the park. Basic but clean hotels at Mpanda.