Visit Katavi and Mahale - wild, exciting and filled with adventure
There are no limitations to off road driving and walks and fly camping (if pre booked) can be arranged in most areas of the park.
Continuing the adventure of western Tanzania, you will fly to Mahale Mountains in the far west of Tanzania, located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Here, you will spend the next 3 nights in this tranquil tropical paradise. With no vehicles in this park, your focus will be treks into the mountains to encounter wild Chimpanzees in the forest and on bird-watching, fishing, sailing, Kayaking and snorkeling.
Far from the madding crowds - these destinations make you feel that the world has stood still in these locations.
Katavi National Park is one of the great wildlife experiences of the world. Miles from anywhere, it has almost mythical status, and, its believed, a greater density of mammals than in any other Tanzanian reserve. In the midst of this "megabeast" land, sits Chada Katavi, man's retreat for the last decade. Spend your days exploring wild open spaces, see the last great herds of buffalo in East Africa - up to 1,000 head, fly camp under the stars, and return to the rather civilized campaign HQ, which is nothing short of splendid; six large, romantic and airy tents with fine wooden furniture, comfortable beds spread with crisp cottons, and bush-deluxe bathrooms.
At night the mess tent and library is the place to be, with silverware and glasses shining in the lamplight. From its elevated vantage point on a peninsula that rises out of Miombo woodland, the camp is perfectly placed for amazing views out over the wide Chada Plain. The canopy of tall trees is a great source of shade and food for the abundant animal and bird life. This means seeing great game often without even having to leave the camp.
This is the place for the wildlife connoisseur, and the traveller who thinks the African bush can offer up no more surprises. Happily indulged, watching the elephants head out to water as dusk falls, you feel like one of the last great pioneers; binoculars in your hand, Africa filling your head.
On a far flung beach along the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, below a huge story-book tropical forest lies the tiny sanctuary of Greystoke Mahale. The forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains rise behind camp, home to the world's largest known population of chimpanzees, with approximately 1000 individuals inhabiting the national park. Each day you can venture out into the forest, to observe and commune with these, our closest relatives, as they groom, wrestle and forage across the leafy floor.
Your home at Greystoke Mahale is one of six exotic wooden bandas looking out across the soft sand beach, with interiors fashioned from dhow timber. The bandas are open fronted, with dressing rooms set behind, adjoining bathrooms accessible via a short boardwalk with hot and cold water, and upstairs chill-out decks; designed with flair, generosity and passion for even the most demanding castaway. And if a day's "chimping" wasn't enough, you can snorkel or swim in the clear waters (there are over 250 species of cichlid in the lake) fish or kayak along the lake shore.
It is a physical place, but also strangely undemanding. Perhaps because it seems to have been created for Great Apes themselves: figs, flowers, sun, shade, and water.
08:00 am departure from Arusha airport in a shared charter to Katavi National Park. This flight takes almost 3 hours. Limited luggage allowance of 15 kg. per person. On arrival, game drive to camp passing open pans and through Miombo woodlands where game may appear at any moment. In camp in time for lunch. Game drives in the afternoon. Chada Katavi (FB)
Full days in Katavi National Park, with optional fly camping (subject to pre-booking), walks and game drives. Excellent wildlife encounters on foot and in open vehicles. Chada Katavi (FB)
Scheduled flight to Mahale Mountains. Boat transfer from airstrip to camp in the shores of the lake. Afternoon in camp / snorkeling etc. Greystoke Mahale (FB)
Activities will centre around treks into the Mahale mountains in the hope of encountering some of the 1000 or so wild chimpanzees in this area. Some of the groups are habituated to humans which allow for close interaction and good photo opportunities. (Chimpanzee Treks only permitted for ages 12 and above). Rest of day at leisure in and around camp. Greystoke Mahale (FB)
After breakfast and armed with a picnic lunch head back to the airstrip for your return flight to Kilimanjaro Airport, getting in at around 1830hrs, in time to connect with a number of flights to Nairobi & Europe. You may be dropped at other parks or lodges on request, subject to a surcharge.(B & L). End of services.
Prices are based on two persons sharing a room
Discounts are available for children and young adults under the age of 21 years. There is a minimum age of 8 years in both camps and 12 years to view Chimps and to participate in Fly Camping or walking in Katavi. There are also other prevailing discounts so please ask at time of enquiry.
There are two departures a week - Mondays and Thursdays with camp moves between Mahale and Katavi on these days. Trips starting on Monday have 3 nights in the 1st camp and 4 nights in the 2nd. Trips starting on Thursday, have 4nights in the 1st camp and 3 nights in the 2nd. It is therefore possible to upgrade the Mahale Chimpanzee experience by adding a day at the expense of cutting a day at Katavi. This adds a bit to the price.
There are no upgrades suggested