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Katavi National Park, Mahale Mountains and Lake Tanganyika

KATAVI NATIONAL PARK, MAHALE MOUNTAINS AND LAKE TANGANYIKA

Trip duration

9 days/ 8 nights

The Katavi National Park, Mahale Mountains and Lake Tanganyika Safari can be combined with our Zanzibar Beach Holidays.

 

 

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ARUSHA OR DAR ES SALAAM

Depending on your international flight and day of the week, our great safari will either start in Tanzania’s tourism capital, Arusha or economic capital, Dar es Salaam. Our Tour Leader will be ready to receive us at the airport and kick start our journey to pure wilderness and safari joy. We shall then head to our hotel, where we shall check in.

On this day, if we have an early arrival, we may explore local attractions around the hotel. Otherwise, we can relax and enjoy the nice Tanzania weather from our lodge.

Night in Arusha or Dar es Salaam.

DAY 2, 3, 4 AND 5: KATAVI NATIONAL PARK

You will then take a local flight to Katavi National Park, where nature awaits in this hidden gem of Africa. Katavi occupies an area of 4,471 square kilometres; making it Tanzania’s third-largest park. Here the truncated arm of the Great Rift Valley sprawls onwards to Lake Rukwa. The Katuma River is indeed a wildlife haven. More sites we shall be keen on include the Katavi and Chada floodplains (sometimes called Lake Katavi and Lake Chada). During the dry season (May to October), Katavi National Park is full of animals and makes for the best safari experience.

Katavi National Park is an amazing wildlife destination and is known for large herds of African Elephants and African Buffaloes. Along the wetlands are huge Nile Hippos and Nile Crocodiles. Other animals that occupy the vast Brachystegia woodlands and open savannah include; Roan Antelope, Leopard, African Wild Dog, Common Eland, Maasai Giraffe, Common Zebra, Common Impala, Topi, African Lion, Spotted Hyena and Sable Antelope.

Nights in Katavi National Park.

DAY 6, 7 AND 8: MAHALE MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK AND LAKE TANGANYIKA – THE WESTERN/ ALBERTINE RIFT VALLEY

We shall then take another local flight from Katavi National Park to Mahale Airstrip. The true highlight of Mahale Mountains National Park is the chimpanzee trekking experience. This park and the neighbouring Gombe Stream National Park are the only locations in Tanzania where you can enjoy these Great Apes. The chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains were habituated to humans by a Japanese research project in the 1960s. Mahale is sometimes called Nkungwe- named after the park’s highest mountain (2,460 metres above sea level) that is sacred to the local Tongwe people. We shall enjoy chimpanzee trekking here as well as cultural experiences at the local villages.

We shall also enjoy visiting the refreshing waterfalls within the national park; on guided nature walks. Along these forest trails, hundreds of beautiful birds species occur alongside the chimpanzees. Other primates also occupy these mountains and the neighbouring area, including Red-tailed Monkey, Mahale Silver/ Blue Monkey, Reddish Green Vervet Monkey, Kinda Yellow Baboon, Mahale Angola Colobus Monkey and Ashy Red Colobus Monkey.

We shall enjoy the nearby Lake Tanganyika; which is the World’s longest and second-deepest lake. The lake also has another World record, in that it is the second largest, by volume, lake in the world. The only lake with more water volumes and a deeper depth is Lake Baikal. Lake Tanganyika is considered the least-polluted freshwater lake in the World; and the clear waters here are a testimony to that. The lake is fed by over 50 streams and rivers.

The lake is located inside the Western or Albertine Rift Valley and touches four countries- Burundi, Zambia, Tanzania and DR Congo. The lake is also a paradise for wildlife, hosting over 1,000 fish species and the only place in East Africa where you can find Slender-snouted Crocodiles.

You can choose to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, boat cruises or beach walks at Lake Tanganyika on any of the days.

Nights at Mahale.

DAY 9: TO ARUSHA OR DAR ES SALAAM

We shall enjoy a relaxed breakfast at our lodge as we enjoy the natural sounds around us.

We shall then take a local flight to Arusha or Dar es Salaam. On arrival, we shall take an airport transfer for the flights home- marking the end to this lovely Tanzania safari.

 

 

Highlight mammals and others

Leopard, African Lion, Savannah Elephant, Maasai Giraffe, Cape Buffalo, Nile Hippopotamus, Chimpanzee

Habitats covered

Savannah, Miombo Woodland, Wetlands, Semi-arid Scrubland, Tropical Forest

Photographic opportunities

Excellent

Special moments

Africa’s Big 5, Tanzania Endemic Birds’ Species, Lake Tanganyika, Chimpanzees, Katavi National Park