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Taming The Wild West of Tanzania
8 DAYS STARTING FROM £6095 PER PERSON
The Majesty of Western Tanzania
Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same.
Katavi and Mahale are very much the epitome of what Brian Jackman wrote, once you have been you will never be the same! You venture well off the Tanzanian tourist track to view the inescapable beauty and wildest areas in Katavi and Mahale National Parks. Huge herds of elephants and buffalo roam the vast plains of Katavi interspersed with sightings of lion, leopard and huge pods of hippos. Katavi is spellbinding and delivers a beautifully wild safari experience every time. You then fly to Mahale, home to the M group of wild Chimpanzees. Located by the crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika and framed by the lush Mahale Mountains this is one of the last locations that can be called a true paradise. Venture in to the mountains for a unique hour with the chimps. See Primus, the Alpha male, rule his group and watch Christmas calmly overlook the group from a rocky vantage point. Come back to camp and sit by the fire on the beach, look out towards the Congo as the sun goes down and think wow, I’ve just spent an hour with the Mahale Chimpanzees! This is one wildlife experience that will stay with you forever.
This itinerary is arguably the perfect safari. Huge congregations of wildlife, wide open spaces of the pristine Katavi wilderness that brims with life and very few visitors. Followed by a magical few days on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and the Chimpanzees of Mahale.
You will never be the same after this most wonderful of safari in to the heart of Africa.
WHY GO ON THIS TRIP?
DAY 1 RELAX IN ARUSHA
On arrival in to Kilimanjaro Airport you will be met and transferred to the Arusha Coffee Lodge for one night. An exclusive boutique hotel that is situated in the grounds of one of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantations. It offers you a perfect start to this unbelievable safari itinerary, walk around the endless acres of the plantation with magnificent views of Mt Meru behind the lodge.
DAYS 2, 3, 4: EXPERIENCE THE AWESOME KATAVI
After a hearty breakfast you will be taken to Arusha Airport for the flight to Katavi where you will be met and taken to the camp for the next 3 nights. Chada Camp is small and intimate, located in the Chada Plains, it offers you a true out of Africa experience. You can also spend the night fly camping on the plains for a unique, one off experience in one of the worlds wildest places.
Katavi is wild and remote and has an abundance of wildlife that is not easily matched any where else in Africa. It is Tanzania’s third biggest National Park an one of the least visited. There are only 26 beds in the whole of Katavi and you could well find yourself the only people viewing the Katuma pride or watching the numerous leopards that are in the park. Take game drives in to the heart of the Katisunga and Chada Plains and, subject to weather conditions, spend the day in Paradise Plain. These three areas are home to herds of elephants of over 200 and witness over a thousand buffalo grazing whilst the big sun sets to the west. Night game drives are revelation, spot cerval and civet cats and running hippos and leopard too.
Katavi is a very special place. The sights and sounds of the bush seem amplified in Katavi and you’re left feeling that this is what it must have been like going on safari 40 years ago.
DAYS 5, 6, 7, 8: THE MAGIC OF MAHALE
This morning you fly from Katavi to Mahale airstrip, taking 40 minutes. On arrival you will be shown to the transfer Dhow, moored and gently rolling on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. On board you will have refreshments whilst you sit back and admire at the beauty of Mahale as you pass by villages and gaze in to the clear water of the lake. As you round the bay you will be struck by the majesty of Kungwe Mountain, the beautiful backdrop for your stay in Mahale.
Your stay on the lake and in the jungle is at Mbali Mbali Mahale. Recently refurbished, the camp is beautiful and reflects the mix of the jungle and also the influence of Lake Tanganyika. The secret of your stay here is the head guide, Rama. He is one of the finest wildlife guides in Africa, his father worked with Jane Goodall and Rama grew up with chimpanzees. He knows all of the M group by name and will teach you the chimpanzees eat as well as guide you to the magic hour with the chimps when you trek up the mountain. Be prepared for a few hills to get to the chimps but the effort is well worth it. To watch these magnificent creatures only 5 metres away gives you a rush so big that it’s hard to describe. You watch the group communicating and grooming all under the mindful watch of the Alpha, Primus.
When you come back down the mountain you will be shown to a fire on the beach to watch the sun go down over the Congo with a cold beer or G&T in your hand. What could be better? Other trips included in your stay are boat tours down the lake to see the hippos and crocodiles, swimming in the middle of the lake, orientation walks on the lower slopes of the mountain and a cultural visit to a local fishing village.
After four nights you will then take the Dhow back to the airstrip for your flight back to Arusha. You will be met at Arusha and transferred to the airport for your onward journey.