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WESTERN TANZANIA

ABOUT

MAHALE

Mahale Mountains National Park lies on the western border of Tanzania along the crystal blue waters of Lake Tanganyika. It is home to a thriving population of chimpanzees. This roadless national park is completely off the beaten path, and is only accessible by boat and aircraft. Chimp-trekking expeditions offer an opportunity to spend an hour observing them go through their daily routine. At times, they make it all the way down into camp! A visit to the Mahale Mountains is not just about chimpanzees, even though they are an absolute highlight. Taking a hike through thick forest to a natural pool, kayaking in the lake’s waters, sailing along its shoreline, and fishing are other great ways to discover the magic of this secluded paradise.

KATAVI

Katavi is the third largest national park in Tanzania and an untamed wilderness of woodlands and river systems that flow into lakes and wetlands. Katavi is a harsh wilderness indeed, where survival strategies are tested to reveal the strength of its inhabitants. Seasonal rains dictate the flow of life here and bring relief to this unforgiving landscape. During the dry season, lake waters recede to expose crowded pods of hippos, and animals rely on the waters of the Katuma, Kavu, and Kapapa Rivers. This beautiful park is an exceptional walking destination. Traveling through this remote, raw wilderness by foot provides an unforgettable connection to your natural surroundings.

SEASONS

MAHALE

Mahale experiences two seasons. The dry season lasts from June to October, and the green season lasts from November to May. Throughout the dry season, temperatures slowly increase, and wild chimps spend more time closer to camp as preferred fruits come into season. Mahale’s green season begins with the first rains in November, which bring clear skies and vibrant colors to the forest canopy in the form of butterflies, wildflowers, and brilliant birds. During the green season, chimpanzee expeditions usually require guests to travel longer distances into the Mahale Mountains. Mahale remains closed from March until May, when logistics become too difficult due to the rains.

KATAVI

Katavi experiences two drastic seasons. The dry season lasts from June to October, and the green season lasts from November to May. Katavi’s harsh wilderness is echoed in the year’s seasonal extremes. As the dry season progresses into September and October, temperatures rise and the water from rivers and lakes evaporates. November’s rains bring relief to Katavi’s animals and transform its parched landscape, lasting into May or June. Katavi remains closed from November to May when logistics become too difficult due to the rains.

JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
HIGH (F°) 86° 86° 88° 88° 88° 88° 88° 90° 92° 90° 86° 86°
LOW (F°) 70° 70° 70° 70° 68° 66° 64° 66° 70° 70° 70° 70°
RAINFALL (mm) 145 115 138 167 57 5 1 2 15 52 130 148
ACCOMMODATIONS
CHADA KATAVI


GREYSTOKE MAHALE
WILDLIFE

MAHALE

Wild chimpanzees definitely take center stage at Mahale, but it is also home to bushbucks, bushpigs, and a beautiful array of birds and butterflies. It is a perfect destination for primate enthusiasts, as nine additional primate species occur here, including yellow baboons, red colobus monkeys, red-tailed moneys, and silver monkeys.

KATAVI

The tall grass plains of Katavi are home to massive herds of zebras, buffalo, and other plains game. During the green season, river systems overflow into floodplains and lakes where hippos and crocs live side by side. As the dry season progresses, these pools become smaller, exposing the backs of hippos and forcing crocodiles into muddy underground caves. The lack of water draws herds of elephants and buffalo to the riverbanks. Lion prides and hyenas also make the most of this time.

ACTIVITIES
    MAHALE

  • Take a hike along forest footpaths. Photograph and observe Mahale’s amazing plant life, butterflies, birds, and small mammals.

  • Hop in a kayak and paddle out into the lake. Enjoy the peace and quiet of this remote wilderness from the lake, surrounded by lush, rolling mountains.

  • Follow your professional guide and chimpanzee expert on a chimp trek through the forested hills. Revel in the magic of this beautiful forest as you share the forest floor with a family of chimpanzees.

  • KATAVI

  • Led by your guide and armed scout, set out on a bush adventure by foot. From a safe distance, view animals from a different perspective that fosters a strong connection to the natural surroundings.

  • Spend a night camping under the stars. Enjoy a candlelit bush dinner and an evening around the campfire before falling asleep.