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Katavi, Tanzania

Wild West: Katavi and Mahale

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

9 Days

Prices Start from

£7,300pp (ex. flights)

This unusual safari combines two of Tanzania’s remotest and least visited parks. Spot lions and buffalos on the floodplains of Katavi, before encountering chimpanzees on the forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains, within sight of Lake Tanganyika.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Chimpanzee, Mahale National Park, Tanzania 1

Chimp Trekking

Encounter a family of wild chimps, spending time watching them interact.

Sundowners, Chada Katavi, Katavi National Park 2

Fly Camping

Sleep out in the wilderness of Katavi, under a star-filled sky.

Picnic on the Dhow, Greystoke Mahale, Mahale National Park, Tanzania 3

Sundowner Dhow

Float on Lake Tanganyika as the sun sets, with a drink in hand.

Katavi, Tanzania 4

Lions Hunting

Watch lions stalking buffalos on Katavi’s grassy plains.

Why we like it

This is the trip for those who have been to the Serengeti, Ruaha and Selous. These parks show a different side of Tanzania – one that can be challenging but also immensely rewarding. It is the unpredictability and untamed nature of these parks – not always positive traits – that makes them so appealing.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Tanzania on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1

    Arusha

  • Day 2

    Arusha - Katavi National Park

  • Days 3-5

    Katavi National Park

  • Day 6

    Katavi National Park - Mahale National Park

  • Days 7-8

    Mahale National Park

  • Day 9

    Mahale National Park - Arusha

Day 1

Arusha

Day 2

Arusha - Katavi National Park

Katavi, Tanzania

Lions Hunting

Watch lions stalking buffalos on Katavi’s grassy plains.

Days 3-5

Katavi National Park

Fly camping, Chada Katavi, Katavi, Tanzania

Fly Camping

Sleep out in the wilderness of Katavi, under a star-filled sky.

Day 6

Katavi National Park - Mahale National Park

Picnic on the Dhow, Greystoke Mahale, Mahale National Park, Tanzania

Sundowner Dhow

Float on Lake Tanganyika as the sun sets, with a drink in hand.

Days 7-8

Mahale National Park

Chimpanzee, Mahale National Park, Tanzania

Chimp Trekking

Encounter a family of wild chimps, spending time watching them interact.

Day 9

Mahale National Park - Arusha

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Game drive with hippos, Chada Katavi, Katavi National Park
Chada Katavi, Katavi National Park, Tanzania

Katavi Safari

Fly from Arusha to the incredibly remote Katavi National Park. One of East Africa’s least explored parks, Katavi is dominated by floodplains, the meandering Katuma River and acacia woodlands.

This beautiful ecosystem is home to healthy populations of zebras, buffaloes, wildebeests and elephants, as well as numerous predators. These include cheetahs, lions, hyenas and leopards. Wild dogs are also said to roam the park.

Fly camping, Chada Katavi, Katavi, Tanzania
Katavi, Tanzania

Fly Camping

As well as driving and walking, have the option to fly camp – something that makes an already wild park feel even wilder.

Set out into this wilderness in the late afternoon, hiking across the grassy plains. Arrive at the preprepared fly camp just before sunset, in the golden light of dusk. After a meal cooked over an open fire, lie down beneath a mosquito net, with the sounds of the bush surrounding you as darkness descends.

chimp, Mahale, Tanzania
Mahale National Park, Tanzania

Chimpanzee Trekking

Get close to one of the last populations of wild chimps in Tanzania, which survive on the thickly forested slopes of Mahale Mountains National Park. Trek in search of these primates, observing their behaviour and photographing them.

Greystoke Mahale is within hiking distance of the 60 strong M-group, one of the most habituated groups on the continent. As a result, the experience here is remarkable. However, it is a privilege you have to earn, thanks to the park’s remote location and the tough nature of the trekking.

View from Lake, Greystoke Mahale, Mahale National Park, Tanzania
Greystoke Mahale, Mahale National Park, Tanzania

Lake Tanganyika

Mahale Mountains National Park is set against the emerald waters of Lake Tanganyika. Stay between lake and forest, in the rustic Greystoke Mahale. After the strenuous trekking, spend time here relaxing in front of the lake.

Explore the lake by kayak or set out in the traditional dhow at sunset, with drinks and snacks to accompany the spectacular views.

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we have recommended for this journey.

Chada Katavi £££££

  • Tanzania
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

Chada Katavi is in the heart of Katavi National Park, said to be one of Africa’s best wildlife experiences. Filling the floor of the Rukwa Valley – a minor fault of the western great rift – the park spans over a million acres. From the blue escarpments, rivers run down through Tamarind, Fig and Albida forests to feed large floodplains. From its elevated vantage point on a peninsula that rises out of the miombo woodland, the camp is perfectly positioned for panoramic views over the grasslands of the floodplain. Chada Katavi offers shared open 4x4s and a dedicated guide for every group, plus there’s the flexibility of activities, game drives and walking with an armed guide.

View Property

Greystoke Mahale £££££

  • Tanzania
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

On a wide, golden beach along the eastern shores of Lake Tanganyika, sheltered by the dense forests of the Mahale Mountains, stands the tiny sanctuary of Greystoke Mahale. This spectacular and isolated setting is home to the world’s largest known population of chimpanzees, with approximately 1000 individuals inhabiting the Mahale Mountains National Park – Greystoke Mahale is within hiking distance of the 60 strong M-group, one of the most habituated groups in the world. As a result, it is one of the world’s premier locations for observing and photographing these great apes.

View Property

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchase through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £7,300 Per person

When to travel

Tanzania in January

Generally, most places are quite humid and wet, although the north around the Serengeti can experience a brief dry season. This makes it a much quieter time to visit and see rhinos.

Tanzania in February

It remains a good time to head to the Serengeti and the north as it experiences a brief dry season.It is also one of the driest months in Zanzibar, so a great chances to spend some time on the quiet beaches.

Tanzania in March

The start of the long rainy season, as humidity builds. Some lodges close and roads can become impassable. The landscapes are lush but it makes wildlife harder to spot.

Tanzania in April

The wettest month, with uncomfortably high levels of humidity, so we advise against travel at this time.

Tanzania in May

The rain continues with uncomfortably high levels of humidity, so we advise against travel at this time.

Tanzania in June

The start of the dry season and one of the best months to visit. Clear skies dominate despite the lush landscapes, and it is a fantastic time to see thousands of wildebeest migrate in the Serengeti.

Tanzania in July

The driest and coolest month across the country. A popular time to travel, so heading to the south and west of the country is a good option. You can see all the wildlife that you can get in the northern parks but also chimpanzees.

Tanzania in August

Peak season, as the land dries up and makes spotting wildlife much easier. Spot elephants in Tarangire, or relax on the pristine white sandy beaches of Zanzibar. Just make sure to book well ahead as this is the busiest time of year.

Tanzania in September

After the European school holidays are finished, it is quieter. The great weather remains though, with less mosquitoes around too due to the low humidity. The water visibility improves and you can enjoy diving and snorkelling too.

Tanzania in October

Temperatures rise a little, as does the chance of a shower or two. The landscape is at its driest before the start of the rainy season, creating fantastic opportunities to see elephants in the sun-baked open plains.

Tanzania in November

A quiet time of year as the short rainy season starts. The rains are usually overnight but it can rain in the day too. Plenty of game can still be spotted in the Serengeti, but if you are searching for drier weather it is a good time to head south to the Selous.

Tanzania in December

The short rainy season continues throughout much of the country, but there is still plenty of game viewing in the Serengeti and it is peak season in Zanzibar. It can get very busy over the festive season so it is worth booking in advance.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?


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