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Chada Katavi and Greystoke Mahale = The Perfect Combination

We took advantage of one of Nomad Safari’s special deals to book 3 nights at Chada Katavi followed by 4 nights at Greystoke Mahale in early to mid-November. Initially, we were more excited about Mahale because of the opportunity to visit a habituated group of chimpanzees and, as a result, we didn’t think too much about our time at Chada Katavi before we arrived. However, in hindsight, our time at Chada Katavi was at least ‘as good as’ our time at Mahale and in some ways we enjoyed the camp more. Chada Katavi is a tented camp with about six comfortable safari-style tents, a central dining room and a library/sitting room. The tents were large enough to stand up in, there was an attached inside toilet and washbasin, and an outside shower area for bucket showers. It was all very civilized and the dining and sitting rooms were furnished in a safari-chic style. We hired a private guide to take us on walking safaris every day instead of game drives, however, we sometimes took a short drive to the start or finish of our walks. Our guide, John, tracker, Pole, and park ranger, Chris, were all great and we never felt in any danger. Perhaps Chris’s AK47 and Pole’s ‘stop anything’ gun helped! John was like an encyclopedia and answered all of our dumb questions easily and with a sense of humour. The best thing was that we saw no one else on our walks–no people, no vehicles, just the animals, nature and us–fantastic. The food at Chada Katavi was very good, or excellent considering where we were. We enjoyed the breakfasts in the bush and the lighter lunches back at camp. Candlelit dinners were good too, of course. The staff were all very friendly and helpful and the camp manager, Joe, kept us informed and made sure everything worked smoothly. The camp had an excellent atmosphere. In terms of animal sightings we saw loads of giraffes, several herds of elephants, zebra, hundreds of hippos, different types of antelope and lots more. We saw a sleeping pride of lions from the vehicle but that was not as exciting for us as being followed on foot by a curious elephant. Overall, we highly recommend combining Chada Katavi and Mahale because the two camps complement each other very well and Chada Katavi can easily ‘compete’ with Mahale.