Mahale chimps and Katavi big game: A week in Western Tanzania

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The wild wild west

Price From: $7,000pps

Western Tanzania is a long way away, but the best places often are. This safari is a unique opportunity to enjoy one of the remotest regions in Africa. Katavi and Mahale are accessed by our own shared charter flights from and back to Arusha and as far as safaris go, this is one of the most unique, remote and awe inspiring trips to be had in Africa. 


Chada Katavi is closed, but Greystoke Mahale is open and combines very well with Lamai Serengeti; Serengeti and Mahale


Chada Katavi is closed, but Greystoke Mahale is open and combines very well with Lamai Serengeti; Serengeti and Mahale


Chada Katavi is closed, but Greystoke Mahale is open and combines very well with Lamai Serengeti for an excellent value safari; Serengeti and Mahale


Camps are closed. 


Camps are closed. 


Price From: $10,300pps

Katavi is beautiful with lush green bush after the rains and plentiful food for the wildlife which is starting to return to the plains.

In Mahale, Chimpanzees can often be found in big groups but can be quite high in the forest taking advantage of an
abundance of fruit in the upper slopes. Walking to see them can be a bit longer at times.


Price From: $10,300pps

The Katavi bush is starting to thin out and a wide variety of species congregate on the open plains, making for great game viewing.

Our Mahale chimps are still enjoying the fruit-rich slopes and can be found congregating in large groups. Mornings spent exploring this magnificent forest, following the hooting calls of chimps are rewarding. Afternoons are spent relaxing on the boat or in camp.


Price From: $10,300pps

Katavi wildlife competes for the available water and the bush is dry and grass low, ideal for walking. Wildlife is often on the plains or taking refuge from the heat of the day in the treeline.

In Mahale the chimps follow the fruiting patterns, and the lower slopes are beginning to produce ripe fruit. Chimps can be heard hooting and screeching in the forest behind the camp. The weather is perfect for enjoying the Lake and boats during the rest of the day.


Price From: $10,300pps

This is peak wildlife viewing time in Katavi as wildlife gathers around available water and food pressure increases. Large pods of hippo fight for territory and crocodiles start to aestivate in riverbanks.

As in August, chimps are not high in the mountains anymore, reducing the trekking time. Afternoon boat trips and a plunge into the lake, then cruise back to camp.


Price From: $10,300pps

Vast hippo pods and dozens of crocodiles are a unique Katavi phenomenon at this time of year. Otherwise this is a great month of big game and walking.

Chimps are still low, often in the vicinity of camp. Signs of other animals including leopard, warthog and baboons are seen. Beach life is still idyllic.


Price From: $7,000pp

First rains start to ease the pressure on the water and food while still offering great opportunities for big game viewing. Despite the odd shower, the chimps are still on the lower slopes, which is always good news.


Chada Katavi is closed, but Greystoke Mahale is open and combines very well with Lamai Serengeti; Serengeti and Mahale

Camp Itinerary

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4 Nights Chada Katavi

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3 Nights Greystoke Mahale

Day by day

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Fly from Arusha to Katavi National Park.

Fly from Arusha to Katavi National Park.

A flight of about 4 hours, with a refuel stop in Tabora before arriving in Katavi National Park. This flight really illustrates just how remote and untouched this part of Tanzania is. There is nothing but wilderness for miles as you fly over the country. 

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Days 1 - 4

Chada Katavi

Katavi has hardly changed since we arrived in this place twenty years ago. In Katavi we like to explore. We walk out across the plains appreciating the total lack of crowds and vehicles. It's not only having our feet on the ground at the same level as the big game, but the feeling that we are the only people doing so. We take bedrolls and sling them under a borassus palm in our fly-camp. We venture to Paradise Plains by 4WD and appreciate seeing nothing but wild Africa for miles. We don't want to sound too dramatic, but we can't imagine your life not being changed in even the smallest of ways after something like this. Read more about Chada Katavi. 

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Fly from Katavi to Mahale

Fly from Katavi to Mahale

A short flight of 25 minutes, which takes you over the Mahale Mountains and lands on the banks of Lake Tanganyika. 

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Travel by dhow to Greystoke Mahale

Travel by dhow to Greystoke Mahale

Once you arrive in Mahale you will be met by our fabulous guides and taken by dhow to camp. This boat trip takes about an hour and a half and skims along the shoreline of the impossibly clear Lake Tanganyika with the Mahale Mountains rising from the beach. Turning the corner and catching a first glimpse of our iconic Greystoke beach and mess is always a memorable moment. 

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Days 4 - 7

Greystoke Mahale

We share the mountains and the lake with so many animals, but it's the chimps that really inspire us. Time spent with them is time away from everything else that is ordinary. But, there's more. Hike the forest paths looking for all the other animals who quietly live here. Swim in pools up in mountain waterfalls, take a kayak out for a dawn paddle and enjoy the sunrise coming up over the mountains. Have sundowners on our old wooden dhow, stopping to fish along the way, or just relax on the warm sands of the beach with a drink in hand. We've been in this remarkable place for over 20 years, and are still in awe of it. It's impossible not to be. Read more about Greystoke Mahale. 

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Fly Mahale to Arusha

Fly Mahale to Arusha

This flight will take about five hours, with stops in Katavi and Tabora to refuel. 

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