Visit Tanzania: Katavi National Park & Mahale Mountains

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    Stay on the shores of Lake Tanganyika

    Stay on the shores of Lake Tanganyika

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    Mahale Mountains National Park is home to approx. 800 chimpanzees

    Mahale Mountains National Park is home to approx. 800 chimpanzees

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    The wild Katuma River supports the country’s densest population of hippos

    The wild Katuma River supports the country’s densest population of hippos

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    Relax on the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar

    Chill out and relax in spectacular Zanzibar

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    Katuma Bush Lodge provides an exciting safari experience for its visitors

    Katuma Bush Lodge provides an exciting safari experience for its visitors | Photo credit:

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    5 unmissable wildlife experiences to squeeze into your round the world trip
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    Our view to the sea, Zanzibar, Tanzania

    Swim, snorkel and explore the exotic island of Zanzibar

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    Tansania Elefanten

    Watch elephants on their way to cool off in the water at Ngorongoro Crater

Tailor-made holidays

Duration(in days): 14

From: UK – Arusha

To: Zanzibar - UK



Inc. International flights (Per person, based on 2 sharing)

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See more ideas for: Tanzania

    Visit Tanzania, embarking on a safari journey in the far less explored Katavi National Park and Mahale Mountains. Start in Katavi, where hippos and crocodiles fight for territory in the Katuma River and herds of zebras, giraffes and buffalo are stalked by cheetah and wild dogs. After a few days of game drives through this spectacular landscape you’ll fly to Lake Tanganyika, where Mahale Mountains National Park sits at the edge of the water. Chimpanzees have thrived in this huge park and trekking to visit them in the high misty mountains is a true African experience, deep in the heart of the forest. Finish your holiday with sundowners in Zanzibar; four nights of pink sunsets, turquoise water and relaxation is a wonderful end to a trip that gives a unique glimpse into this exceptional corner of the country.      

    This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

    This holiday includes

    • International flights
    • All transfers
    • All accommodation in Tanzania 
    • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary        


    You’ll remember…

    • Looking for elephants and hippos in the remote Katavi National Park       
    • Telling stories of your day around the fire            
    • Trekking with chimpanzees in the Mahale Mountains National Park
    • Drinking a sundowner whilst watching the sun set into Lake Tanganyika
    • Diving into the Zanzibar’s turquoise waters


    Itinerary in brief:

    • 4 nights Katavi National Park
    • 3 nights Mahale National Park
    • 4 nights Zanzibar

    Day 1: Depart UK

    Depart the UK from your chosen airport.

    Included: International flights 

    Day 2: Arrive Arusha

    Arrive in Kilimanjaro, before taking a one hour transfer to Arusha and connecting on your domestic flight to Katavi Airstrip. Depending on your arrival time, you can enjoy a game drive after lunch at the lodge, where you’ll check in for four nights.

    Included: transfers, charter flight, Katuma Bush Lodge, activities, dinner and drinks

    Days 3 - 5: Katavi National Park

    Katuma Bush Lodge provides an exciting safari experience for its visitors’ due to its location in the heart of Katavi National Park, one of the least visited areas of Tanzania.

    Located on the western side of Tanzania, the park contains a vast wetland plain as well as the wild Katuma River which supports the country’s densest population of crocodiles and hippos. During the dry season, the wetlands retreat and the now shallow Katuma River becomes the only source of water for miles, attracting herds of elephants and buffalo to its side, as well as an abundance of giraffes, zebra and impalas. These groups become easy pickings for the pride of lions and hyena clans that stalk the floodplains but the fiercest animal you’ll come across in Katavi are the hippos; being squeezed together into depleting mud pools during the dry season means tempers can rise, resulting in territorial fights between these mighty animals.

    On the first and third day, you’ll enjoy a morning and evening game drive, looking out for mammals and birdlife as you drive through this huge park. On the second day, you’ll enjoy a full day game drive, eating a packed lunch when you’re out in the midst of the wildlife – truly a spectacular experience to discuss when you’re back at the lodge that night having sundowners around the fire. Your time here will go quickly but four nights will give you long enough to truly take in this remote national park.

    Included: All meals, daily game drives   

    Day 6: Fly to Lake Tanganyika

    After breakfast, you’ll be driven to the airstrip to catch your flight to Kungwe Beach Lodge on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. If there is plenty of time you’ll be able to stop and admire any wildlife you spot on the way. Take the short flight before taking a dhow boat ride for 1.5 hours to the lodge. You’ll be welcomed and check into your room for three nights. Enjoy a delicious lunch here before embarking on an afternoon chimpanzee trek or forest walk, finishing the day with a sundowner as you watch the sun set behind the mountains of the Congo.

    Included: All meals, charter flight, daily activities

    Day 7 and 8: Mahale Mountains National Park

    Accessible only by boat or air, Mahale Mountains National Park is one of the most isolated parks in Africa. Dots of lonely golden beaches and lush jungle-covered peaks make up the park, which is home to approximately 800 chimpanzees.  Each morning here you’ll enjoy a chimpanzee trek, looking out for these curious creatures in the dense foliage before spending your afternoons at leisure, enjoying the lodge, kayaking on the lake, or taking a boat safari along the shore.

    As the park is so huge, chimpanzees have flourished here as they can fade away into the mountains whenever predators come near – this is the only place in Africa where chimpanzees and lions coexist. Researchers have habituated a group of around 60 which you’ll visit, climbing through the mountains to find these captivating primates is a magical experience. Exploring Mahale is a joy - listening for rare birdcalls over the general hum of life in the forest and watching monkeys squabble over fruit – you’ll feel so small in this mighty forest.      

    Included: All meals, daily activities

    Day 9: Fly to Zanzibar

    After breakfast this morning, you’ll be transferred on the dhow boat back to Mahale Airstrip and catch your flight back to Zanzibar, via Arusha. On arrival, you’ll be driven to your hotel where you can settle in for four nights. We recommend you head straight to the beach!

    Included: Breakfast, transfers, charter flight, dinner, 3* hotel    

    Days 10 - 12: Zanzibar

    And relax! After all that exploration on safari, you deserve some beach time! These four days are for you to relax; whether you want to snorkel in the crystalline waters, take a sailing tour around the island or simply laze on the beach under the warm African sun. You could also take a sailing tour to Pange sandbank for a picnic, head to the north of the island to swim with dolphins or indulge in a local cooking class and enjoy the flavours that make Zanzibar famous.

    If you can drag yourself away from the beach, then a few hours in historic Stone Town is a nice way to spend the morning. If you’d like to see more of the island then a tour of the spice plantations around full of nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper will show you the green interior of the island. However you spend your day, you can end each night with a delicious seafood dinner under the stars and toast a cocktail to your wonderful holiday in Tanzania.

    Included: 3* hotel, half board    

    Day 13: Depart Zanzibar

    After breakfast, you’ll be driven back to the airport in time for your flight home.

    Included: Transfers, international flights            

    Day 14: Arrive UK

    Rainy season engulfs Tanzania between March and May and the lodges close. In western Tanzania, the temperature is stable throughout the year and the rains follow the same pattern as the rest of the country but are a bit more reliable, with most of the rain falling between November and April.

    Due to charter flights in western Tanzania, this holiday has a limit of 15kgs of luggage. This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.           

    What's included
    • International flights
    • Return airport transfers
    • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary   
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
    Not included
    • Any meals not mentioned
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips & gratuities