Gombe, Mahale and Katavi Safaris

Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park is without doubt one of Africa’s most beautiful parks. It is located on the edge of Lake Tanganyika in the west of the country.

It is generally around 6,000 feet high with accompanying high rainfall so the best time to visit is in the drier months, normally May to September.

The park is made up of montane forests and grasslands, along with small pockets of alpine bamboo.

Mahale is most famous for being a chimpanzee sanctuary with an estimated 1,000 chimpanzees living here in around 20 family groups and even though access to the park is only by aeroplane and boat, the allure of seeing chimpanzees in the wild is enough to tempt many visitors to the region.

As well as chimps, there are eight other primate species:

  • red colobus
  • red-tailed monkey
  • blue monkey
  • vervet monkey
  • yellow baboon
  • Angola black-and-white colobus
  • lesser galago
  • thick-tailed greater galago

Primates aside, the brush-tailed porcupine and giant forest squirrel are another two interesting species found here.

Katavi National Park

Close to Lake Tanganyika is Katavi National Park.

This lovely and extremely remote park has very few visitors mainly owing to its isolation and lack of facilities but those willing to make the journey here will be rewarded with a really sensational safari experience.

The vegetation is a mixture of miombo woodland, acacia parkland, grassland plains and swamps surrounding the Katuma River, which joins the park’s two lakes, Katavi and Chada.

During the rainy season (light rains in November and heavier rains in April and May) it is probably best avoided as the game disperses into the woodland, temperatures soar, humidity escalates and mosquitoes come out in their droves, not the best combination of factors for a successful safari!

A flourishing habitat for a plethora of game

During the dry season, the story is quite different. The wildlife is incredible – great numbers of elephant, buffalo (which congregate in 1,000 strong herds) zebra, giraffe, hartebeest, topi, impala, reedbuck and Defassa waterbuck along with a prolific lion population and plenty of spotted hyena and leopard.

The rivers support an astonishing number and density of hippos and some seriously large crocodiles.

Water birds are wonderful here. There are pink-backed pelicans, yellow-billed and open-billed storks, African spoonbills and great numbers of herons, egrets and plovers.

Elsewhere in the park, such exotic sounding gems as the sulphur-breasted bush shrike, the paradise flycatcher and the African golden oriole can be found.

One resident of the park that its visitors are not so keen to see is the irritating tsetse fly.

Luckily, their distribution is restricted to the woodlands away from the more popular game-viewing areas on the floodplains.

 

 

One of the best adventure program is

Day 1: Arrival

Arriving in Dar then transfer to royal Mirage for overnight

Day 2: Dar es Salam

Breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight to Kigoma on arrival transfer to Kigoma Hotel

Day 3; Transfer Day

After breakfast Transfer from Kigoma Hotel to Sunuka half way south to Mahale then board a speed boat 1hrs to Mahale National park for formalities and then proceed to the bandas afternoon beach safaris

Day 4-7 Mahale Mountain National Park

After breakfast another early morning game viewing (Chimpanzee tracking in the forest). Lunch at camp. Spend the rest of the afternoon fishing by boat on the lake for 2-3 hrs. Mahale is one of the best locations on Lake Tanganyika for fishing; hence you will be able to catch a lot of fish in only a few hours’. Some of the types of species caught are the sangara (Nile Perch) and kuhe

Day 8 Mahale to Katavi

Transfer to airstrip. SAL flight to Katavi. Game drives O/N banda Katavi flight time is 1015am arriving 1105am overnight Bandas

Day 9 Katavi

After breakfast game drive in Katavi National Park. This remote national park in western Tanzania is probably the wildest and most untouched reserve in the whole of Africa. Katavi contains one of the highest concentrations of wildlife amongst the Tanzanian parks. Thousands of buffalos, antelopes and elephants roaming the around the park provide ample feeding opportunity to the hundreds of prides of lions and other predators sharing the habitat. The park provides a good opportunity of viewing the rare species of cheetah and wild dogs. Other predators include leopards and hyenas. Prominent species include zebras, eland, topi, impala, hartebeest, waterbucks, giraffe, reedbuck and Defasssa. Dinner and overnight at Bandas.

Day 10 Katavi

After breakfast continue with another early morning game drive with picnic lunch. Prominent species of birds at the rivers include yellow-billed, open-billed and saddle-billed stork, pink-backed pelican, Africa spoonbill and numerous heron, egrets and plovers. Raptors include fish eagle, bateleur and white-backed vulture. Other species are also found in the woodland and floodplain areas of the park. Dinner and overnight at Bandas.

Day 11;Katavi to Kigoma

Private car Drive to Mpanda for Breakfast then onwards drive to Uvindza arriving Kigoma in the evening drop off at Mapinduzi Hotel

Day: 12; Kigoma to Dar

Transfer to the airport for Flight Back to Dar airport and then connect Flight to Zanzibar

 

Price per person is 3450usd per person

1 overland transfer from Kigoma to sigunga  then on the last day after Mahale you will be picked from Sigunga back to Kigoma

2.Speed boat from sigunga to Mahale then on the last day from Mahale back to Sigunga

3.All park fees

4.All guide fees5.I will provide 1Litre of water every day

6. Accomodation in rest house/Bandas in Mahale

The price excludes

Food while in Mahale aproximately 30usd pp per dayAccomodation while in KigomaTransfers on arrival

 

BUDGET MAHALE AND GOMBE VISITS


DAY 1 – Kigoma to Mahale Mountain National Park

06:00H,Breakfast at the Lodge transfer overland to Sigunga pickup by speed boat at 08:00H transfer to Bilenge and finally to the Bandas, Afternoon Chimpanzee Tracking in the forest ,After Hot Lunch at the Bandas , Bird Watching and Game Viewing ,Dinner and bonfire at the Bandas, Overnight at The Tanapa Bandas. You can also Do it with Mv. Liemba

DAY 2- Mahale Mountain National Park

07:00H_Breakfast at the Lodge or Bandas/ Rest House08:00H,Chimpanzee Tracking in the forest ,Hot Lunch at the Lodge ,Fishing on the Lake ,Dinner and bonfire at the Lodge ,Overnight at Tanapa Bandas

DAY 3- Mahale Mountain National Park -Kigoma

07:00H,Breakfast at the Lodge 08:00H,Relax on the beach 2:00H,Transfer to the lake shore boat to Sigunga pickup and transfer back to Kigoma overnight at Kigoma Hotel

The price of 1550usd will cover

1 overland transfer from Kigoma to sigunga  then on the last day after Mahale you will be picked from Sigunga back to Kigoma

2.Speed boat from sigunga to Mahale then on the last day from Mahale back to Sigunga

3.All park fees4.All guide fees

5.I will provide 1Litre of water every day

6. Accomodation in rest house/Bandas in Mahale
The price excludesFood while in Mahale aproximately 30usd pp per dayAccomodation while in KigomaTransfers on arrival

Another option


3DAYS 2NIGHTS GOMBE


DAY 1 - KIGOMA / GOMBE STREAM

Early this morning you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to the port Hotel for your 2 hour boat ride to Gombe Stream National Park. An extension of the Rift Valley, Lake Tanganyika was formed around 20 million years ago and is the longest fresh water lake in the world, as well as the second deepest. The views on the lake are spectacular and you may meet the local fishermen as they go about their business.Your stay here will be either at the the National Park’s Gombe Hostel..Gombe Hostel is owned by the Tanzania Park Service and offers much more basic accommodation with 8 guest rooms and shared bathroom and shower facilities.The afternoon you treck the chimps shortly then get back relax on the beach or swimming in the crystal clear waters of the lake. If your lucky, the chimps occasional come down to the lake shore to drink. Overnight - Gombe Hostel (L, D)

DAY 2 - GOMBE STREAM NATIONAL PARK - CHIMP TREK

Arise early this morning as you will be led on your first hike to find the Chimpanzees guided by one of the park’s armed rangers. Firstly, your guide will lead you to the site of last night's nests. Once these have been located, you will track the chimps to their present location. This can take anywhere from a ½ hour to 4 hours and the trek is often through quite difficult, hilly, but nonetheless spectacular terrain. The amount of time allowed may be limited to 1 hour a day depending on how many visitors are at the park. After your hike you will return to the camp for lunch. (Box lunches are not allowed in the park). The afternoon is yours to relax on the beach or snorkel in the clear waters of the lake or hike to the Kakombe waterfalls or Jane’s Peak (if time allows)Overnight - G Gombe Hostel (all meals & activities)

DAY 3 - GOMBE STREAM NATIONAL PARK - CHIMP TREK / KIGOMA

This morning after an early breakfast you will set out with the park rangers in search of the Chimpanzees. The rangers carefully track the movements of the chimps so they can be located with minimal tracking. After spending your time with the chimps, you will return to camp for a late lunch.Afterwards it time to leave Gombe by boat, arriving in Kigoma Town in the late afternoon. Here you will be met and taken to the Lake Tanganyika Hotel, a new hotel near town, with quite landscaped gardens that stretch down to the lake.Overnight - Lake Tanganyika Hotel (B, L)DEPART  This morning you will be met and taken on a tour of Kigoma Town. Stops include a fishing village and morning tour of Kigoma Town and visit Dr. Livingstone house which is now a museum in Ujiji. Afterwards, you will drive back to your hotel for lunch (on your own account). You will then be transferred to Your Hotel.

NOTE - Chimp Viewing Rules

Chimpanzee viewing is limited to a maximum of 6 people per group for one hour at a time, once per day. All clients must wear a mask and must be a minimum of 10 yards away from the chimps.

The price for this program is 670usd per person

IncludesAll mealsall transfers from Hotel and back

all park fees

Accomodation in the rest house

Speed boat to and From Gombe

 

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