Mahale Mountains and Katavi National Park

The Mahale Mountains offers exclusive chimpanzee encounters while visitors to Katavi are assured of intimate big game experiences.

Mahale Mountains National Park lies on the shores of expansive Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania’s extreme west. The park is home to Africa’s largest, wild population of chimpanzees. Due to its large size and incredible remoteness the park is home to a healthy chimpanzee population that flourishes here, including a clan so habituated to human researchers it’s possible to observe them from very close quarters. Discover your inner Jane Goodall when you visit the unique Greystoke Mahale, a romantic lodge situated on the sandy shores of the lake. This remarkable lodge offers guests a little slice of paradise with just 6 charming ensuite thatched chalets, and guided excursions to visit the chimps.

Katavi National Park is also in the country’s far west and one of the most unspoilt wilderness areas in all of the country. Comprised of grassy plains and dry woodland, birding in Katavi is exceptional and predators such as lion and hyena are quite frequently seen.

While both parks are isolated and as a result, expensive and tricky to visit, safaris in either are well worth the effort. Lodges and camps are few and far between, yet the ones that have managed to set up in these wildernesses are well-run, feature excellent guides and are extremely atmospheric.


Why should I visit Mahale and Katavi national parks?

  • Pristine wildernesses far from the tourist trail
  • Mahale Mountains chimpanzees
  • Waterfalls and crystal clear Lake Tanganyika
  • Trekking and dhow cruises
  • Spectacular Katavi National Park
  • Untouched big game country
  • Amazing wildlife-viewing and photographic opportunities

When is the best time to visit Mahale and Katavi?

The weather in Tanzania’s west is quite similar to that found elsewhere in the country, with the ‘long dry’ season from June to October, and the ‘short dry’ from January and February. Thunderstorms are common March through to May. For a more in-depth guide click here or feel free to contact one of our Destination Specialists.

Our recommended

Mahale and Katavi Itineraries

The following itineraries are just some of the many experiences that we can design for you. All of our tours are private, independent and tailor-made to your personal travelling requirements. Please contact us to begin creating your personalised Tanzania experience.

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Our Recommended

Luxury accommodation in the Mahale Mountains and Katavi

The following are some of the lodges and tented camps that we recommend in the Mahale and Katavi region. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Chada Katavi

Chada Katavi is an enchantingly remote camp in truly wild Katavi National Park, tucked away in Tanzania's unspoilt west. This seasonal safari camp has just 6 classic tents and offers incredible

Greystoke Mahale

In the rarely visited west of Tanzania, Greystoke Mahale offers 6 simple tented suites on a white sand beach lapped by Lake Tanganyika, with the looming Mahale Mountains as a backdrop. Trek for

Want to find out more about our tailor made African safaris?
Get in touch with one of our travel specialists.

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Find out more about our tailor made African safaris?

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Tanzania Overview

What is the best thing to do in Tanzania?
A wildlife safaris is an absolute must as Tanzania is one of Africa’s great wildlife destinations. Witnessing tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra in the Serengeti is an unquestionable highlight, whilst the Ngorongoro Crater is one of the natural wonders of the world. A trek to the top of Africa’s highest peak – Mount Kilimanjaro – is a bucket-list experience for any adventure enthusiast.

What is the climate like in Tanzania?
Much of the Serengeti is over 5,000ft so temperatures vary between 22°- 29°C. It is generally sunny and windy, with rain falling between November and May as isolated showers. The low-lying Rift Valley is much hotter (30°-35°C), while the coast is hot and humid. The Ngorongoro Highlands can be cool to cold at night.

How do I get to Tanzania?
There are only two European airlines – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Turkish Airlines – that fly directly into the country. Otherwise, flying via the Kenyan capital of Nairobi (where far more major airlines fly to including British Airways and Air France) is another option. From here travellers can then fly to numerous airports in Tanzania.

For travellers coming from the United States at least one stop is required. The easiest airlines for connections are either with KLM or Qatar Airways via Doha. From Doha there are also direct flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

What can I combine Tanzania with?
Tanzania is often combined with other countries including neighbouring Kenya or either Uganda or Rwanda for a trek to see the gorillas. A few days on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar is a very popular way to end a Tanzanian safari.

Want to know more about Tanzania?
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United States: +1 (646) 217 0354
United Kingdom: +44 (20) 4518 8166

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All of our safaris and tours are tailor made.

Contact us to start customising your African safari.

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