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.