Western Tanzania

Western Tanzania

Most people visit the western circuit to track chimpanzees in Gombe or Mahale Mountains National Park. These two chimp reserves on the shore of Lake Tanganyika offer the best chimp tracking in Africa. Getting here is expensive and time-consuming and is mostly done by chartered plane from Arusha.

Instead of visiting one of the chimp reserves as an add-on to a safari in the north, you can combine it with a safari in Katavi, which is the savannah reserve in the western circuit and probably Tanzania’s least visited park. Not for lack of wildlife, though. This park offers excellent game viewing in the dry season with superb wilderness appeal, which will make you’ll feel like you own the place.

Because of the remoteness of the camps, operating costs are high and these are some of the most expensive parks to visit in Tanzania. However, those that do explore Katavi and Mahale will find some of the most spectacular scenery and wildlife that there is on the entire African continent.

Tanzania Destination

Gombe National Park

Gombe stream national park is located in the western Kigoma Region of Tanzania and it is the smallest park in the country. It has 20 square miles of forest running along the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika – the terrain distinguished by steep valleys and forest vegetation ranging from grassland to alpine bamboo to tropical rainforest. It is only accessible by boat and it is famous for its chimpanzee population. Other primates inhabiting the park are beachcombers, olive baboons, red-tailed monkeys, and vervet monkeys. The park also boasts of about 200 species of birds, 11 species of snakes and the occasional leopards and hippos. Trekking to see the chimpanzee and swimming in the snorkel in Lake Tanganyika where there are almost 100 kinds of colorful cichlid fish is a common tourist activity.

Mahale National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park lies on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in Kigoma Tegion of Tanzania. The park is well known as having the largest number of chimpanzee. It is also the only place that chimps and lions co-exist. Due to lack of infrastructure the only way to access the park is by use of boats through Lake Tanganyika.

Katavi National Park

One of the less visited park's in the land, although the third largest in Tanzania. Because of its remoteness Katavi is an untouched wilderness of floodplains and Miombo woodlands.It's got several seasonal lakes and the Katuma River which guarantees resident animals presence. If you want to see huge buffaloes, hippos and crocodiles, the largest herds are concentrated in this park. The roan and sable antelopes are common residents of this place, as well as the Giraffes, Leopards, Zebras, Lions and the African Jumbo. Hundreds of resident and migration birds frequent Katavi lakes. More than 400 species have been identified and recorded so far.

Katavi Island National Park

Situated uniquely, it's the only park within a lake - NYANZA or VICTORIA the source of the River Nile, reached by sea Taxis - dhow.Rubondo, floating on the largest lake in Africa and 2nd largest in the world is the only park that offers a combination of wildlife and beaching excursions on white sand and palm trees papyrus swamp. Rocky hills and low land plains guarantee a terrific walking and sunbathing experience. It's rich in wildlife such as Hippos, Crocodiles, Sitatungas, Giraffe, Elephants and Chimpanzees.Rubondo Island is a bird paradise for East, Southern and Central Africa vultures breeding sites. Accommodation is offered at a tented lodge in the park.