This classic 11 day tour of Tanzania is perfect for a seasoned traveller seeking a wild adventure in Ruaha Katavi National Park and Lake Tanganyika.
View wild Western Tanzania on foot, lake and road. Explore remote mountains, plains and beaches in fascinating game reserves and appreciate the lack of vehicles and crowds.
What to expect on this Tanzania Adventure
This fly-in safari explores the more remote areas of Tanzania. Rich in game, exceptional scenery and far from the maddening crowds. Ruaha, has greater and lesser kudu, large herds of buffalo and elephant and many prides of lion.
Katavi, the epitome of raw Africa, with unbelievable game. During the dry months, of June to October, the animals are concentrated into areas with water, showcasing the vast herds of buffalo wandering across the grassy plains. Witness hundreds of hippo clamouring to share the drying water pools. During the wetter months, November to February, the park turns green and lush, the game is more spread out, but there is still fantastic game viewing. The birding population increases with many migrants taking advantage of the flooded plains.
Transverse Mahale’s magical forest searching for the many animals that live here. Trek to see the chimps, butterflies and birds. Chill out on the beach, and dine under the stars.
Wild Tanzania Highlights
- Perfect safari for the seasoned traveller, stay in three remote camps in awesome game viewing areas; Ruaha National Park, Katavi National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park
- Outstanding mammal and bird viewing, game drives and guided walks at all three locations
- Chimp trekking, once you’ve found the chimps observe them for an hour at play, grooming and foraging.
- Relax with a sunset cruise on a traditional dhow on Lake Tanganyika
- Relish bush breakfasts sitting under a mighty baobab watching the elephants close by
- Vast herds of buffalo and elephant roaming the plains of Ruaha and Katavi
- Fantastic birding in camp as well as on drives and walks
Day 1: Fly to the Remote Ruaha National Park
From Dar es Salaam International Airport, board a light aircraft to Ruaha National Park. On arrival, a guide will meet you and transfer you to the camp, set in a secluded grove of sausage trees on the banks of a sand river. Enjoy a delicious lunch under the thatched dining room, with amazing views of the bush. Go on an afternoon game drive, roving the game rich park close to the camp.
Relax around the campfire with some pre-dinner drinks, and listen to the night sounds of the African bush. Dine al fresco, under a blanket of stars.
Day 2 & 3: Walk, Drive and Explore
Spent the next two full days exploring Ruaha, savouring the many different vistas and habitats. From rocky outcrops with klipspringers silhouetted on the ridges, to lesser and greater kudu in the dry riverbeds. Observe the lion prides feasting on a recent kill, or sleeping off last night's forlorn hunt.
Meander the open plains on foot, feel the texture of the baobab, worn smooth by elephants rubbing themselves on the gnarly bark. Look for cheetah stalking its prey. Relax in the camp with a pair of binoculars, listen to the birdsong and try to identify the caller.
Day 4 - 6: Katavi National Park
After an early breakfast, it is time to head out to the airstrip for an early flight to Katavi. Look out the plane window as you travel west over the Central African Rift. Katavi lies on two major landscapes, the rift valley floor and the bordering rift valley shoulders, with adjacent highlands, mountains and plateaus. The camp is about 20 minutes drive from the airstrip on the Chada Lake flood plains.
This stylish bush camp is small and intimate. The tents are spacious and comfortable, blending into the bush, and often share the midday shade with the elephants.
Katavi has two exceedingly disparate seasons. During the dry season, the temperature climbs, the water levels drop and the animals congregate closely around the remaining water sources. Vast herds can be seen, with hippos by their thousands piling on top of each other in search of some moisture to keep them cool. The plains are dusty, with yellowing grass and shimmering mirages in the heat. The predators enjoy the glut of concentrated game. During the wet season, the area is converted into a green oasis. As the first drops permeate the dusty sun-baked earth, green shoots start to appear, the rivers flow and the migrant birds start to arrive. A birders paradise, with plenty of game to be found.
Spend your days on long game walks, watching unobtrusively, the large herds of buffalo, impala and elephant. Travel further afield by custom made 4x4 open safari vehicles, stopping for chilled sundowners as the final light of the day fades. Each day’s safari shows another facet of Africa’s abundance, cruelty and beauty.
Day 7 - 10: Mahale Mountains National Park
Fly to Mahale for a totally different safari experience and adventure. The camp is situated on Lake Tanganyika’s shores accessible only by a 90-minute dhow ride. The spacious, open-fronted bandas fringe the forest overlooking the beach with the mountains majestically rising above the lake. All the bandas have an upstairs chill out deck, perfect for lazy afternoons with a good book.
The Mahale forest, inhabited by chimps, other primates, birds, butterflies and a multitude of other animals is perfect for trekking. Start the day early and set out to find the chimps with your guide. Wend your way up the mountain game tracks looking for signs of the chimps nesting site and listening to their chatter. Once found, spend an hour watching their playfulness and troop interactions, before setting off to see what else calls the forest home.
Kayak out onto the lake, trailing a fishing line. Take a plunge in mountain pools, swimming under the waterfalls. Walk along the beach and watch the sunset, or take the dhow on a cruise with some ice-cold drinks on hand.
Day 11: Back to Dar es Salaam
After a lazy last morning on your Wild Tanzania Adventure, catch the dhow back to the mainland for your flight to Dar es Salaam and your onward travel arrangements.
- Return flights from Dar Es Salaam Airport to Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale National Parks
- Shared road/boat transfers to and from airports
- 10 nights’ accommodation in safari lodges
- All meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner as per itinerary
- Local drinks including teas/coffees, soft drinks, local brand beers, local spirits and house wines
- Activities on a shared basis in Ruaha: game drives, bush walks, bush picnics and sundowners
- Activities on a shared basis in Katavi: game drives, walking safaris
- Activities on a shared basis in Mahale: Chimp trekking, boat trips, deep water swims, forest walks and village visits
- All meet and greet services
- Entrance and conservation fees for all reserves as per itinerary
- Premium wines and champagne
- Optional activities and all other extras to be settled direct