Experience the best that Western Tanzania has to offer on this immersive week-long itinerary from Kilimanjaro International Airport, beginning with a few days exploring the wildlife-filled plains of little-visited Katavi National Park. Get up close to elephants, giraffes and buffalos on foot and during daily game drives before flying west to the shores of Lake Tanganyika and Greystone Mahale Camp, your luxurious base for visiting the chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains National Park.
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Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport where you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to Arusha Airport for your flight to Western Tanzania. A representative from the Chada Katavi Camp will be waiting to greet you and drive you to your base for the next few nights.
Settle into your luxury tent and relax over afternoon tea before setting off to explore what is Tanzania’s third largest park. Your safari guide will help you spot the park’s resident hartebeest, giraffe, hyena and elephants, as well as buffalo and elusive leopards, before returning to camp in time for sundowners around the fire and a delicious three-course dinner.
Day 2 - 3
Wake at dawn to freshly brewed coffee and venture onto the park’s sprawling plains and woodlands to take advantage of the early morning wildlife activity. You’ll return to camp by mid-morning for breakfast, followed by time to relax in the library or spot game from the privacy of your own deck.
In the afternoon, you have the option to relax around the camp or head out on foot in the company of a guide and armed scout to get up close to some of the park’s smaller inhabitants. As the cool of the late afternoon sets in, you’ll head out once again on a game drive before returning to camp in time for evening cocktails and dinner
After breakfast at Chada Katavi Camp, you’ll be transferred to the airstrip for your flight to Mahale Mountains National Park where you’ll be met by a representative from the Greystoke Camp. Experience a scenic cruise down Lake Tanganyika in a traditional dhow while enjoying lunch on board. Then arrive at the pristine white beach where Greystone Mahale is located, with the forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains rising behind.
The Mahale Mountains are home to some of the last remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa, with the population numbering around 800. The landscape comprises diverse vegetation that ranges from lush rainforests and woodlands to bamboo forest, montane forests and grasslands.
Spend the remainder of the day as you please, with the option to just kick back on the beach or jump aboard the wooden dhow for a sundowner fishing cruise. Arrive back at the camp in time for a hot shower and a three-course meal served on the sands.
Day 5 - 6
Rise early to watch the sunrise over Lake Tanganyika or enjoy a lie in, followed by a delicious breakfast served on the beach at Greystoke Mahale. Spend your days in this incredible setting going on forest walks, swimming or participating in a range of water sports, with a visit to Mahale’s chimpanzees an undisputed highlight.
Return to the camp each evening for sundowners at the bar, followed by a candle-lit dinner under the stars with your feet sunk into the sand.
After a delicious breakfast at Greystoke Mahale, you will be transferred to the airstrip for your flight to Arusha Airport. Here you’ll be met by one of our representatives and transferred to the Mount Meru Game Lodge, which nestles between the peaks of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure before dinner is served at the lodge.
After breakfast at Mount Meru Game Lodge, it’s time to check out and be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport for your return flight home.
Dates & Rates
- Full board accommodation while on safari
- Scheduled flight as per the itinerary, luggage allowance 15 kgs per person
- Transfers to and from the airport
- A safari briefing at the start
- Scheduled flight Arusha/Katavi/Mahale/Arusha, luggage allowance 15 kgs per person
- All alcoholic & Non-alcoholic drinks except champagne & premium wines
- All game viewing in a custom built 4 x 4 Land Cruiser safari vehicle driven by a professional English speaking driver guide
- Excursions as per the itinerary
- Park Entrance fees throughout
- Flying doctors medical evacuation cover
- I litre of water per person per day while in an Albatros safari vehicle
- Current Government taxes and levies
- International Airfares
- International and domestic departure tax
- Laundry services
- All alcoholic & Non-alcoholic drinks
- Meals and excursions not described in the itinerary above
- Entry Visas to the country
- Travel and health insurance
- Any optional tours or excursions not mentioned in the itinerary above
- Gratuities (tips) to your guide, hotel staff and porters
- Any other items of a personal nature, such as drinks, laundry, telephone and postage.
FAQ & More
Do I need a Visa?
Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Some nationalities will have to obtain these prior to arrival and others will be able to obtain these on arrival at the port of entry. It is imperative that passports are valid for at least six months and have at least two blank pages, or four, if travelling to both Kenya and Tanzania.
While Tanzanian visas are available upon arrival, immigration queues at airports and border crossing can be long so we recommend applying in advance for the visa to save time. The cost for a tourist visa for US Citizens is $100 (Multiple entry) valid for one year, 90 Days at a time; for Canadian citizens, the cost is $50 (Single entry) for 90 Days or $100 (Double entry) for 90 Days each.
It is imperative to check visa requirements with your resident country embassy/consulate as visa requirements may vary according to your nationality.
What health requirements are there?
Both Tanzania and Kenya are malarial areas and therefore it is recommended that travellers start a malaria prophylactic before and during your visit. Most lodges have mosquito nets or mosquito resistant tents/rooms along with providing insect spray and repellent. However, be sure to bring your own personal repellent as well as long sleeves and pants for the evenings, as these are most effective in protecting you from bites when outdoors.
At present, Tanzania and Kenya require no vaccinations before entering the country except Yellow Fever when flying directly from an YF endemic country. Here is a list of these countries: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/yellow-fever#4728. As Kenya is on this list, you’ll need to present proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination if traveling from Kenya to Tanzania.
Regardless, you should consult your local health authorities prior to your holiday for any updates.
What is the luggage allowance for internal flights?
If travelling on a ‘flying safari’, the baggage allowance on small aircraft is 15kgs and all luggage is to be packed in soft duffel bags. This includes hand luggage and camera equipment. Only soft sided bags will be accepted, no wheels, no hard suitcases. This is essential to ensure that everything fits not only into the small aircraft but into the safari vehicles. Please note that any luggage you do not need while on safari will be stored at the office.
What clothing is required?
Rest assured, our team of Adventure Consultants will send you a full packing list prior to your adventure. However, as a general guide, comfortable, casual wash and wear clothes are recommended. The key is lightweight clothing in breathable materials for the day and warmer materials at night. Bush colours (khaki, brown, dark green) are also highly recommended. These will enable you to blend in with the environment and not draw attention to yourself when on game drives or bush walks.
What is the weather like?
Being located on or near the equator, East Africa boasts a fabulous tropical climate which is hot and humid on the coast while being dry and arid in the north and northeast and temperate inland. Though days are quite hot it can get pretty cold during the night in areas at altitude such as Nairobi.
There are however two separate wet seasons in Kenya and Tanzania with the longest being from March to May, and the shorter from November to December. Heavy rains can mean that road access becomes more limited making 4x4 more advisable during these periods.
What is the power source and outlet type?
The electricity supply in Kenya and Tanzania is 220/240 v 50hz. Plugs are 3 point square, British Type G plugs. If you are planning to bring any electrical device from USA or Canada, you will need a voltage and plug converter. Additionally, many safari lodges run on generators which are generally switched off between 2300hrs and 0600hrs. If you need to charge any electronics, this can be done in the office.
Wifi and mobile access?
Both Kenya and Tanzania have a good telephone and internet connection in the main cities and are in the process of improving the network further. Most lodges and hotels offer a fax, international telephone and internet service but make sure to check the rates beforehand as some lodges can impose a surcharge, particularly on international calls. More remote camps and lodges rely on radio for communication and mobile phone coverage is not extensive in most game parks.
When calling Kenya and Tanzania, the international dialling code is +254 and +255 respectively.
Can I drink the water?
Tap water in Kenya and Tanzania is not drinkable and we therefore advise that you drink only sealed, bottled water. Lodges provide water in their safari vehicles. You will almost always find a flask of purified drinking water on your bedside table or in the bathroom.
What is the currency in Tanzania?
The unit of currency in Kenya and Tanzania is the shilling, though the countries’ currencies do not share the same value. Kenya Shilling notes are available in the denominations of 1000, 500, 200, 100 and 50 and 10,000, 5000, 1000 and 500 in Tanzania. Banks generally offer a better rate of exchange than Foreign Exchange Bureaux and Hotels.
Please note duty free goods purchased at the airport can only be purchased in foreign currency and not in Kenya or Tanzanian Shillings. While US Dollars are widely accepted, please note that bills printed before the year 2000 will not be accepted.
Can I use my credit card?
A wide range of credit cards are accepted in Kenya and Tanzania, including American Express, Visa and Master Card. Please check with us before heading off on safari and we will confirm what cards are accepted where you are staying.
What are the tipping recommendations?
Tips are not included in the cost of the safari. Tipping is purely discretionary, however if you would like to show your appreciation we recommend $10 - $20 per guest per day for lodge/camp staff, paid in the communal tip box at reception. For guides, we recommend $10-$15 per day, paid directly to the guide. All tipping is in US dollars.