What to do and Where to Stay in Western Tanzania: Mahale and Katavi

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Ah, Mahale! We’ve raved about it regularly, on this website and elsewhere, but this really is one of the most special places on a continent of very special places indeed. This remote area is visited by just a handful of visitors each year, mainly lured by the chimpanzee trekking. However, as we’ve been lucky enough to visit the Mahale Mountains ourselves, we’d argue that the ravishing beauty of Lake Tanganyika is reason alone to make the long flight this far west. We were worried that our memories were getting just a touch faulty but a recent visitor assures us that the water is still really as clear, the shooting stars as bright, and the company as entertaining as it always was.

And then there’s Katavi National Park- safari here is a natural combination with the chimpanzee trekking in Mahale. Those who’ve done a safari in Zambia will recognise something familiar here- a tremendous wilderness where there’s a certain edge. Crocodiles slither into pools that bubble with hippo pods, and lions seem poised to pounce at almost any moment. Long, tranquil afternoon snoozes are punctuated by families of elephants passing by, and evenings are spent watching Scorpio trace its path across the sky.

Our pick of places to stay in Mahale and Katavi….

Accommodation in this area of Tanzania is quite deliberately on the rustic side. Expect canvas, thatch and lots of open air- nothing to get in between you and the magnificence of nature.

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