Tanzania,

Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale: Tanzania’s Hidden Gems

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Tailor-Made Tour
11 Days
From £5998
GEOIP Not Available
Primate Watching
Off The Beaten Track

Tour Introduction

11 Days from £5998
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale are three of Tanzania’s most exclusive, remote and rewarding national parks. They should really feature on every wildlife enthusiast’s Tanzania agenda but the high cost of flights and accommodation tend to put them out of reach of most visitors.

In this superlative tailor-made itinerary we use special charter flights plus mid-range lodges to make it all a little more affordable. Opt in and you will be amply rewarded with unforgettable wildlife encounters, true wilderness and a slice of Africa that has remained unchanged for centuries.

Full Itinerary

Price from £5998
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in Dar es Salaam

Arrive Dar es Salaam. Take flight to Ruaha National Park. Large numbers of elephants can be seen here and the waterholes attract other game animals and corresponding carnivores including large prides of lions, leopard and cheetah. Other wildlife includes both roan and sable antelope, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, lesser kudu, large herds of zebra, healthy populations of wild dogs and over 500 species of birds.

Staying at Ruaha River Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 2
Ruaha National Park

Game drives in open sided 4x4 vehicles in the fantastic Ruaha National Park.

Staying at Ruaha River Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Ruaha National Park

Enjoy another day of safaris in the park.

Staying at Ruaha River Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Katavi Plains National Park

Transfer to airstrip and take charter flight to Katavi Plains National Park. Remote and wild, Katavi covers 4,500 sq km, making it Tanzania’s third largest park. There is a high concentration of hippo, crocodile, buffalo, impala, eland, topi and zebra, while lion and leopard are never far away.

Staying at Katavi Wildlife Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Katavi Plains National Park

Morning and afternoon safaris in the wilderness of Katavi Plains National Park. Large herds of buffalo and other herbivores are commonplace, even around the camp, and the park supports a particularly large zebra population. Other common species include topi, hartebeest, eland, waterbuck, impala, southern and bohor reedbuck, giraffe, warthog and the rare roan antelope. Katavi’s waterways also support large densities of hippo and crocodile. Carnivores are well represented too with lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena, caracal, serval and African wild cat. The bird, reptile and butterfly diversity is also very impressive.

Staying at Katavi Wildlife Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Katavi Plains National Park

Another day of safaris and guided walks in the national park.

Staying at Katavi Wildlife Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Mahale Mountains National Park

Transfer to airstrip and take charter flight to Mahale. Met on arrival and board boat for transfer to your lodge in the lush Mahale Mountains National Park. The lodge is within hiking distance from the world’s largest population of habituated chimpanzees.

Staying at Mbali Mbali Mahale. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Mahale Mountains National Park

Morning chimpanzee trekking (on a shared basis). Afternoon free for relaxation or lake activities. As well as chimpanzees, there are eight other species of primate, shyer forest mammals, leopards, birds, butterflies, giant vines and waterfalls to discover. The lake in front of the lodge itself is beautiful with crystal clear water, kayaking, fishing and a white sand beach - great for relaxing between chimp encounters.

Staying at Mbali Mbali Mahale. Includes All Meals.

Day 9
Mahale Mountains National Park

Morning chimpanzee trekking (on a shared basis). Afternoon free for relaxation or lake activities.

Staying at Mbali Mbali Mahale. Includes All Meals.

Day 10
Mahale Mountains National Park

Morning chimpanzee trekking (on a shared basis). Afternoon free for relaxation or lake activities.

Staying at Mbali Mbali Mahale. Includes All Meals.

Day 11
Depart Dar es Salaam

Free morning to relax and then transfer by boat back to the airstrip. Take a shared charter flight to Dar es Salaam. Day use of hotel and transfer to the airport and take flight home.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Tour Accommodation

Tanzania Southern Tanzania

Ruaha River Lodge

Overview

Situated next to one of the major rivers of wonderful Ruaha National Park, Ruaha River Lodge blends into its natural surroundings perfectly, engendering a feeling of being at one with the wilderness. This is the oldest lodge in the National Park and is one of the best options for those with an eye on budget.

Each of the twenty six spacious stone and thatch bandas provides the perfect base in which to relax between bush excursions and observe animals, often seen descending from the hills to the river right in front of you throughout the day. Facilities include a long dining banda where delicious African-themed meals are taken overlooking the river with its passing wildlife. A highlight of the lodge is the spectacular deck built atop a kopje for enjoying evening sundowners.

Ruaha River Lodge is a beguiling combination of comfort, setting, delicious food and excellent guides. There are no fences here and elephants, hippos and even lions are seen within the camp itself, adding to the exciting experience. But don’t worry, Maasai guides are always on hand to safely accompany guests to and from the rooms.

Ruaha National Park is one of the most unspoilt and scenic protected areas on the continent and the River adjacent to the lodge is frequently visited by large herds of elephants particularly in the dry season. The park is home to a vast array of typical east African mammals, birds and reptiles.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
26
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, lounge, private bathroom, 24hr electricity and laundry service.

Local Wildlife

Ruaha is particularly important as the ranges of eastern and southern species overlap here to produce a high diversity of mammals and birds. Large numbers of elephants can be seen along the Ruaha River (particularly in the dry season) and the park is really good for big cat sightings with large prides of lions, leopard and cheetah frequently spotted. There are also healthy populations of wild dog, buffalo, zebra and over 500 bird species. Rarer species such as the roan and sable antelope, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and lesser kudu also reside in the park.

Optional Activities

Game drives.

Tanzania Western Tanzania

Mbali Mbali Mahale

Overview

The mid-range Mbali Mbali Mahale is set just back from a long stretch of beautiful golden sand on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in Mahale National Park. Accommodation is in traditional African safari tents under thatched shelters with simple but tasteful furnishings and en suite bathrooms with hot water showers and flush toilets. Each tent has a writing desk, lamp, bedside table and clothes rack and faces the lake.

The main reception building consists of a bar, lounge, library and a small gift shop. The beach also has a small relaxation hut with reclining cushioned chairs. Meals are a la carte with an English style breakfast, light lunch and hearty three course meal for dinner. The cuisine is mostly African including plenty of local fish and stew but international and special diet dishes are also available.

Most evenings a campfire is lit on the beach where sundowners and meals can be enjoyed whilst experiencing the sun set.

The principal attraction here is the habituated chimpanzees of Mahale National Park, an extremely lush park particularly good for birds, butterflies and a range of other primates including both red and black-and-white colobus monkeys.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
10
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, lounge, campfire, private bathrooms (hot water), library, gift shop, beach hut and laundry service.

Local Wildlife

The forested hills of the park are home to many chimpanzees including a well habituated troop which can easily be tracked and observed in their natural habitat. Both red and black-and-white colobus monkeys are frequently observed here and there is a high bird and butterfly diversity.

Optional Activities

Chimpanzee and primate tracking. Fishing on Lake Tanganyika can also be arranged. Swimming and snorkelling are no longer recommended due to recent crocodile sightings.

Tanzania Western Tanzania

Katavi Wildlife Camp

Overview

Katavi Wildlife Camp is a small and exclusive lodge of just eight tents in the remote Katavi National Park. Accommodation is in eight large well-furnished tents complete with king-size beds, private bathroom, writing desk and a large covered verandah. There is hot water available but it is solar powered and usually only available at the end of the day. The tents enjoy a shady position on the edge of a large floodplain that attracts plenty of wildlife. At the front of each tent is a private verandah with chairs and a hammock to enjoy the view of the plains with. Each tent has an electronic safety deposit box and power supply for recharging equipment and laundry service is complimentary.

Excursions are a mixture of game drives in open-sided 4x4s and walking tours. Meals are taken in the main dining room with an a la carte menu for breakfast and dinner and a buffet for lunch. There is also a well-stocked bar and open lounge in which to relax.

Remote and wild, Katavi covers 4,500 sq km, making it Tanzania’s third largest park. It sits on a watery flood plain that includes vast areas of miombo and acacia woodland, rivers, swamps, palm groves and shallow lakes. There is a high concentration of hippo, crocodile, buffalo, impala, eland, topi and zebra, while lion and leopard are never far away.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
8
Facilities

Restaurant, bar, lounge, private bathrooms (solar powered hot water), verandah, hammock, electronic safety deposit box and laundry service.

Local Wildlife

Large herds of buffalo and other herbivores are commonplace even around the camp and the park supports a particularly large zebra population. Other common species include topi, hartebeest, eland, waterbuck, impala, southern and bohor reedbuck, giraffe and warthog, and the rare roan antelope still persists here. The park’s waterways also support large densities of hippo and crocodile. Carnivores are well represented too with lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena, caracal, serval and African wild cat. The bird, reptile and insect diversity is also very impressive.

Optional Activities

Game drives and walking tours.

Route Map

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Ruaha River Lodge : -7.765593, 34.870866
Katavi Wilderness Camp: -6.897052, 31.160113
Kungwe Beach Lodge: -6.129514, 29.731701

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Domestic flights within Tanzania are included.

Best Visited:

June to October

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Jonathan Morris

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

The sheer wealth of animals in Serengeti is amazing. We have been on several previous safaris but never seen such vast herds.

Dr J A - Cambridge