Western Circuit

Gombe Stream National Park

Gombe Stream National park is a mountainous strip bordering the shores of an African Great Lake, Lake Tanganyika the second largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, and the second deepest and the worlds longest freshwater lake. Gombe stream national park offers visitors the rare chance to observe the following:-

  • Chimpanzee communities made famous by British explorer Jane Goodall
  • Red colobus
  • Red-tail
  • Blue monkeys
  • 200 bird species.

Size

52 sq km [20 sq miles]

Location & Getting There

Located about 16 km [10 miles] north of Kigoma on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania.Scheduled flights from Dar and Arusha to Kigoma. By rail service from Mwanza and Dar, By roads from Mbeya to Mpulungu in Zambia then a weekly ferry.From Kigoma, 3 hours by local lake-taxis to Gombe, or less by 1 hour by motorboats.

What to do

  • Chimpanzee trekking
  • Hiking
  • Swimming and snorkeling
  • Visit the site of Henry Stanley's famous "Dr Livingstone I presume" at Ujiji near Kigoma
  • Watch the renowned dhow builders at work

When to go

  • Wet season [February – June, November – December]
  • Dry season [July – October and late December]
  • Please check for available tour packages here

Katavi National Park

Katavi national park is a true wilderness, third largest national park lies in the southwest of the Tanzania, within a truncated arm of the Rift Valley that terminates in the shallow, brooding expanse of Lake Rukwa. With its vast floodplains, the palm-fringed Lake Chala and the Katuma River, the park is noted for its Miombo woodland and is home to:-

  • Buffalo
  • Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Zebra
  • Antelope species to include eland, impala, topi, roan, and sable
  • Water fowl
  • Hippo and Crocodile on lakes

Size

4,471 sq km [1,727 sq miles]

Location & Getting There

Located about Southwest Tanzania, east of Lake Tanganyika. The headquarters at Sitalike lie 40km [25 miles] south of Mpanda town.Charter flights from Dar or Arusha.A day drives from Mbeya [550 km/340 miles], or from Kigoma [390 km/240 miles].By rail from Dar via Tabora to reach Mpanda, then to catch public transport to Sitalike.

What to do

  • Walking safaris
  • Game driving and camping safaris Visit the tamarind tree inhabited by the spirit of the legendary hunter Katabi Near Lake Katavi, for offerings and spirits blessing

When to go

  • Dry season, May to October
  • Wet season, from mid December to February
  • Please check for available tour packages here

Mahale Mountains National Park

Mahale Mountains National Park is another sanctuary of the chimpanzee and is bordering the shore of Lake Tanganyika in the western side. Mahale supports a home for a good number of animals to include:-

  • Chimpanzee population is estimated at around 1,000
  • Yellow baboons
  • Red colobus
  • Red-tailed and vervet monkeys
  • Bush-babies
  • Bushpigs
  • Bushbuck
  • Blue duiker
  • Civet, hyrax and white-tailed mongoose
  • Buffalo
  • Elephant
  • Giraffe
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Porcupine
  • Various types of antelopes
  • More than 250 species of fish

Size

1,613 sq km [623 sq miles]

Location & Getting There

Located on western Tanzania, bordering Lake Tanganyika.Charter flight from Arusha, Dar or Kigoma. Charter private or national park motorboat from Kigoma, three to four hours. Weekly steamer from Kigoma, seven hours, then hires a local fishing boat for another one or two hour.

What to do

  • Chimp tracking
  • Hiking
  • Camping safaris
  • Snorkeling
  • Fishing

When to go

  • Dry season, May to October best for forest walks
  • Light rains, October/November
  • Please check for available tour packages here