Western Circuit


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Western Circuit

western Circuit embraces the parks along Lake Tanganyika, the western border of Tanzania with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The vast space in a remote natural location makes the circuit worth a visit.

Gombe Stream National Park was made famous by Jane Goodall’s research on its chimpanzee population and subsequent habituation. Mahale Mountains National Park further south, on the shores of the gin-clear waters of Lake Tanganyika, is a more authentic chimpanzee experience and highly recommended.

Only a few visitors who travel in Africa ever breach to Katavi National Park, perhaps the most inaccessible and unspoiled wildlife haven to visit on an untouched tour of Tanzania. Fly from Dar Es Salaam to Mpanda and drive to where, deep in virgin territory, spectacular numbers of Cape buffalo, giraffes, antelopes, and zebras dodge predatory lions, leopard, cheetah, hyena, wild dogs and jackals.

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Mahale National Park is located in the western part of Tanzania, bordering Lake Tanganyika. The forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains rise behind the park, home to the world’s largest known population of chimpanzees, with approximately 800 individuals inhabiting the area. Chimpanzees Trekking of Mahale is a magical experience. The forest also boasts amazing troops of red colobus, red-tailed, and blue monkeys and is home to an endemic race of Angola colobus monkey. For ornithologist, this is the perfect place to see a kaleidoscopic array of colorful forest birds.

With lush forest and a fascinating diversity of animals, Gombe stream National Park is home to one of the most beautiful and stunning natural forests in Tanzania. Stop at this park for an amazing chimpanzee trek. Chimpanzees are known to be the species of primates closest to humans, sharing 98% of the genes that we also have. Efforts to conserve the chimps are widely acknowledged and supported. The Jane Goodall Foundation plays a big role in the conservation of the Chimpanzees here as well as the gorillas in Uganda. Here, you will also find troops of olive baboons, red-tailed and red Colobus monkeys, which stick to the forest canopy due to being regularly hunted by the forest chimps, as well as more than 200 birds species.

Katavi National Park: Although Katavi National Park is Tanzania’s third largest national park, it is one of the least visited savannah reserves. Wildlife viewing is excellent during the dry season of June through October, when game concentrates around the three floodplains in the park. The park’s lifeline is the Katuma River, which all but dries out during the dry season. Hundreds of hippos can be seen occupying small pools during the dry season and bloody hippo fights are a common occurrence.

Crocodile, buffalo, elephant and lion are seen in the park along with many antelope species. Katavi should be avoided during the rainy season when mosquitoes are abundant and game viewing difficult. However, during the dry season it is a spectacular site and is reminiscent of what safaris were like 30 years ago.