Journey to West Tanzania
In the remote west of the country lies Tanzania’s best kept secret – Gombe National Park and Katavi National Park. Perhaps this fact is due to the situation that Gombe Stream cannot be discovered with a Land Cruiser and Katavi was difficult to reach by vehicle until a few years ago.
The highlights of The Journey to West Tanzania
- Untouched Paradise in Western Tanzania
- Gome National Park with Chimpanzee Trekking
- African wildlife with giraffes, antelopes, zebras and much more
- Livingstone Museum in Kigoma
- Katavi National Park with the largest buffalo population in the world
- swimming in Lake Tanganyika
- private guided safari in a Landcruiser
- incl. all lodges and park fees
Itinerary and highlights of Journey to West Tanzania
Day 1 Journey to West Tanzania – Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) – Arusha
We will pick you up at Kilimanjaro Airport and take you to the hotel in Arusha. From your first accommodation you can explore the paradisaical surroundings or relax in the lodge.
Day 2 Journey to West Tanzania – Arusha – Tarangire Park, game drive
After picking you up at the hotel you drive with your guide to the Tarangire National Park, which is especially known for its high number of elephants. The name of the park comes from the river of the same name, which is the only source of water for the wild animals in the dry season. The huge Baobab trees are impressive in the hilly savannah landscape. The southern part of the Tarangire serves as a water reservoir during the rainy season. In the dry season the herds move to the green and nutrient-rich swamp regions.
Day 3 Journey to West Tanzania – Tarangire National Park, Game Drive – Singida
In the morning you will leave Tarangire National Park and drive on a well-maintained road first towards the south and turn off in Babati towards Singida. On the right-hand side is the impressive Mount Hanang with 3420 meters altitude, later the road gradually winds up to the 1700 meters altitude. From the plateau you can look down on some valleys and huge yellow rock blocks and boulders line the landscape. The rocks are also the dominant image of Singida. The entire town is built between the rocks and overlooks Singida Lake.
Game Drive: 2-3 h Driving time 4,5-5 h Distance: 230 km
Day 4 Journey to West Tanzania – Singida – Tabora
Even before the busy, bustling life fills the streets, you will set off for the onward journey to the west. Nearly 80% of the Singida region is forested or scrubland. The route leads along new rail route with plenty of unspoiled nature and forest, perfect for a relaxing vacation off the beaten track. Every now and then honey merchants appear and village settlements along the well-maintained road. Upon arrival in Tabora, visit the town’s railroad station, which is one of the largest in Tanzania. The central railroad line from Dar es Salaam to Lake Tanganyika is the biggest legacy from the German colonial period.
Driving time: 6 h Distance: 330 km
Day 5 Journey to West Tanzania – Tabora – Kigoma
Today a long drive is scheduled. Driving towards the west, via Urambo you will drive on a very good tarred road, which is part of the old slave route from Kigoma to Bagamoyo. It is unimaginable how a good 100 years ago explorers walked through the thicket of the forest without any protection. Along this path, the Liamba ferry also made is way to Lake Tanganyika, stowed in boxes and carried by hundreds of slaves. Upon arrival in Kigoma you will enjoy the view over Lake Tanganyika, of the longest lake in the world. A breathtaking panorama!
Driving Time: 6 h Distance: 425 km
Day 6 Journey to West Tanzania – Kigoma, Livingston Museums
The day begins with a view of the beautiful Lake Tanganyika. The mountains on the Congolese border can be seen on the horizon and fishing boats float on the calm lake. You can use the morning for swimming. After noon you will drive to Ujiji, the access road is on an old town pavement. The two African explorers David Livingstone and Henry Stanley met there under a mango tree. In the museum you will learn more about their work and what they were highly recognized for.
Driving time: 0,5h Distance: 15 km
Day 7 Journey to West Tanzania – Gombe National Park, Chimpanzee Tracking
Before the sun lights up the day, you will board the boat and set off for a wonderful boat trip. Along the shore, past small villages, the beginning forest area signals that you have reached the Gombe Stream. The white, round stones along the shore form a strong contrast to the densely forest mountainside and let you guess that this is a very special place! After an introduction you will continue on foot. The chimpanzee tracking begins. In total there are about 120 chimpanzees living in 3 different groups, which are territorially separated from each other. It goes steeply uphill and the forest has a biophilia effect with sustainability. Listen for a moment! Then you finally hear them. Completely relaxed the chimpanzees go about their daily routine: eating, cleaning, sleeping and lousing. It may get noisy sometimes when it comes to the ranking of the chimpanzees. However, it is wonderful to see how they are able to feel empathy.
Boat Trip: 2h Distance: 25 km Hike: 3-4h
Day 8 Journey to West Tanzania – Kigoma – Katavi National Park, Game Drive
The route takes you along one of the most scenic routes in Tanzania. Forest regions, open grass plains and rocky hills can be seen along the way and at Nkondwe Waterfall it is worth stopping for a short walk. The birdlife is impressive and already visible during a short stopover, including the Red Bishop and Red-collared Widowbird. Upon reaching the park, the game drive begins. Significant is the Katuma River, from whose bridge hippos can often be seen.
Driving time: 5h Distance: 330 km Hike: 0.5h
Day 9 Journey to West Tanzania – Katavi National Park, Game Drive
Today we will go on a true spectacle of nature. Towards the end of the dry season, up to 200,000 buffalo, elephant and hippo can congregate in the lower water-rich river basins. The concentration of biomass in the Katavi is probably the largest in Tanzania. On your safari, you will drive through bushveld and open savannah that allows for unobstructed views. You may well see wild dogs in the wild. Katavi National Park is without a doubt one of the most remote, vast and untouched parks in Africa.
Game drive: 2x4h or 1x 6-8h Distance: 80 km
Day 10 Journey to West Tanzania – Katavi National Park, Game Drive 2
Another day in Katavi National Park is on the program. A little more time to also visit the sacred tamarind tree. It served the Wabende tribe in spiritual divinations. And along the Katavi Lake the fascinating bird life becomes visible. Over 400 different species live permanently or temporarily in the marshes. Incidentally, you are more likely to encounter a lion than any other safari vehicle.
Game drive: 2x4h or 1x 6-8h Distance: 80 km
Day 11 Journey to West Tanzania – Katavi Park, Game Drive – Lake Tanganyika
After a short game drive in the morning, you will continue your journey, even though it is hard to leave the beautiful park, the next unique place is already waiting for your visit. Surprisingly, after leaving the park, there is a first-class tar road. The hustle and bustle of the village invites you for a short stop. Want to try some local cuisine? Then continue on an off-road track to the beautifully situated Lake Shore Lodge.
Game Drive: 2-3h Driving Time: 3h Distance: 185 km
Day 12, 13 Journey to West Tanzania – Lake Tanganyika, Beach
In the spectacular lying lodge you can arrange your stay independently. There are numerous possibilities to actively explore the surroundings or to enjoy the view of the lake in a relaxed way. The activities are described under Lake Shore Lodge. The sunsets are unique.
Day 14 Journey to West Tanzania – Lake Tanganyika – Mpanda – Dar es Salaam (DAR)
After leaving the lodge, head back towards Katavi National Park. Review the last days and enjoy the stunning nature in the remote part of Tanzania. From Mpanda airport you will fly to Dar es Salaam (DAR).
Travel time: approx.4h Distance: 220 km Flight: 2,5h