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Tanzania West
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Tanzania West


... is a very remote region of Tanzania, which remains very little-visited.

It contains two of Africa's most remote and alluring wildlife reserves, which, unlike those in the North of the country, are far apart from one another and can only really combined by means of a flying safari, although the great distances involved inevitably makes this a very expensive undertaking.

When to visit ...

The best time of year for safari in this region is generally considered to be the Jul/Oct dry season. Please refer to the area and lodge pages for more detailed information.


Mahale Mountains ... is the main draw in this part of the world, a fabulous chimpanzee reserve in the on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. The remote mountain backdrop and white-sand beaches makes this an utterly dreamy location. The chimpanzee interaction here is certainly one of the best animal experiences in Africa.

Gombe Stream ... is another lesser chimpanzee sanctuary further north on Lake Tanganyika.

Katavi ... is another significant target, a park so remote that it sometimes struggles to get its annual international visitor numbers into three figures. The seasonal wetlands here attract good densities of savannah wildlife, the congregations of hippos and crocodiles have to be seen to be believed.

Kigoma ... is a significant town on Lake Tanganyika which attracts few travellers but is notable as the location for the famous meeting between the explorers Stanley and Livingstone.

How we like to include this area in trips ...

Tanzania West is perhaps the most alluring region of East Africa in which to go on safari. But it is also one of the most expensive.

The most common safari format through the region is a short 3 or 4 night flying visit to see the chimps at Mahale. For guests who can afford it, the seven night combination of Katavi and Mahale should be one of the very best weeks you could ever have on safari.

Tanzania West is commonly combined with some of the most interesting elements of Tanzania South, notably Ruaha safari and Selous safari.

Alternatively the region can also be combined with elements of the famous Tanzania North region, including Serengeti safari, Ngorongoro safari, Tarangire safari and Lake Manyara safari.

Some visitors also combine with options further afield including Mount Kilimanjaro treks in the northeast of the country, Katavi safari and Mahale Mountains chimpanzee safari out west, Maasai Mara safari over the border in Kenya and Virunga Mountains gorilla safari over in Rwanda.

These mainland areas are also commonly combined with nights down on the Tanzania Coast, especially on Zanzibar Island, Pemba Island, Mafia Island or Fanjove Island, usually in trips of 10 to 21 nights.

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Lenny Franklin
Lenny Franklin, Senior Safari Consultant
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