Hidden Valley Safaris

Day 5

Day 5 Katavi to Mahale

After breakfast you will be transfered to Katavi airstrip and board a shared charter flight from Katavi to Mahale Mountains National Park. On arrival to Mahale airstrip you will be transferred by a traditional dhow boat to your luxury accommodation at the stunning Kungwe Beach Lodge. The dhow cruise takes about 1hour to the camp and there you go you are at the magical entrance to the world of Mahale. The staff will warmly welcome you and you will enjoy lunch at the lodge. After lunch you will enjoy an afternoon hike into the pristine Mahale Mountain jungle.

The Mahale Mountains National Park is in the far west of Tanzania, on the shores of Lake Tanganyika. Named after the Mahale Mountains range that runs through it, it is one of the only places left in the world where you can see chimpanzees in the wild and spend time with a small group - the M Group - who are semi-habituated.

In the 1,613 square kms of the Mahale Mountains, there are still no roads and all you will find are forest paths and tracks made by animals over the years. This, and the fact that the only practical way of reaching camp is by boat, add to the sense of seclusion here. Flying in over the northern end of the mountains, you'll see nothing for many miles and only small villages and local fishermen in dhows dotted along the lake shore.

The park is home to some of the Africa's last remaining wild chimpanzees; a population of roughly 800 (some 60 individual forming the ‘‘M group'') habituated to human visitors by Japanese researchers from Kyoto University in the 1960s. Mahale's mountain ridge is around 50 km in length and runs across the park from the northwest to the southeast. Its tallest peak, Mt Nkungwe at 2462m, is the highest point on Lake Tanganyika's shoreline. The mountains of the Congo, on the opposite side of the lake, can sometimes be seen – some 60kms away – usually during the green season when the air is clear.