Guide to Western Circuit Tanzania Safaris & National Parks
Tanzania Western Safaris circuit is the most remote one in the country. Western Safari Circuit encompasses several National Parks in the country that include; Katavi National Park, Mahale National Park, and Gombe Stream National Park. The National Parks are home to a wide range of wildlife and sighting is guaranteed year-round.
Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park is also known as Katavi Plain National Park. Katavi National Park covers a total land area of 4,500 square kilometers making it the third-largest National Park in Tanzania. Katavi National Park offers a great experience of the wildness with the park having vast plains of grasslands which offer the real experience of an African bush safari.
Katavi National Park inhabits large grassland and a variety of wildlife that many tourists have always been left amazed by the view of the real African bushes which have high concentrations of wildlife and have strongly recommend the best time to pay a visit to Katavi National Park to be within the dry season of the year that is normally between July and October.
Katavi National Park is a great home to a large number of wildlife with the park habituating large herds of grazers within the vast plains such as the buffalo that graze the plains, hundreds of hippo are normally seen gathering in large numbers together in the vast pools, the park also habituates huge lion prides, the park also supports a lazy population of zebra.
The other wildlife in the park includes the topi, hartebeest, eland, waterbuck, impala, southern and the bohor reedbuck, giraffe, warthog, and the rare species of the roan antelope. The park also has a lot of carnivores on top of the lions that include the leopards, wild dogs, spotted hyenas, caracal, serval, and African wild cats. The National Park is further spiced with impressive reptiles and butterflies that appear in plenty.
Mahale National Park
Mahale National Park stretches on a total land area of over 600 square kilometers that rises from the lake shores with an altitude of about 77 meters and the highest point at about 2,463 meters. The shores of Lake Tanganyika that wrap the verdant forests and the angular slopes of the Mahale Mountains that drop down towards the crystal clear waters of Lake Tanganyika indulges Mahale National Park. Mahale National Park is located in the far west of the country, set among the spectacular and forested slopes of the Mahale Mountains, and one of the special games to visit while on a safari to the western circuit.
The Mahale Mountains were formally occupied by the Batongwe and the Holoholo people who had lived here for many years respectively. The establishment of the Mahale Mountain Research Centre in 1979 saw all these people expelled from the mountains.
Mahale Mountain National Park was originally created with the great desire to protect the thousands of chimpanzees that are inhabited in the region, one of the only two protected areas with chimpanzees in Tanzania. Mahale National Park harbors the largest known population of eastern chimpanzees and the great efforts of chimpanzee conservation have been appreciated and they have flourished in the remote area.
The uniqueness of Mahale National Park has been further proven by the co-existence of lions and Chimpanzees. In Africa, Mahale National Park is one of the very few National Parks that are experienced by foot. The National Park does not have the infrastructure in and within the boundaries, making Mahale National Park accessible by only the boat through the lake.