Tanzania's Western circuit safaris, tours & holiday packages
Gombe, Mahale and Katavi
Come here to see chimps and experience natural locations that are off the beaten trackThe 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. You'll have to go further to find the chimps but you'll get a better idea of how chimps are in the wild than by observing them at feeding pens. Katavi National Park is another 150km towards the south-east of Mahale and probably gets fewer than 500 tourists a year.
More on Tanzania Western Circuit holidaysTwo of the three Western Circuit parks are well worth a visit if you appreciate primates and off-the-beaten track safaris. Getting there is fairly expensive because all three parks are a long way to fly from Arusha or Dar es Salaam. There are only two flights a week so you'll have to stay at least a week (three days at Mahale and four at Katavi, or vice versa). You can link Katavi with Ruaha if you like; a good combination would be Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale Mountains.
Tanzania Western Circuit Map
Tanzania Western Circuit's location on Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions about Tanzania Western Circuit
A Grumeti safari is rewarding throughout the year. However, the best time to visit Grumeti Game Reserve is during the migration months of June and July - when massive herds of wildebeest arrive to cross the crocodile-infested Grumeti River… go there.
The best time to visit Arusha National Park is from June to October, during the dry season. It is easier to spot the wildlife - since they normally gather around the waterholes, rainfall is minimal, vegetation is not too thick and mosquitos… go there.
The best time to visit Anysberg Nature Reserve is during late July and early August - when the Mesembryanthemums (vygies, ‘little figs’ in Afrikaans) are bursting into flowers. There are also impressive stands of proteas which occur at… go there.
Rubondo Island National Park is best visited in the dry months of July to February. The jungle is less humid - however, there are also less mosquito’s and the temperatures are not as extreme. go there.
June to August during the dry season, is the best time to visit Saanane Island National Park. This season is great for game drives, picnic as well as rock hiking. go there.
June to October is the best time to visit Mkomazi National Park. During the dry season - when the wildlife viewing is at its prime. go there.
July to October, during the dry months - is the best time to track the chimpanzees in Mahale Mountains National Park. Chimpanzees can be found easily on the low mountains slopes. go there.
June to October is the best time to visit Mikumi National Park. During the dry season, the wildlife concentrate around waterholes and rivers - making it easier to spot them. go there.
Reviews on our Tanzania Western Circuit safaris
Discover Africa and Carel has put in such an effort for us to experience the annual wildebeest migration, meticulous planning and accurate predictions with logical and the best accommodation options both sides of the Mara River guaranteed us…
Jates and Hil Oettle
from South Africa
I just wanted to thank Discover Africa and Karl Svendsen - the safari was great - we saw many more animals than expected including cheetah, leopard, many lions and even a three-day old elephant calf. Additionally, we had our own hippo…
We had the most wonderful time in Tanzania. We left yesterday and miss it already. We saw the big 5 and felt super lucky to see the lions and leopard with their kill. Our guide was also wonderful. Thank YOU for planning our trip of a…
We had a wonderful experience with the Discover Africa team on our trip to Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar. Due to unforeseen circumstances we needed to head down early and their team were most helpful in arranging exciting new options for us while…
from South Africa
Our service from Carel at Discover Africa was outstanding. His recommendations on the timing of our trip, the lodges we should book, communication and overall assistance ensured that our trip went off very smoothly and that we were in the…
from South Africa
History was made in supporting Chaeli Mycroft to become the 1st quadraplegic female to summit Kilimanjaro. What amazing partners Discover Africa are! Great communications from home team ensured that getting to Tanzania happened without a hitch.
from South Africa
“Since the...early 90s when Mark and Milly Houldsworth sat down to design this little camp, it's been much copied, but never equalled. We wanted our camp to be effortlessly comfortable - a home from home, where you wanted for nothing. But… read more
If you’re contemplating a Great Migration safari, but you’d like an experience that couples rustic simplicity with a certain amount of glamour, then a value-for-money safari is perfect for you. Whether you’re travelling alone or as a family,… read more