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Wild West Tanzania - Lake diving, Chimps and Mountains

offered by supplier M16849 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 9 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 8 people
Destination(s): Tanzania  
Specialty Categories: National Parks  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 4030 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 4140 US Dollar (USD)

Day 1: Dar es Salaam to Mbeya. Fly on the early morning flight on Fast Jet at 07:00 from Dar and arrive in Mbeya at 08:25. Guests will be collected from Mbeya and driven to Lake Shore. This is an 8 hour drive and is truly beautiful as it goes through the Lwafe Game and Forest Reserve, down the escarpment to Lake Tanganyika. You have a packed lunch en-route. Lake Tanganyika is one of the Great Rift Valley Lakes found on the western border of Tanzania, in East Africa. This massive expanse of water is the longest Lake in Africa (720 km long) and is the second deepest Lake in the world (1,470m) – second only to Lake Baikal in Russia. It is said to hold roughly 18% of the world’s available fresh water and is also the world’s second largest fresh water Lake by volume. There are 26 rivers that flow into Lake Tanganyika and only one (the Lukuga River) that flows out. Only the upper 100m of the Lake is oxygenated. The Lake’s temperature is typically 24 to 26 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) all year round. It has an average ph of 8.4. The Lake boasts visibilities of up to 20m with massive boulders, spectacular drop offs and a shell covered bottom. It is thought to date back 9 to 20 million years and is one of the richest aqueous environments in the world, supporting at least 280 varieties of fish. Most of the 200 and more types of cichlid fish found here are endemic to the Lake. These small, colourful fish are exported for aquariums and fish tanks around the world.Because of their unique feeding techniques, Tanganyika cichlids prefer different habitats. This means that by going only a few hundred meters, you are able to view totally different species, making your diving and snorkelling trips very exciting. Apart from cichlids you can also catch a glimpse of otters, speckled eels, catfish, burrowing clams and freshwater crabs. In the deeper water you may well spot some of the larger fish – “Kuhe” (Boulengerochromis microlepis) and “Sangala Pamba” (Lates Angustifrons), or even the Lake Tanganyika jellyfish, a nearly transparent, pulsating disc about 2 cm in diameter. Freshwater jellyfish are unusual as most species are found in the ocean. This species is completely harmless to swimmers and does not sting like those found in the sea. You arrive mid-afternoon and spend a night in one of the Lawn Bandas.The Lawn Bandas are well-appointed, spacious rooms, with shared bathrooms just behind the rooms. All the Bandas are built on the lawn, with stunning views of the Lake.

Day 2: Lake Shore. Today you will have a day at leisure at Lake Shore Lodge.

Day 3: Set off early (around 06:30) in our local dhow, the Lake Wanderer. Stop en-route to have a packed breakfast and a picnic lunch and to snorkel. That night you set up a fly camp in one of the pristine bays along the Lake and have dinner around the fire at the water's edge. There will be a boat driver and a chef on board.
We try to leave as small a footprint as possible when you fly camp. There is a separate tent that is used for your toilet area, which is set well back from the Lake. This has a portable eco-friendly, chemical toilet and separate hand wash basin. The shower is in another tent and is also set well back from the Lake. Hot showers are provided with a portable water heater which uses gas to heat the water that runs through it. Guests can of course have a swim in the Lake rather than use the shower. The guest tents are 2-man individual tents that are easy to set up and take down with comfortable bedding, towels etc. You can sit upright in the tents but you cannot stand in the tents. Each guest will have his/her own tent.

Day 4: Continue up Lake Tanganyika to Mahale. You will need to register at the National Park and then set up a fly camp on the beach in Mahale where you will overnight. Famous for containing some of the last remaining wild chimpanzees in Africa, the Mahale Mountains National Park was gazetted in 1985, covers an area of 1 613 km² and is located about 128 km south of Kigoma town on the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. The western boundary of the park protects an adjacent 1.6 km wide strip of Lake Tanganyika’s waters.
The land in and around Mahale is the traditional homeland of the Watongwe and Waholoholo tribes. Japanese primate researchers began exploring along the shore of Lake Tanganyika, south of Kigoma as early as 1961. In 1965, the researchers established their first camp, ‘Kansyana’, in Mahale and began habituating chimpanzees. The terrain is mostly rugged and hilly, and is dominated by the Mahale Mountains chain that runs from the northwest to the southeast across the park. The highest peak (Mount Nkungwe) rises to 2 462 m above sea level.

Day 5: Do an early morning chimp trek and return to camp after seeing the chimps. You will spend a second night camped in Mahale on the beach.

Day 6: Another Chimp trek today. You will have a second opportunity to see the chimps and do another morning chimp trek. After that you will return to the boat and start to head back to Lake Shore and camp near Sibwesa, just outside Mahale.

Day 7: Head southwards down Lake Tanganyika, snorkelling and enjoying the beautiful shoreline and the clear waters. You will fly camp in another beautiful bay for the night.

Day 8: Set off for Lake Shore and arrive in the afternoon. Overnight in one of the Lawn Bandas. Have your last evening with a lovely dinner at Lake Shore.

Day 9: Depart at 07:00 to drive back to Mbeya so that guests can catch the return flight back to Dar es Salaam. The flight leaves Mbeya at 18:00 and arrives in Dar at 19:25.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Return flights on Fast Jet from Dar es Salaam to Mbeya
- Return Airport transfers to/from Mbeya
- All meals
*teas and coffees
- Park fees and entries (noted separately)
- 2 x Chimp treks
- 3 x Nights accommodation in a shared Lawn Banda at Lake Shore Lodge
- 5 x Nights fly camping in bays on Lake Tanganyika
- Services of a driver/guide, support crew and cook as appropriate

About This Supplier
Location: South Africa
Joined InfoHub: Jul 2007

M16849 is a Tour Operator that offers tailor-made packages to South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania, with special emphasis on land based safaris, scuba diving safaris, incentive groups and corporate travel. We strive exceed our clients requirements and budgets, with focus on personalized service. We invite you to...

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