Tanzania is such a rich country that it’s impossible to see it all, but tourists usually visit the north of the country - Serengueti, Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro... - and ignore many other incredibly spectacular regions. In addition, people usually think of Zanzibar as the ideal combination when traveling to Tanzania. But what about Mozambique?
West Tanzania is a more remote, much less visited area of the country, and therefore very wild, inhospitable and really authentic. We arrived in Katavi National Park after a 3-hour flight by plane, and were amazed by the incredible amount of wildlife we could spot, hippos and crocodiles included. In this wild natural environment we enjoyed an authentic picnic in the middle of the African savannah.
Since this area is off the beaten track, the animals are not used to tourists and are very elusive. This is one of the reasons why we greatly appreciated our guides, amazing professionals with an incredible instinct, who know the land extremely well.
In this rustic environment the accommodations are very authentic and we were able to sleep in a traditional tent safari from which we enjoyed a beautiful sunset. This is definitely the perfect experience to travel back to the origins of the photographic safaris.
Our next stop was Lake Tanganyika, in the Mahale Mountains National Park area, less than an hour's flight from Katavi. This is a very isolated area, there are no roads more than 100 km around, and the only way to get there is by plane and then by boat. To reach our destination we had to sail for more than an hour on the lake. During the journey we were absolutely surrounded by nature, with no sign of civilisation, and in the middle of the vegetation… Greystoke Mahale appeared.
I have traveled all over the world, and this place is definitely within the top 3 of the most spectacular places I have ever seen.
An amazing natural combination between the lake and the jungle leaves you speechless. Crystal-clear water with spectacular beaches of golden sand and just behind our cottage, in the mountains, the Mahale Mountains National Park, home to the largest chimpanzee population in the world.
Approaching the chimpanzees is a thrilling experience; they are active, funny, friendly, and they even came close to us, as if we were part of the group.
Greystoke Mahale is so fully integrated in its surroundings that one day, when we arrived at our room, we found a baboon eating the reeds of our cabin!
In addition to interacting with chimpanzees and baboons, you can enjoy many other activities: bathing in the middle of the lake - it’s impossible to bathe near the shore as there are animals living there - snorkelling, fishing and even tasting the fish right there, sashimi style. We enjoyed all of this with Mwyga, our guide, an experienced tracker and very knowledgeable.
We found it difficult to leave this amazing place. Luckily our next destination was worth it: Vamizi Island, in the Quirimbas archipelago, in Mozambique.
Vamizi Island is a marine sanctuary, a very important region for its biodiversity, with about 180 species of coral reefs, more than 300 species of fish and the largest known population of green turtles in Mozambique. Needless to say, the beaches are truly incredible, and the diving is outstanding, definitely the best.
There, we were able to enjoy a unique experience: helping the newborn turtles reaching the shore.
Moreover, the cuisine is also spectacular: amazing seafood - lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner - combined with exceptional service.
West Tanzania and Mozambique beaches: an ideal combination to enjoy Africa off the beaten track.