Travel to Western Tanzania – Episode 757

categories: africa travel

Travel to Western Tanzania | Tanzania Safari | Katavi National Park (Podcast) | Mahale Mountains National Park

Hear about travel to western Tanzania to Katavi National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park as the Amateur Traveler talks to Jen Curran from about these less visited destinations.

Jen says, “There’s so many amazing things about Tanzania. The people are great. The culture is great. Not just the Swahili coast culture. Tanzania just has a breath of natural wonders. It also has a lot of history, particularly on the coast, like Zanzibar. There’s just a lot in western Tanzania. It has amazing natural wonders that I think get lost in the big Serengeti/Ngorongoro/Tarangire area. The nature of the wildlife is incredible there. It’s not full of other tourists. It feels like what it was like a century ago. Granted, you’re staying in a fancy tent, which might not have been there 100 years ago. But you do feel when you’re out there. It’s this vast wilderness and you’re kind of almost alone, which is pretty incredible. It was one of the places I think in the world where you can really feel like wow, I am remote. This is wild. And that I think that’s one of the reasons I think I love it so much.”

Jen spent years working in Africa before starting her own tour business. She has been on more than a hundred safaris so when she says that a place is special, that should get your attention.

One of the days she was in Katavi National Park, she was the only tourist. There are less than 1,000 visitors to the park each year. So you can find large herds of elephants, hippos, and buffalo, but you won’t have to share them with loads of other visitors.

Jen also found the walking safari experience there to be particularly interesting. Many walking safaris she has taken are more like a “nature hike” than a safari. On this walking safari, she was able to get close (but from a safe vantage point) to the animals.

Getting Katavi National Park from Arusha or Dar es Salaam will take a flight or two or a very long time driving. 

If you try and get Google map directions from Katavi to Mahale Mountains National Park, Google will just tell you “no”. You can’t drive to Mahale which is part of its attraction. Instead, you have to fly or drive to the shores of Lake Tanganyika and then take a boat into the park.

Mahale Mountains National Park has other wildlife but is best known for its chimpanzee treks. Jen also relates taking a boat to the middle of the lake where you can safely swim. They swam with freshwater stingless jellyfish.

If you have more time, Jen talks about other lesser-known parks in Tanzania like Ruaha National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Usambara Mountains, Lake Natron, and Empakaai Crater which are worth a visit. 

We explore the less-visited regions of Tanzania. Come for the wildlife but come back for the wonderful people.

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Out Travel The System

This episode of Amateur Traveler is sponsored by Expedia’s flagship travel show Out Travel The System. Learn where to stay, what to do, and how to live like a local.

AirMedCare Network Fly-U-Home

This episode of Amateur Traveler is sponsored by AirMedCare Network Fly-U-Home. If hospitalized more than 150 nautical miles from home, they’ll transport you to a hospital of your choice in one of their medically equipped, private aircraft by specially trained nurses and paramedics at no out-of-pocket cost to you.

Use the code TRAVELER to a $60 gift card.

Traveling Soon? These useful links will help you prepare for your trip.
Athletic Brewing

This episode of Amateur Traveler is sponsored by the North America Brewer of the Year at the 2020 International Beer Challenge.

To try their award-winning non-alcoholic beers at Use the code Travel20 and get 15% off your first order. Free shipping on orders of two 6-packs or more or use their store finder to find it on shelves near you.

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Show Notes

Globe and Tribe
Katavi National Park
Mahale Mountains National Park
Purple-crested turaco
Eastern chimpanzee
Gombe Stream National Park
Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo – Episode 682
Ruaha National Park
Selous Game Reserve
Usambara Mountains
Lake Natron
Empakaai Crater
Chipsi mayai
Swahili language


“The Podcast I had been Looking” by 5kRunner Boi

I had been looking for a good travel podcast for a while when I finally stumbled upon the Amateur Traveler. It was exactly what I was looking for with its easy-going nature and wide variety of destinations. I’ve enjoyed listening to episodes about places I’ve been and reminiscing on those trips while listening to episodes to help plan new adventures in the future. Keep doing what you’re doing Chris, this show is great!

“Best and most consistent travel podcast” by dancingmama

“I haven’t been able to find a better travel podcast than Mr. Christensen’s. He has an extensive podcast that grows even more every Saturday. It’s my go-to podcast whenever I get that bit of wanderlust. It’s fun to listen to in the car, on a walk, or when I’m on my echelon bike. I listen especially intently when I’m traveling to a location that he has podcasted on. He is great in his knowledge of the locations and their history. Thank you Chris!

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Amateur Traveler Trips

Travel to Western Tanzania | Tanzania Safari | Katavi National Park (Podcast) | Mahale Mountains National Park #tanzania #chimp #chimpanzee #safari #travel #trip #vacation #africa Travel to Western Tanzania | Tanzania Safari | Katavi National Park (Podcast) | Mahale Mountains National Park #tanzania #chimp #chimpanzee #safari #travel #trip #vacation #africa

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

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