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Tanzania Footsteps of Livingstone TOP007 1

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Tanzania Adventure – in the Footsteps of Livingstone

Using the renowned path of David Livingstone as a guide, this Tanzania adventure takes us across some of the most remote and most spectacular parts of the African continent.

A popular hero of the Victorian age, Livingstone was a missionary and an explorer and was the first European to cross the entire width of Southern Africa. It was his adventures that popularized Africa and launched Europe’s unquenchable “Scramble for Africa.”

You’ll follow in his footsteps as we start out in Dar Es Salaam and make our way across Eastern Africa to Lake Tanganyika – the place of the now famous meeting between Livingstone and Henry Morton Stanley in 1871. You’ll travel by 4WD, dugout canoes, and privately chartered boats as you make your way with a small group of like-minded individuals into the heart of what was known as the “Dark Continent.”

Livingstone’s inspirational life and journey provide the backbone of this modern day trip that will have you experience remote and under visited places that have changed very little since the explorer came this way over 150 years ago.

Highlights of the trip include:

  • Tracking wild chimps in the Mahale National Park
  • Exploring Lake Nyasa and its rich, clear waters in a dugout canoe
  • Visiting the second highest waterfall in Africa – Kalambo Falls
  • The chance to climb to the summit of Mbeya Peak
  • Seeing the unspoiled wilderness of the remote Katayi National Park and viewing the stunning wildlife there
  • Taking a cruise on the world’s second largest freshwater lake – Lake Tanganyika
  • And of course, following in the footsteps of David Livingstone himself

Though always conscious of the man who inspired this trip, Tanzania is an adventure unto itself.

This 15 day trip is the journey of a life time with the most amazing sights, landscapes, and experiences. We’ll travel through a goldmine town, spend the night on a coffee estate, trek to the top of peaks that provide stunning views of the African landscape below, visit the Mbozi meteorite (a bizarre lump of cosmic metal roughly the size of a car), track chimps in the Mahale National Park, and climb through rainforest to the top of the Ngozi Crater, a collapsed volcano with the beautiful Lake Nyasa hiding inside.

On this trek you’ll see animals you’ve never seen before, visit areas of the world where archeological digs have discovered evidence of life stretching back 250,000 years, and experience remote landscapes that very few people have seen. You’ll spend whole days on game drives taking in forest areas that belong to the wild – and you’ll live that exhilaration and feel it deep within.

At the end of our 15 days together, you’ll fly back to Dar Es Salaam where we started.See what Africa looks like from above and revel in the knowledge that you travelled across the magnificent land you are now flying across.

A unique and truly unusual African adventure!


Rough Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Dar Es Salaam
Our footsteps of Livingstone journey starts in Dar Es Salaam this morning. Founded during the 19th century by Sultan Seyyid Majid and steeped in the history of the Arab slavers, Dar Es Salaam was once a major trading port for the southern caravan routes that once plied their trade along these eastern shores. Rivalled only by Mombasa in neighboring Kenya and translating as the ‘Haven of Peace’, it remains even today one of Africa’s most important ports, with a rich mix of Arab and European influences hidden amongst its now bustling city streets. After an initial briefing, the rest of the day is free.

Day 2: Dar Es Salaam – Mbeya:
Following breakfast this morning we depart the city and head back to the airport to catch our flight to Mbeya the capital of southern Tanzania and a city that started its life as a thriving goldmine town. Situated in the foothills of the Mbeya Mountains close to the borders with both Malawi and Zambia, the town began life in the 1920s, servicing the mines that had sprung up nearby at
Lupa. Situated some 1,700 metres above sea level and encircled by a bowl of mountains, it sprawls across a narrow highland valley that is blanketed in heather and bracken and today provides an ideal spot from which to explore the beautiful Southern Highlands. Our final destination is the Utengulu Lodge, some 10 kilometres outside the city, where we spend the evening on a coffee estate, stunningly located in the hills above the city.

Day 3: Mbeya – Kitola NP – Matema
Today we will drive from Mbeya to Kitulo National Park, an area renowned for its flora and birdlife, which is home to a wonderful profusion of orchids and wild flowers (especially between October and April). A haven for breeding colonies of blue swallows and Dernham’s bustard, there have been some 350 species of vascular plants documented in the park and it includes amongst its residents a number of rare flowers. After our visit, we will continue on to Matema on the shores of the Lake Nyasa and our base for the next 2 nights.

Day 4: Around Matema
Livingstone visited Lake Nyasa in 1859, during his second expedition into the African interior. This great expanse of water covers over 11,400 square kilometres, stretching out across parts of Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi, where it becomes Lake Malawi. Whilst not the first European to find the lake, it was certainly Livingstone who ‘discovered’ it for the rest of the world. It was he who also reasoned that a combination of Christianity and gunboats would put paid to the lucrative slave trade that operated
across it. A magnificent setting, Lake Nyasa is rich in life, with crocodiles, hippos and tropical freshwater fish in abundance and today we have a chance to enjoy its clear waters for ourselves. There are options for exploring the local villages or perhaps to take to the waters in dugout canoes. These waters are also safe for swimming and those that fancy trying some snorkelling may be rewarded with a sight of some of the lake’s ample stocks of cichlids.

Day 5: Matema – Ngozi Crater – Mbeya:
This morning we leave Lake Nyasa behind and drive back to Mbeya. The journey takes us via the spectacular Ngozi Crater, where a steep half hour climb takes us through the rainforest and up to the crater rim. The setting exudes an air of ethereal mystery, the deep waters of the lake lying trapped within the high walls of the collapsed volcanic crater, whilst around it the forest echoes to the plaintive calls of colobus monkeys.

Day 6: Mbeya – Mbozi Meteorite – Sumbawanga:
After breakfast we leave Mbeya and take a full day’s drive to the pleasant market town of Sumbawanga. Lying amongst the peaks of the Mbizi Mountains, the town’s name translates as “throw away your witchcraft”, apparently a reference to the superstitions and practices that are still prevalent in some of the outlying areas. Capital of the Rukwa Region and far off the normal tourist trail, Sumbawanga provides us with an interesting base from which to visit the spectacular Kalambo Falls. On route, there is also a chance to visit the famous Mbozi meteorite, a car-sized lump of galactic metal that is considered to be one of the largest of its kind in the world.

Day 7: Around Sumbawanga:
Heading off the beaten track we drive to Kalambo Falls this morning, an adventurous four hour journey that takes us close to the Zambian border. The second highest falls in Africa, Kalambo’s tumbling cascades fall over 220 metres – twice the height of the more famous Victoria Falls – before continuing
on into the waters of Lake Tanganyika. The road to the falls takes us deep into the remote wilderness, following a primitive network of trails that passes through country that has heralded some of the most important archaeological finds on the continent. Excavations near here have unearthed evidence of human existence in this area that stretches back over 250,000 years. Be aware, in the event of heavy rain or muddy roads, access to the falls may be impeded.

Day 8: Sumbawanga – Katavi NP:
Following breakfast this morning we head next for Katavi National Park, a pristine wilderness that remains refreshingly untouched by the trappings of tourism. Vast and isolated, this stunning landscape is one of the last wild areas left on the African continent. Home to a staggering abundance of wildlife, the park is fed by the life-giving waters of the Katavi and Chada Lakes, havens for large herds of buffalo and hippos, as well as Tanzania’s densest concentration of crocodiles. We will be spending the next three nights at the Katavi Wildlife Camp, located on the northern side of the park, a rustic and spacious setting whose riverside location makes it ideal for birdwatching.

Days 9 & 10: In Katavi National Park:
The next two days afford us a chance to fully enjoy the natural beauty of the park, with game drives and bush walks in the company of experienced and knowledgeable rangers. As well as buffalo, hippo and elephant, Katavi provides rich pickings for predators too including lions, leopards and cheetahs. The vast swathes of miombo and acacia provide food for sable and roan, zebra and eland, as well as some 400 species of birds that include black herons, nightjars and saddle-billed storks. Terminating in the shallow, dark waters of Lake Rukwa, this is Tanzania’s third largest national park, covering some 4,471 square kilometres. More importantly though, it offers us something of the true taste of the Africa that Livingstone found himself in at the latter end of the 19th century.

Day 11: Katavi N.P. – Mahale N.P:
An early start this morning takes us to a nearby landing strip for our flight to Mahale National Park. One of the most remote parks on the continent, Mahale lies cut off from the outside world by the towering escarpments of the Rift Valley and access is only possible by boat or by air. The sense of remoteness here is palpable and the forest clad mountains echo to the sounds of countless birds and monkeys. It was just 128 kilometres to the north of here that Stanley was said to have uttered those immortal words… “Dr Livingstone, I presume”. This afternoon we hope to take a boat trip along the shoreline for a chance to swim and snorkel in the croc and hippo free areas of the lake.

Day 12: Mahale National Park:
Mahale National Park is home to some of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees, with numbers estimated to range between 700-1000. An overlapping mosaic of rainforest, woodland, bamboo and
grasslands, it is also a refuge for giant forest squirrels, leopard, wild dog and eight other species of primates including black and white colobus monkeys. Today we will join local guides as they track the
resident chimps, a truly magical experience that takes us through the dense lowland. Be aware that we cannot guarantee sightings; these are wild chimps and by their nature are capable of covering vast distances. However, generally, there is a good success rate of sightings at Mahale. The rest of today is left free to relax and enjoy the surrounding area.

Day 13: Mahale National Park – Kigoma:
Another short flight today has us heading for Kigoma,the capital of Tanzania’s western province.Even today it remains one of the busiest ports on Lake Tanganyika. Founded in 1915, its colonial influences are still very much in evidence, its old German architecture still a prominent feature of the old part of the town. After lunch we plan to visit the nearby town of Ujiji. It was here, on 27 October 1871, that Henry Morton Stanley met Dr David Livingstone for the first time. Once a thriving Arab staging post for the shipments of slaves and ivory heading to the coast, today it houses a memorial to that famous meeting, as well as the Livingstone/Stanley Museum. Etched in history as those famous first words were,
there is actually no evidence that they were ever even uttered. Stanley tore out the pages of diary that related to this encounter with Livingstone and the man himself never made any mention of them.
However, the words appeared in the New York Herald on 10 August 1872 and the rest, as they say, is history…

Day 14: Kigoma – Dar es Salaam
Bagamoyo: This morning, depending on flight timings, there may be time to take a stroll through Kigoma’s busy market before our flight back to Dar es Salaam. Our base for tonight is in the historic town of Bagamoyo, which was the once capital city and one of the most important trade centres on the East coast of Africa. Following a revolt against the colonial German rulers, the capital was moved to Dar es Salaam. Bagamoyo is famous as the starting & ending point for many explorers forays into Africa, most notable of these being Livingstone.

Day 15: Bagamoyo-Dar es Salaam
This morning is free to relax and reflect on your adventures before we drive back to Dar es Salaam Airport where the tour ends.

More Details

Additional Trip Notes:

Start point: Dar Es Salaam
Finish point: Dar Es Salaam

On this Tanzania adventure tour we will be in 4WDs, privately chartered boats and a scheduled domestic flight.


Wherever possible we aim to use accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience, not just offers a bed for the night.

On this trip we will be in a wide variety of accommodation ranging from some fairly simple hotels to some highly memorable lodges.

Any accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is subject to availability and if not available substitutes will be of a similar quality.

Breakfast – All
Lunch – All
Dinner – All


Departure date: 18 November 2016, 15 days

Price: from £6,500 excluding flights

What’s included?

  • Full services of the Trip Operator’s Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
  • Meal plan as detailed in the itinerary, with mineral water as required
  • All transport as outlined in the itinerary
  • All accommodation
  • All entrance fees, as per itinerary
  • A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through the Trip operator’s office)

What’s not included?

  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Local airport taxes
  • Tips (always optional, but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information pack you’ll receive after booking)
  • Beverages & any costs of a personal nature
  • International Flights
  • Airport transfers (unless booking suggested flights through the Trip Operator’s office)

This operator is a multi-award winning adventure travel company specialising in small group tours and tailor made holidays to some of the most extraordinary destinations across the Indian sub-continent, Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and Europe.

We love their unique, original itineraries – whether they are for small group travel or individually created for tailor made clients – allowing you to take journeys that venture beneath the surface of the region. This operator concentrates on the locations they know and love. They don’t source itineraries from other agents, nor do they run the same tour over and over (thus creating a ‘tourist circuit’, spoiling an untouched region).

Instead, they rarely run any group tour more than a couple of times a year and they are on routese they have discovered for themselves, to give a truly authentic, off-the-beaten-track experience.

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