Visitor Information -- Further information about all parks is obtainable at www.tanzaniaparks.com; visit also the more dedicated sites www.mahalepark.org and www.katavipark.org. Gombe charges an entrance fee of $100 per 24 hours, the highest for any Tanzanian National Park, though this is applicable only to time spent in the forest, not to time spent in camp. The entrance fee for Mahale is $80 per 24 hours. Both parks charge an additional guide fee of $20 per party for chimpanzee tracking. Entrance to Katavi is set at $20 per 24 hours.
Getting There & Around -- Gombe Stream is normally visited out of Kigoma, which is only 16km (10 miles) from the southern park boundary and accessible from Dar es Salaam by daily flights with Precision Air (tel. 022/286-0701; www.precisionairtz.com; $130 one-way). Less comfortable and far less efficient is the thrice-weekly rail service from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma, which usually takes upward of 40 hours one-way. Once in Kigoma, the Kigoma Hilltop Hotel (022/213-0553; www.mbalimbali.com) operates the only upmarket camp at Gombe and arranges motorboat transfers (25 min. in either direction).
Mahale, like Gombe, is inaccessible by road. It can be reached from Kigoma by motorboat with the Kigoma Hilltop Hotel, which also operates a camp there, or on the MV Liemba (the latter being a tough and unreliable ride). Katavi is technically accessible by road, but it's a long, rough ride and cannot be recommended to all but the hardiest of adventurers. Most visitors to Mahale or Katavi opt for a fly-in package; the two parks can be visited either singly or together, and are often treated as an add-on to a safari to Ruaha (linked by flights to Katavi). It is best to arrange safaris to this specialized area with a company that knows it well, such as Nomad Tanzania (www.nomad-tanzania.com), Foxes African Safaris (www.tanzaniasafaris.info), or Mbali Mbali (www.mbalimbali.com), all of which operate camps and flights in the region.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.