Western Tanzania is rough, remote frontier land, with vast trackless expanses, minimal infrastructure and few visitors: not much different from when Stanley found Livingstone here. The west offers a sense of adventure now missing elsewhere in the country. This is precisely what attracts a trickle of travellers, many of whom plan their itineraries around the schedules of the MV Liemba, which sails down Lake Tanganyika, and the Central Line train, which crosses the country.
But it’s wildlife watching that brings most people. Gombe, Jane Goodall’s former stomping ground, and Mahale Mountains National Park are two of the world’s best places for chimpanzee encounters, while the vast flood plains of Katavi National Park offer an almost primeval safari experience.
Unless you charter a plane as part of a tour, you’ll need plenty of time and patience to travel here. But for that certain sort of traveller, Tanzania’s west is Tanzania’s best.