Mpanda Airport is a small regional airport located in the western part of Tanzania, serving as a gateway to the country’s western tourism circuit. In this article, we’ll explore the airport and its various travel options, as well as some of the popular destinations and activities in the area.
Mpanda Airport (IATA: NPY, ICAO: HTMP) serves the town of Mpanda and the adjacent Katavi Region in western Tanzania. It is located on the town’s southeastern outskirts. As a thank you for sheltering Burundian refugees for over 30 years, the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR assisted the Tanzanian government in financing the conversion of the airfield into an airport.
On November 24, 2012, Tanzanian Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal formally inaugurated the airport.
Airlines Serving Mpanda Airport
Mpanda Airport is primarily served by regional airlines, including:
1. Air Tanzania
Air Tanzania is the national carrier of Tanzania and offers flights to several destinations within the country, including Mpanda Airport. They operate a modern fleet of aircraft and offer a range of in-flight amenities, including meals and refreshments.
2. Auric Air
Auric Air is another Tanzanian airline that offers flights to Mpanda Airport. They operate smaller aircraft, which can be ideal for accessing remote destinations in the region.
Domestic Flights to Mpanda Airport
Mpanda Airport primarily serves domestic destinations within Tanzania. Some of the most popular routes include:
1. Mpanda to Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s largest city and commercial capital, located on the country’s eastern coast. Flights to Dar es Salaam are available through Air Tanzania and can be a great way to explore the city’s vibrant culture and history.
2. Mpanda to Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park is a remote and unspoiled wilderness area located in western Tanzania. Flights to Katavi National Park are available through Auric Air and can be a great way to experience the park’s abundant wildlife, including elephants, hippos, and crocodiles.
Getting Around Mpanda
Once you arrive at Mpanda Airport, there are several transportation options available to visitors. These include:
Taxis are available for hire at Mpanda Airport, and can be a convenient way to get around the city. Be sure to confirm rates in advance to avoid any surprises.
2. Car Rental
Car rental services are also available at Mpanda Airport, and can be a great option for visitors looking to explore the region at their own pace. Be sure to research rental options and prices in advance to ensure that you get the best deal possible.
Things to Do in Mpanda
Mpanda is a great place to explore Tanzania’s western tourism circuit, with plenty of natural and cultural attractions to discover. Some of the top things to do in Mpanda include:
1. Explore Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park is one of Tanzania’s most remote and unspoiled wildlife areas, with large herds of elephants, hippos, and crocodiles. Visitors can go on game drives, bush walks, and boat safaris to experience the park’s beauty up close.
2. Visit the Ruaha-Katavi Cultural Festival
The Ruaha-Katavi Cultural Festival is an annual event that takes place in Mpanda, celebrating the culture and traditions of the local tribes. Visitors can enjoy traditional dance performances, local food, and other cultural activities.
Mpanda Airport may be small, but it serves an important role in connecting Tanzania’s western tourism circuit to other parts of the country. Whether you’re planning a wildlife safari or looking to immerse yourself in local culture, Mpanda Airport can be a great place to start. So why wait? Book your flights today and get ready for an unforgettable trip.