Katavi provides un-spoilt wildlife game drives, and it is third-largest national park in Tanzania. It is remote location, far off the beaten track, situated in the Western Circuit. Katavi national park is Africa’s pure wilderness, with taintless bushes, magnificent sceneries and very rich wildlife.
Katavi’s dramatic scenic views of flood plains of thick reeds and dense waterways create a home to a large population of hippo’s and various birds, and the woodlands on the West are crowded with herds of buffaloes and elephants. During the raining season, the lakes fill with muddy colored water, gathering animals from entire park to their shores to drink. Katavi is a home to very rare roan and sable antelope, and it is one of the must-see attractions for the visitors who wish to explore the wildlife of the black continent.
Secluded and isolated, Katavi is a definition of wilderness, providing to those bold enough the thrilling taste of Africa as it was a century ago.
The park lies in the remote area in Tanzania’s southwest, within abbreviated section of Great Rift Valley that ends in the shallow waters of Lake Rukwa.
The game viewing action within the park mainly follows the Katuma River and its associated floodplains such as the seasonal Lakes Katavi and Chada. During the rainy season, these lakes are a paradise for the hordes of water birds, but they also host substantial number of hippos and crocodiles.
But, truth to be said, it is actually the dry season when Katavi truly becomes alive. It is when Katuma River reduces to a shallow muddy trickle, making it the only source of drinking water for miles, rallying enormous game concentrations to its shores. Over 4000 elephants can be seen in the area at the same time, followed by several very large herds of buffalos, with numerous giraffes, zebras, impalas and reedbucks that provide easy targets for many lions and spotted hyena packs whose territories intersect with the area.
Charter flights from Dar es Salaam or Arusha.
Rough but fabulous drive from Mbeya (550 km/340 miles), or in the dry season from Kigoma (390 km/240 miles).
What to do
Walking, driving and camping safaris.
Near Lake Katavi, visit the tamarind tree inhabited by the spirit of the legendary hunter Katabi (for whom the park is named), where the locals are still leaving the offerings in search for the spirit’s blessing.