Isolated, untrammeled and seldom visited, Katavi is a true wilderness, providing the few intrepid souls who make it there with a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a century ago this during the dry season, when the floodwaters retreat, that Katavi truly comes into its own.
The Katuma, reduced to a shallow, muddy trickle, forms the only source of drinking water for miles around, and the flanking floodplains support game concentrations that defy belief.
An estimated 4,000 elephants might converge on the area, together with several herds of 1,000-plus buffalo, while an abundance of giraffe, zebra, impala and reedbuck provide easy pickings for the numerous lion prides and spotted hyena clans whose territories converge on the floodplains.
Katavi’s most singular wildlife spectacle is provided by its hippos. Towards the end of the dry season, up to 200 individuals might flop together in any riverine pool of sufficient depth. And as more hippos gather in one place, so does male rivalry heat up – bloody territorial fights are an everyday occurrence, with the vanquished male forced to lurk hapless on the open plains until it gathers sufficient confidence to mount another challenge.
Best to know in katavi National Park
Has the highest hippo and crocodile population in the country.
Over 1500 buffalos roaming the plains, along with a vast varity of other african wild animals
Its undisturbed natural landscape makes it stand out above the other more regularly visited Parks in the country.
The name Katavi immortalises
a legendary hunter, Katabi, whose spirit is believed to possess a tamarind tree ringed with offerings from locals begging his blessing.
The animals rely on the Lake Katavi with its vast short grass flood plains in the north, the palm fringed Lake Chada in the southeast, and the Katuma River
for water throught the year.
Covers an area of 4,471 sq km.
Located in the southwest of Tanzania
It is on a high flood plain surrounding Lake Katavi and to the south of theMahale Mountains.
It is about 40 km southeast of Mpanda town and is remote and quite difficult to reach – an air charter is probably the best way to access this Park.
From main towns it is 550 km from Mbeya and 390 km from Kigoma
Dry Season in Katavi:
June – Mid November: Best time for game viewing.
December – February: Humid & Hot: Good time for game viewing.
Rainy Season in Katavi:
Mid November – Mid December: Short Rain :Wonderful for birdlife and lush scenery
April – May: heavy rain: Wonderful for birdlife and lush scenery.
Most of the lodges are usually closed from April to May.
Getting to Katavi:
Road: 2 days drive from Mbeya
Flight: 5 hour flight from Dar es salaam via Ruaha / flight from Arusha
Game driving in a 4×4 car to view the abundance animals and birds it has.
You can do a walking safari on request.
Has over 400 speices of birds and large flocks of pelicans, making it a good place for bird watching.