Katavi at 4,471 Sq. Km is large and protects only one large of an ever large ecosystem. Extensive large plains alternate with broad-leafed woodland, flat-topped acacia bush country, and wide swamps and Lakes.
This is a highly seasonal place only accessible in the dry months of July to October. It is extremely remote, and this remoteness is the strength for during the wet season from October to May (8 months) the wild animals have free domain over a huge hinterland of several thousand square kilometers both within and outside the park, virtually untouched by man. They can move, live, and multiply here. As the dry season arrives they are forced slowly back to the swamps and Lakes of Katavi, where they get more and more concentrated.
Large areas of the park are hardly ever visited such as the Mlele escarpment with waterfalls, Lake Paradise, and the country in between. Katavi is one of those places that have not changed since early European explorers first started entering Africa’s interior, and it is the kind of place that gave this continent its reputation for being impenetrable, of huge scale and swarming with a big game. You will need at least three days.
Boating along the rocky shoreline is one of the key activities to enjoy, clean sandy beaches overhung with huge forest trees fringe the bays, and there is a large piece of papyrus swamp on one side which is a magnificent waterbird habitat.
By September, elephants can be seen daily and the numbers of buffalo are prenominal with herds upon herds of 1000 strong grazing the dried-out flood plains. Hippo and crocs numbering in thousands get increasingly confined to shrinking pools and mud wallows, with regular fights erupting amongst the hippo bulls. Large herds of topi also concentrate on the flood plains.
The predators are here on the force, especially lions and spotted hyenas. Male lions are characterized by short mane by the very short mane, but large powerful bodies. In the hinterland are huge expanses of acacia and broad-leaved woodland (Miombo), and it is here that roan and sable antelopes are found, as well as Lichtenstein’s hartebeest.
- Game viewing by vehicles is the main way to view animals
- Guide walk led by well-trained guides and escorted by armed parked rangers
- Night game drives are possible on specific accommodation in the park
- Visit the tamarind tree inhabited by the spirit of the legendary hunter Katabi –offers are still left here by the locals seeking the spiritual blessing.
There are seasonal tented camps that open only in the dry season, but there are permanent tented camps that are also open during the wet season.
Scheduled flight operate to Katavi from Arusha and other specific cities like Dar es Salaam
It is possible to take a train to Mpanda where your safari vehicle will be waiting.
Katavi combines well with other southern and famous northern parks to come up with the beaten path,