Katavi National Park
Known for its diverse landscapes and abundance of game, Katavi National Park’s drawcard is its remoteness. This has ensured that the area has remained completely unspoilt. With so few visitors around, a Katavi safari is guaranteed to make you feel like the only people on earth! With large populations of elephants, lions, hippos and more, game viewing is beyond spectacular, especially during the dry season when water sources dwindle.
- Remote location with refreshingly low numbers of annual visitors
- Varied habitats from open grasslands to wooded areas to seasonal lakes and rivers
- Wide array of large game, including impressive herds of thousand-strong buffalo
- Densest populations of hippo and crocodile in Tanzania
- Walking safaris are allowed at Katavi for a real bush experience
- Incredible birdlife with over 400 species
- A number of cultural and historical sites, including the legendary Katabi Tree
Things to see and do in Katavi National Park
The main activity, of course, is game viewing, which can be done on both game drives and guided walking safaris. The bonus of game drives in Katavi National Park is that you’re unlikely to come across any other humans. Walking safaris are an experience not to be missed to really get up close to the African bush and experience its sights, sounds and smells.
Fly camping is offered. This is the ultimate definition of bush camping, where normal tents (don’t expect luxury!) are set up in the bush at a temporary campsite. No fences, no flush toilets or showers. It’s living in the wild; cooking food over a fire and spending evenings chatting around the campfire, staring up at the breathtaking African night sky and listening to the nocturnal calls of wild animals.
There are a number of places of cultural and historical interest in Katavi. These include Stone and Iron Age sites and sacred sites such as the Katabi Tree, where the Wabende spirit, Katabi, lives.
Best time to visit
Katavi National Park offers great game viewing all year round but reaches its peak during the dry season from June to November or December when the animals gather in their thousands around scarce water sources.
During the wet season, the floodplains turn to lakes and provide spectacular birdwatching opportunities.
By car – Katavi National Park is a two- to three-day drive from Dar es Salaam and requires a definite level of adventure-seeking. The road from Arusha, even more so.
By air – By far, the easiest way to get to Katavi National Park is with twice-weekly scheduled flights from Dar es Salaam. Chartered flights can also be arranged.