Katavi National Park


Katavi National Park is remote, hard and wild. It sits on a high, wide flood plain in south-west Tanzania. This is a true African safari, just you and the wilderness – an untouched landscape. There’s little chance you’ll have to share Tanzania’s third biggest park with anyone else. Except an abundance of wildlife.


The park’s main features are the watery grassy plains to the north, palm-fringed Lake Chala in the south-east, and the Katuma River. Katavi boasts Tanzania’s greatest concentration of both crocodile and hippopotamus. The hippo is the world’s third largest land animal, spending its nights devouring up to 60kg of fodder before returning to its aquatic home.


Katavi immortalises a legendary hunter, Katabi whose sprits is believed to possess a tamarind d tree ringed with offerings from locals begging his blessing. Katavi’s lion and leopard have not shortage of prey: delicately bounding impala, beefy eland, black legged topi, zebra and herds of up to 1,600 buffalo wandering the flits across the acacia, the riverbanks, the swamps and palm groves while flotillas of pelican cruise the lakes. Elephants graze in the marshlands up to sizeable waits in reeds.


If travelling by road, allow plenty of time to get there and back.  The park maintains an airstrip for charter planes.



Size 4471 sq km (about 2780 sq miles)
Location Southwest Tanzania, east of Lake Tanganyika.

Getting there

Charter flights from Dar or Arusha. A tough but spectacular day’s drive from Mbeya (550 km about 340 miles); possible from Kigoma (390 km about 240 miles) in the dry season only.
What to do Walking, driving and camping safaris.
Best Time Dry season: May-October and mid December-February.


One seasonal luxury tented camp, a resthouse and campsites inside the park. Hotel and lodge accommodation at Mpanda, 40 km (about 25 miles) away.

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