The Shangri-la of the East African safari parks, Katavi is a place that has been visited by someone your friends know but never by anyone have you actually asked. A mythical place of vast proportions, both in land size and the reputed herds that congregate there, if ever there was a safari destination reserved only for the intrepid and die-hard safariistas then Katavi is it.
The reality more than does justice to the myth
A million hectares of wilderness game lands in Western Tanzania, days drive from the main cities, with crowded plains and rivers teeming with game and fewer visitors per year than there are elephants. With a biomass (literally meat per square mile) higher than anywhere else in the Africa except the Serengeti in Migration, the wildlife rewards are incalculable against the efforts made to get there. Herds of buffalo thousands-strong, seething masses of hippo wedged into the waterholes, elephants wandering in all directions and large groups of every antelope in attendance, it is easiest in Katavi to sit in one place and let the game proceed past you.
Much of the attention of the 2200 square kilometers of Katavi is focused on two areas that are swamps, shallow lakes or plains, depending on when you visit them. As in most parks, a visit in dry season will guarantee spectacular concentrations of the wildlife around the water areas, and the swampy nature of the park during the rainy season makes Katavi inaccessible for much of the year, making visits there even more privileged.
If you were to ask us which of the parks manages to not only excels all expectations, then Katavi would be our recommendation, not just because of the sheer biomass and concentration of wildlife, or the lack of visitors, but simply because it comes closer to a safari ideal than anywhere we have visited. And we had no expectations when we went there.
Best time to visit:
December, January, February & March
Green and lush after short rains, great birding and wild flowers. Great elephant and plains game sightings.
Green and lush after the long rains - one of the best months
July to October
Drying out, amazing game, hot in build up to Nov rains
- Katavi Wildlife Camp
- Katuma Bush Lodge
- Chada Katavi