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Katavi National Park

Tanzania Safaris - Katavi National Park
Tanzania Safaris - Katavi National Park

The wilderness of Katavi National Park, located in the western area of Tanzania, is one of the most untouched areas of the entire country, indeed of all East Africa. It offers unspoilt Tanzania Safari wildlife viewing in the country's third-largest national park, in a remote location far off the beaten track. The park is Africa at its most wild: unadulterated bush settings, spectacular views, and rich wildlife.  A wilderness Tanzania Safari experience for the intrepid.  Particularly those interested in walking safaris.

Katavi's dramatic scenery is as varied as it is pristine, and perfect for Authentic Tanzania Safaris more intrepid guests. Flood plains of thick reeds and dense waterways are home to a huge population of hippo and varied birdlife. In the woodlands to the west, forest canopies shroud herds of buffalo and elephant. Seasonal lakes fill with dirt coloured water after the rains and animals from all corners of the park descend on them to drink. The park is also home to the rare roan and sable antelope species, and is a must-see for the Tanzania Safari visitor intent on exploring the wilds of the continent, particularly through a walking safari.

The altitude of the park varies from 820m to 1560m and the main rainy season is from November to June.

Katavi National Park is probably one of the least-known in Tanzania Safari circles, with fewer than 1000 foreign visitors a year. It is home to a wide range of wildlife, including lions and leopard. In the dry season, particularly between August and November, the Katuma River provides the only source of water in the area, and this draws animals in great numbers. As the river shrinks in the heat, the wildlife is forced into an uncomfortable proximity, offering a good chance of seeing many different species at the same time. The hippo pool in Ikuu in particular is an incredible spectacle for any Tanzania Safari.

Tanzania Safaris - Katavi National Park
Tanzania Safaris - Katavi Hippo Pool

It is an ideal camping safari destination for people who have been on safari before and are looking for a remote and unspoilt wilderness area and the natural complement to chimpanzee walking safaris in Mahale Mountains through an Authentic Tanzania Safaris trekking or camping safari experience.

Fast Facts - Katavi National Park

About Katavi National Park

Size: 4,471 sq km (1,727 sq miles), Tanzania's third largest national park
Location: Southwest Tanzania, east of Lake Tanganyika.
The headquarters at Sitalike lie 40km (25 miles) south of Mpanda town.

Getting there

Charter flights from Dar or Arusha.
A tough but exhilarating and spectacular day drive from Mbeya (550 km/340 miles), or in the dry season only from Kigoma (390 km/240 miles).

What to do

Walking safaris, driving and camping safaris. Near Lake Katavi, visit the tamarind tree inhabited by the spirit of the legendary hunter Katabi (for whom the park is named) - offerings are still left here by locals seeking the spirit's blessing.

When to go

The dry season (May to October).
Roads within the park are difficult during the rainy season but are passable from December to February.