May until October is the ideal time to go.
Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park was founded in 1974, but it was expanded to 4,471 square kilometres in 1997, making it Tanzania’s third-largest national park. Katavi is bordered by the Rukwa Game Reserve (4,000 square kilometres), which together comprise the Katavi-Rukwa eco-system. It covers 125 kilometres from northwest to southeast. In general, no more than 960 meters above sea level.
Katavi National Park – A legendary wilderness
Katavi is one of the few African parks that boasts the continent’s greatest biodiversity. From the grassy plains that are flooded annually to the cliff faces of the Rukwa Rift Valley, the scenery changes dramatically. Nevertheless, the park is mostly composed of unadulterated Miombo savannah. Even the more secretive species of antelope feel at home among the many herds. Only two parks in the world are home to both sable and roan antelope, and roan antelope are easier to identify than anyplace else in the world in Katavi.
Katavi is seldom visited by anybody but the most daring. Those who take the time to do so are rewarded with a breathtaking spectacle. Katavi National Park, Tanzania’s third-largest park, is a place of mythology because of its isolation, freedom, and lack of human interference. Both the amount and diversity of creatures on display are astounding.
The Katuma River and its floodplains, which include the seasonal Lakes Katavi and Chada, are the best place to see wildlife in Tanzania. During the rainy season, they seem quite different than during the dry. When it rains, the grass grows several meters high, transforming the otherwise arid landscape into a sea of verdant vegetation. During the wet season, waterfowl congregate around the lakeshores, but the best time to see wildlife is in the dry. As the climate in Katavi continues to dry up, more and more animals are drawn to the city’s few surviving watering holes.
The most common animals include elephants, zebras, and buffalo. Herds of buffalo may be three times as large as those seen in the Serengeti, and each population has tens of thousands of individuals. To that, you may add a plethora of giraffes and other huge beasts.
There is a lion pride wandering the area, as well as cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas, and wild dogs, and they are all on the prowl for potential prey.
Katavi is home to the greatest number of hippos and crocodiles in Tanzania because of its numerous ponds. They have dramatic territorial fights in the last puddles of the dry season when they all flop together.
Keep your distance from the black mamba, the continent’s most venomous snake, which can reach a stunning 4 meters in length and is one of the most exciting creatures to be found in the forested savannah.
Because of its isolation, this park has a lower human-animal interaction rate than other heavily visited parks. Katavi is a unique part of the park since it gives visitors a taste of the wilderness without really having to leave civilization.
Katavi National Park Weather
Daytime highs range between 32 and 38 degrees Celsius (up to 40 degrees at the end of the dry season), with lows of 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. It rains from November to May, with the dry season being from June to October. From January through February, the precipitation is lower than usual, making it possible to travel on all park roads.
Best time to visit Katavi National Park
May until October is the ideal time to go.
You may get to Katavi by either flying or driving. From Dar es Salaam, it is 980 kilometres on a decent asphalt road to Tunduma, and then another 435 kilometres on a bumpy road to Sitalike. Private flights to Mpanda Airport or the park’s Sitalike and Ikuu airstrips are organized by a number of different businesses.
Accommodation options in Katavi National Park
You may find a campground, bandas, and a rest area within the park (booked through the park). luxurious tent resorts that are privately owned. Two inexpensive motels are located just outside the park’s gates.
Main Activities and attractions in Katavi National Park
Safaris may consist of anything from game drives to guided hikes, from bird viewing to camping. Or you may go to Lake Katavi and meet the shaman who tends the tamarind tree that bears the name of the famous hunter Katabi. Offerings are still left here by locals who hope to gain the spirit’s favour.