Nyange Adventures

Katavi National Park

Tanzania Western Circuit

Katavi National Park

It provides unspoiled wildlife viewing in the country’s third-largest national park, in a remote and off-the-beaten-path location. The national park represents Africa at its most natural — unspoiled bush settings, breathtaking views, and abundant wildlife.

The wilderness of Katavi National Park, located in western Tanzania, is one of the country’s most untouched areas.

Katavi’s dramatic scenery is as diverse as it is beautiful.  Flood plains with dense reeds and waterways are home to a large population of hippo and a variety of birdlife.  Forest canopies shroud herds of buffalo and elephants in the woodlands to the west.  After the rains, seasonal lakes fill with dirty – colored water, and animals from all over the park congregate there to drink. 

The park is also home to the endangered roan and sable antelope species, and it is a must-see for visitors planning to explore the continent’s wilds. Katavi is a true wilderness, isolated, untrammeled, and rarely visited, offering the few daring souls who make it there a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a century ago. Tanzania’s third largest national park is located in a remote area of the country’s southwest, within a truncated arm of the Rift Valley that ends in the shallow, brooding expanse of Lake Rukwa.

The majority of Katavi is covered in a hypnotically featureless cover of tangled brachystegia woodland, which is home to significant but elusive populations of eland, sable, and roan antelopes. Nonetheless, the Katuma River and associated floodplains, such as the seasonal Lakes Katavi and Chada, are the main focus for game viewing within the park. These lush, marshy lakes are a haven for myriad water birds during the rainy season, and they also support Tanzania’s densest concentrations of hippos and crocodiles.

Best Time to Visit Katavi

Katavi truly comes to life during the dry season, when the floodwaters recede. The Katuma, reduced to a shallow muddy trickle, is the only source of drinking water for miles around, and the flanking floodplains support incredible game concentrations. An estimated 4,000 elephants and several herds of 1,000 or more buffalo may congregate in the area, while an abundance of giraffes, zebras, impalas, and reedbucks provide easy pickings for the numerous lion prides and spotted hyena clans whose territories converge on the floodplains.

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