Katavi National Park is one of Tanzania’s National Park. It is remote and rarely visited, that’s why it is still maintaining its natural beauty. Located close to Lake Tanganyika in the remote Rift valley arm, Katavi is the third biggest park in Tanzania and lies in the south western part of the country.
Katavi National Park is known most to be with the highest density of mammals than any other park in Tanzania. Rivers within are great habitats of crocodiles and hippopotamus whilst the plains are scattered with great herds of buffaloes and other wild animals.
The Park’s largest part is covered by the Miombo forest which offers great protection to large groups of sable antelopes and elands.
The best point of view in the park especially for lovers of animals is the Katuma River with its washing levels and the two seasonal lakes (Katavi and Chada). During the rainy season, this swampy area invites thousands of bird species and wild animals. Hippo and crocodile views add to the thrill.
Most travelers rate the park to be more impressive during the dry season when the lakes and rivers are dry. Views of different wild animals are endless almost in every corner of the Park.
Over 4000 elephants and other animals congregate around the water holes in need of water. Hippos are everywhere and towards the end of the dry season you can see them in the river pools
The park headquarters are located in Sitalike, about 40km south of Mpanda. You can get there by chartered flights from Arusha or Daresalam. If not that, you can go by road and it’s about 550km from Mbeya and 390km from Kigoma.
What to do in the Park
With its variety of Wildlife, Katavi is a Park you shouldn’t miss for game viewing. It tempts tourists with views of giraffes, cape buffalo, Zebra, warthogs, blue monkeys, flamingo, elephants, lions, black and white colobus monkeys to mention but a few. Apart from wild animals, the birdlife in the forests of the park is amazing. You won’t fail to see some of the 400 bird species that breathe life in the Park’s incredible habitats.
Other than from a Car, you can take in the Park’s beauty on foot. Tourists are assigned a park ranger guide to lead the excursion around and protect them from dangerous animals. Rangers are as well more informed of the best areas for remarkable views of numerous wild animals.
Climb Mount Meru.
Mount Meru is the fifth highest mountain in Africa and the second highest peak in East Africa. It offers great hiking adventures in Kenya. Its rewarding climbs is the reason for a number of Mountain climbers to Katavi National Park. The best recommended package is a four day hike up to the top and offers spectacular views of picture perfect landscapes and wild animals.
Adding to Game viewing, walking safaris and great hikes to the top of Mount Meru, Katavi National Park is a paradise for bird watching. It is inhabited by abundant bird species that are common during bird watching expeditions. These birds include migrant and residential species.