Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park, is found on the western part of Tanzania, it was formerly a game reserve; the park was established in 1974. It was originally 1,823km2 In 1997 it was extended to 4,471km2. The park is located 40km south of Mpanda town, being Tanzania’s third largest national park, after Ruaha and Serengeti.
How to Get The
By Air: Several companies like zantas air, Safari air link (SAL) arrange charter flight from Dar es Salam, Mwanza or Arusha cities to either Mpanda airport which is located in Mpanda town or to Sitalike and Ikuu airstrips inside the park. Usually every Monday and Thursday. Coastal Aviation Charted flight within the park Ikuu airstrips.
By Road: From either Dar es Salaam via Mbeya (1513Km), Dar es Salaam via Tabora (1392km), Arusha via Tabora (1015.7km) or Mwanza via Tabora-Inyonga (741 km).
By Rail: It is also possible to reach Mpanda by train from Dar es Salaam via Tabora then catch a public transport to Sitalike, where game drives can be arranged.
Best Time to Visit
What to see
Katavi’s dramatic scenery is as varied as it is pristine. 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 buffaloes and elephants. Seasonal lakes fill with dirty coloured water after the rains and animals from all corners of the park descend in them to drink. The park is also home to the rare roan and sable antelope species, and it is a must-see for the visitors intending to explore the wilds of the continent.
Katavi’s most singular wildlife spectacle is provided by its hippos. Towards the end of the dry season, up to 200 individuals might flop together in any riverine pool of sufficient depth. And as more hippos gather in one place, so does male rivalry heat up – bloody territorial fights are an everyday incident, with the vanquished male forced to lurk hapless on the open plains until it gathers sufficient confidence to mount another challenge.