Katavi National Park


  3 reviews
Katavi National Park
Katavi National Park
About Katavi National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
471 km² (1,726 mile²)
Year established:
1996
Anti-malarial:
Absolutely!
Park wildlife:
  • A bloat of hippos, a bask of crocodiles, a parade of elephants
  • An isolated wilderness
  • An ever-varying, seasonally driven scape

Truly remote Katavi National Park is situated along the Rukwa Rift Basin in western Tanzania, 550 km (340 miles) from Mbeya and 1,250 (800 miles) from Dar es Salaam. First protected in 1911 and established in 1996, 471 km² (1,726 mile²) Katavi is Tanzania’s oldest national park. Animals are abundant, particularly along the seasonal Katuma River and lakes Katavi and Chada; visitors, however, are few. Found within this isolated wilderness are waterfalls, woodlands, shrublands, grasslands and seasonal river floodplains. Much of the park’s scape is weather-dependent—the wet season’s flowing Katuma River reduces to a mere stream in the dry season, when it beckons thirsty animals to sip at the area’s sole source of drinking water. Many species of medium to large mammal, including zebra, buffalo, impala, elephant, giraffe, lion and leopard, make their home in Katavi, and crocodile and hippo are known to wallow and snap in its seasonal rivers and lush marshes. Elephant, too, is plentiful. 

Canoeing safaris, walking, driving and camping await those who visit this isolated park.

When to visit Katavi National Park

Travelers willing to make the long trek by vehicle, railway or chartered plane should visit during the dry season (between May and October); park roads often flood during the rainy season (October to April), which drops 930 mm (36.6 inches) on the area.

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(4/5 stars) Written on: Dec 04, 2014   |   Visited: Oct 2014.
I have visited Katavi twice. I will contrast it with the Northern TZ parks (Serengeti, Tarangire, Manyara and Ngorongoro) I have visited.

Katavi is remote. There are no crowds. It isn't easy to get there. There are occasional flights to Mpanda. The feel of the Katavi district is not that of a tourist district. However, it is a wonderful place to be.

Y... read more
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Reviewed by:
** Safari guru **

(4/5 stars) Written on: May 28, 2013   |   Visited: Dec 2010.
This park doesn't have a lot in the way of infrastructure. If you are coming in on a flight and have a full guided tour set up, that's great. If you are passing through on the bus to/from Kigoma, you will have to work to see this park - that is, beyond just the bus ride.
You will pass through the park on the bus, and see a lot of wildlife in this way as it is. How... read more

I saw

Elephant
Giraffe
Hippopotamus
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Reviewed by:
** Safari guru **

(3/5 stars) Written on: May 20, 2013   |   Visited: Nov 2012.
One of the smallest national parks in tanzania , Katavi National Park is an untouched natural wildlife haven. Remote and far from civilisation, one has to have a certain insistent, determination to go there as I found out. The travel agents will promote other big parks in Northern Tanzania and talk less about Katavi. We were on a countrywide tour of Tanzania and KN... read more
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12 people gave this review kudus.
Safari suitability: 7 / 10
For the truly intrepid, a long journey and large animals await.
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Articles about the Katavi

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Leopard
Leopard
Lion
Lion
Elephant
Elephant
Giraffe
Giraffe
Serval
Serval
Aardvark
Aardvark
See a complete list

Getting to Katavi

Activities you can do

Bird watching
Bird watching
Boating / canoeing
Boating / canoeing
Bush walks
Bush walks
Game drives
Game drives
Photography
Photography

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