Katavi National Park

One of the few places on earth where you can watch great clouds of dust rising from the feet of over 3,000 buffaloes, which comprise the largest herds of buffaloes on earth, moving across the short grass plains and woodlands of Katavi – in complete solitude. Where there are buffalo there are lions. Leopards prefer smaller prey like impala while hyenas are content with zebras.

With no humans for hundreds of miles, Katavi remains untouched and is one of the few prestine habitats which belong to the animals! Abundant wilderness and solitude make this a safari buffs dream. The watery grasslands around Lake Katavi in the north and palm-fringed Lake Chada and Katuma River with scattered woodland in the south attract considerable wildlife and birds. There is a legend here of a great hunter named Katabi and his spirit is said to reside in a tamarind tree. To seek his blessing for a successful safari, you should place an offering at the base of the tree.

Lake Chada contains the largest population of hippos and crocodiles in Tanzania and these can be observed in compete peace and quiet with a considerable number of waterfowl including many pelicans. About 400 different species of birds have been noted in this region.

The dry season is the best time to visit and this would be – May to October and mid-December to February. The long rains are from March to May and which time it is inadvisable to visit.


  • The park covers an area of approximately 2,780 miles² (2,253 km²) in the west of Tanzania.
  • It is Tanzania’s third largest park.
  • It was gazetted in 1974.
  • It is a tough day’s drive from Mbeya 340miles (50km) away or a charter flight from Arusha or Dar es Salaam..
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