Katavi National Park is an unspoilt wildlife paradise, ready to be explored
Home to the largest herds of buffalo on the planet, Katavi National Park is a relatively untouched paradise.
Katavi National Park
Far from the beaten track, Katavi National Park is an unspoilt wilderness where you can immerse yourself in the raw beauty and beating heart of Africa’s wildlife. Seasonal, marshy lakes draw animals to the floodplains, including a large population of hippos, crocodiles, and a wide variety of water birds. Look out for buffalo and elephants seeking shade under the forest canopies. If you’re particularly eagle-eyed, you might be rewarded with a rare sighting of the elusive roan and sable antelope species.
When is The Best Time to Visit Katavi National Park?
The best time to visit Katavi National Park is during the dry season, from June to October, when good weather conditions can be expected across the country, and wildlife viewing should be spectacular. During the dry season, the shallow trickle of the Katuma River is the only source of drinking water for several miles around, offering you an exceptional opportunity for game viewing at its best.
Up to 4,000 elephants have been known to gather as well as herds of more than 1,000 buffalo. Moreover, a horde of giraffes, zebras, impalas and reedbucks attract lions, wild dogs and clans of spotted hyenas to converge on the floodplains.
Can You See Hippos in Katavi National Park?
The spectacle at Katavi, though, is the hippos. Towards the end of the dry season, as many as 200 might gather, and it’s not long before male rivalry heats up. Aggressive and bloody territorial fights flair up multiple times daily and are quite a show to behold. Just don’t get in their way!
Ready to start planning a tailor-made safari to Katavi National Park? Our experts make planning your Tanzania safari experience a walk in the park. To help you with trip planning, browse our travel guide to find expert advice on safari in Katavi. Get inspired with our sample itineraries and let our Wito experts customize a dream trip just for you!
Want to explore Katavi National Park for a wildlife safari? Here are the best months to go.
The best time to enjoy unparalleled wildlife viewing in Katavi National Park is during the dry season, from June to October. During this time, excellent weather conditions can be expected across the country, and wildlife viewing should be spectacular. During the dry season, the shallow trickle of the Katuma River is the only source of drinking water for several miles around, offering you an exceptional opportunity for game viewing at its best. Expect to see up to 4,000 elephants and more than 1,000 buffalo. And if you are lucky, you will have a spectacular sight of rare species of antelope, roan and sable.
Moreover, you will get up close and personal with giraffes, zebras, impalas and reedbucks. All big cats like lions, leopards, spotted hyenas, wild dogs and cheetahs meet on the floodplains in search of food, waiting for easy prey to get close to the waterhole.
This is what your typical safari in Katavi National Park would look like:
In the early morning, you will enjoy private game driving with your professional safari guide and vehicle. Our game drives are flexible depending on your preferences, so feel free to start your daily safari anytime you want.
Choose to roam Africa’s wide-open wilderness from dawn to dusk on a full-day game drive or enjoy a daily dose of morning and afternoon game drives, followed by a delicious hot lunch and a lion-like siesta! If you prefer to do a full-day game drive, we will provide you with a packed lunch so you can break whenever you would like to enjoy a classic safari picnic lunch made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients.
After a full-day safari in Katavi National Park, you will be taken to your handpicked safari camp or lodge, where you will unwind and savour some delicious food and sundowners. Finally, to enhance your tailor-made safari in Katavi National Park, you will have the option to experience a unique night game drive in which you will get to see some unusual nocturnal wildlife under the blanket of a million stars and magical moonlight.
Ready to start planning? Select your preferred time to travel, then let a Wito Africa safari expert create an itinerary that meets your needs for a safari and incorporates the highlights of that season. We can save you time, money, headaches and heartache by helping you plan your dream safari. To start planning your safari in Katavi, please call us at 1-315.805.4040 or send our safari experts a message via email.
How to Plan Your Katavi Wildlife Safari Like a Pro
There are many factors to consider when planning a safari to Katavi National Park, one of the untouched areas of the western part of Tanzania. The infrastructure isn’t as good as in the north, and travel times are longer. However, this region offers some of Africa’s most undiscovered and underappreciated treasure parks, the Mahale Mountains and the more tranquil areas of Katavi National Park.
Western Tanzania is off the beaten path and offers the best wildlife viewing for those discerning guests seeking even more adventure, perhaps on their second or third safari trip. It is possible to combine the north and western parks on a ten to thirteen-day trip thanks to safari flights’ quick and direct connections.
Deciding which reliable tour operator (s) to use for your dream African safari experience is not an easy task. With a sea of general online tour operators, it is hard to find the ONE that truly speaks to your discerning tastes and genuinely understands your travel needs and expectations.
Start by gathering enough information to help you decide on the best destination. Depending on your itinerary, you can start your Katavi National Park safari from Arusha, Kilimanjaro or Dar es Salaam. During the dry season, Katavi has so much to offer. We suggest you spend at least three nights in this lovely park, and we recommend that you combine it with the nearby Mahale National Park.
Similarly to many other national parks in Tanzania, Katavi National Park offers a unique setting for safari-goers to stay inside the park. You will be staying in some of the most charming safari camps and lodges, where you will unwind and enjoy delicious food and sundowners.
With several accommodation options to choose from, we can guarantee that your safari experience will be meticulously created just for you with your specific interests, travel style and schedule. Everything will be tailored to your preference, allowing you to enjoy a perfect balance of comfort, adventure and maximum wildlife viewing. We will only recommend the places we have stayed in and inspected thoroughly, and we can guarantee you will be safe.
If you choose to explore the beauty of Katavi National Park on game drives, we highly recommend using qualified local safari guides. With our personalized trips, you will have control over your experience and enjoy all the flexibility you need to plan your daily game drives with your private safari guide.
You can decide when to start your trip and how long your daily game drives should last, as long as it is within the time set by the national park authorities (the park gates usually open at 06h00 and close at 18h30). Ultimately, you will have an opportunity to choose what you would like to do, when you would like to start your private safari trip, and where you would like to go.
At Wito Africa, we do not limit game drives by restricting drivers on the mileage they can travel per day. Therefore, we are happy to offer you an extensive all-day private game drive with a picnic lunch break between your game drives.
As a standard offering for all our experiences, we provide all meals, bottled drinking water, tea/coffee and juices at breakfast for the duration of your safari. We can accommodate all kinds of dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, halal, and kosher to pescatarian.
Moreover, bottled drinking water and soft drinks will be readily available throughout your safari experience with us. We have a stocked mini-fridge in the vehicle that will cool drinks whilst you enjoy your uninterrupted wildlife viewing from the comfort of your customized safari jeep.
Our unique approach to offering a stress-free safari experience starts with ensuring that you are well-informed about the specific requirements of the country you visit so you know exactly what to expect. Understanding how a safari operates, what is involved before and during, and what key points to consider when booking ensures an unforgettable safari adventure. Topics like when to visit, how to get there, and what to pack are addressed by safari experts.
Your dream trip created your way – tell us:
- Your interests
- Your travel style
- Your expectations and budget
Ultimately, you will choose exactly what you’d like to do, when you would like to start your private safari trip, and where you’d like to go.
- Fixed itineraries.
- Guaranteed departures.
Our guaranteed trips are packed with wildlife encounters, sightseeing, and activities that all reﬂect your group’s focus and interests. Most importantly, you will make life-long friends and memories you will never forget!
WHY TRAVELERS CHOOSE US
At Wito Africa Safaris, giving our customers unbiased advice and exceptional safari experiences is what we live and breathe. Our Africa safari experts are well-traveled and have in-depth first-hand knowledge of the places they suggest. To make sure these offerings live up to the expectations of our guests, the experts at Wito Africa routinely inspect new lodges, experiences, and activities. Nothing beats current, pertinent travel advice obtained directly from a local expert. The Wito Africa 'dream team' will be there for you every step of the way to ensure that even your smallest needs are met and no detail is overlooked, so you can embrace your experience with complete peace of mind.
WHERE TO STAY IN KATAVI NATIONAL PARK
Just for you, we have hunted out the very best lodges, villas, camps and even treehouses in Tanzania to suit every budget, itinerary and personal preference. Trust us – you’re going to be spoilt for choice! An awe-inspiring setting is just the beginning… Every one of our recommended accommodation options will blow you away with personal service, attention to detail and various levels of luxury.
Chada Katavi Camp
If you’re looking for privacy and isolation, Chada Katavi is hard to beat. The intimacy of this small camp makes it a great choice for honeymooners, or anyone who wants to get away from it all and connect with nature.
Without a doubt, Chada Katavi is one of our top recommendations for clients who want a simple and authentic bush camp experience, but with style and comfort included as standard! Offering only six en-suite tents, each of them is designed with style, comfort and simplicity. Therefore, you will have a spacious tent with a wide-open front which is perfect for you to take in the panoramic views of the Chada plain and its amazing wildlife.
You’ll be up close and personal with nature, but you don’t have to sacrifice your home comforts – each of the heavy duty tents includes a deep bedroll, and warm sheets and blankets. We find that the classic bucket showers help get you into the spirit of the bush, and the eco-flush toilet also helps to keep environmental impact to a minimum.
Katavi is renowned for its abundant game so there’s plenty of wildlife to enjoy, without even leaving your open-fronted tent. Elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards, crocodiles, hippos, impala and monkeys are all frequent visitors. At Chada, your experience starts upon where you will be taken on a nice game drive en route to your camp. You’ll arrive in time for sunset and a drink by the fire, a three-course dinner, and a hearty breakfast in the morning.
As well as game drives, bush walks and night drives, you can even take the opportunity to go for a night of fly camping under the stars. We like Chada Katavi because we know that you’ll be well looked after and guided by the some of the best private safari guides in Tanzania.
Mbali Mbali Katavi
In the center of Katavi National Park lies Mbali Mbali Katavi, offering an exciting bush experience with breathtaking views over the vast plains of Katisunga. Mbali Mbali has untapped this national secret and created a highly exclusive experience at the heart of the park. Mbali Mbali Katavi is ideal for the traveller looking for a truly remote experience away from regular tourist routes.
In this park, you will find animals curious and unfamiliar to human contact. The flotillas of pelican are a special sight. The lodge has been designed to blend in with its surroundings to avoid distracting from the beauty of Katavi, and herds of animals can be seen right from your tent.
Game viewing is exceptionally rewarding at Katavi due to the sheer abundance of wildlife. Game drives in our 4×4 vehicles center around the woodland areas along the seasonal lakes, where most of the game can be found including the big cats. Game drives are offered twice a day with an optional night game drive.