Katavi is a true wilderness; an unspoiled and beautiful park lying in the remote southwest of Tanzania. It is said to contain the highest wildlife density of all African parks and game viewing is exceptional.

Difficult to reach, crowds are none existent here and huge herds of buffalo roam across swampy grassland untouched by the twentieth century. This is an isolated and magical park for the intrepid and enthusiastic only..

Untamed & unspailed

Katavi is the third largest national park in Tanzania, covering 4700km2 and accessible only by a long and difficult drive or costly flight. For this reason it has remained unchanged by tourism and retained its brooding and wild atmosphere.

Much of the park is covered in woodland and swampy grassland, surrounding the impressive Lake Katavi and Lake Chada. Together with the River Katuma, these form an enormous floodplain with cover varying from miombo and acacia woodland to swamps and grassland.

Wet season flooding vastly increases the area of marshy grasslands and a large population of wetland and water associated birds descend on the region.

In the dry season, when the waters retreat, Katavi produces an unparalleled spectacle. Animals from all over the park converge on what remains of the Katuma and wildlife concentrations on the muddy river banks are unbelievable. Herbivores and predators alike are drawn and large numbers of hippo and crocodiles are forced to share the same shallow waters; producing one of the highest concentrations in Africa.


  • In the dry season up to 4000 elephants converge around the Katuma, together with large herds (1000 plus) of buffalo.
  • Over 50 species of large to medium mammal inhabit the park, including zebra, giraffe, hartebeest and topi.
  • Other antelope include bohor and southern reedbuck, waterbuck, eland, bushbuck, duikers roan and sable.
  • There is a large population of predators and interaction with the large buffalo herds is commonly seen. Lions, leopard, spotted hyena, cheetah and wild dog are all present.
  • Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in Katavi, including open-billed storks, saddlebills, spoonbills, crested cranes and pink-backed pelicans.
  • Woodland birds include the African golden oriole, paradise fly-catchers and pennant-winged nightjar.

Katavi is all about wilderness and wildlife viewing. Game drives, walks and a good pair of binoculars are essential to get the most from the park.

Camping here is highly recommended.

The dry season (May – October) is best to visit as many roads are impassable in the rains (December – February).

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