Katavi National Park, in the far west of Tanzania, is somewhere that, even today, few people have been lucky enough to visit. Perhaps because of this, it feels untouched almost like traveling back in time; Chada Katavi sits in the midst of this truly wild place.
Mon, Nov 14, 2016
Once again it's time to draw the green curtains on the magic that is Katavi and let the progressively storymy skies flood new life into the parched lands which the masses have not yet found.
We close this season with an award ceremony that pays its dues to the best of the season.
Has to go the fabulous duo below for giving us three days of spot-filled theater near camp. The youngster was nervous of us at first but by the third day we were best of friends……. and the antics above our head had everyone transfixed.
This was undoubtedly won by these two heavyweights who where battling over water. The Hippo was not backing down in his thirsty pursuit until an earsplitting trumpet and an enraged charge from the elephant sent the hippo on a disgruntled but hasty retreat.
Whilst on a walking safari with myself and guests very excited about the buffalo herd I had spotted in the distance. We got on the right side of the wind and sun and on closer inspection we found them to be a heard/pod of over 50 hippos in the middle of the floodplain obviously set free from the muddy pools by the recent rain. Will not live that down. Still it was still a spectacular sight.
Best place to spend a night in Katavi
This without doubt goes to the fly-camp on the edge of the vast Katisunga plain under the stars with various wild visitors coming by.
Worst place to spend a night
This goes to the Kapapa river due to arriving to the rescue of a broken down game drive vehicle, after getting the guests to swap cars we stayed on to fix the vehicle……haha that did not happen but what did was an hours' worth of heavy rain. We arrived back in camp at 03:00 am loving life.
Best sundowner spot
Eastern edge of the Chada plain, no arguments there.
Goes to this little vervet who was watching his mother getting amorous with the dominant blue-balled male in camp. Poor little fellow may need counselling.
Best touching moment
Goes to this loving pair who showed a touching moment of clear and undeniable affection and love.
Best staff member and all round best human being
Goes to Alfred (aka Nungu Nungu) for just being the glue that holds Chada together; his happy ways and extensive knowledge make him a clear winner.
Chada Katavi is one of those places that gets in your soul and fills your senses with adventure, excitement, understanding and a sense of old that is hard to find in todays' safari realm.
We can’t wait to get back next season and explore this isolated park and discover all its enchanted hidden secrets.
By Jeff Trollip, Camp Manager Chada Katavi
Tue, Aug 16, 2016
First, the Soul of Katavi : Dogo
Dogo is definitely the Soul of Katavi, seeing her is always magical. She is 3.5 years old, and we’ve known her since she was born. She’s such a relaxed, beautifull, elegant lady. So many guests have had the great opportunity to spend time with her, drinking a gin and tonic right at the bottom of her Star-Chesnut Tree, or often coming towards us and spending a bit of a time close to the car, marking our tyres as her territory! Dogo dear, we love you so much you beauty.
Around the camp stands majestic Tamarind trees and from mid-July the fruits are such a feast for the elephants. And specially for Josephine’s family - a bunch of 5 elephants including Josephine the matriach and Little Joe the baby. They often visit us, hang around the tents, have fun between them and enjoy the odd drink from the bucket shower!
Than we have Joseph. Well this lonely male just loooooves the Tamarind tree just beside the kitchen, and so often we almost walk on to him, or should I say he almost walks on to us!
Our dear Princess of the Night. She is living somewhere around the camp, every single night drinking from our birdbaths. In the morning you can see her footprints all over, as she checks her territory. It seems she considers Chada her own. My dear Celestine!
And than we have our Princess of the Day, Rogerina the bushbuck, a gracious and charming lady, so discreet, so elegant, slowly moving, often seen at lunchtime having a sip of water at the birdbath…
The Rock and Roll Band - the vervet monkeys. Loooove them so much, such fun to watch them, such fun to see them trying at teatime to grab a fallen biscuit or having a drink at the bucket showers. Blang blang, here they are on the roof of the office, flop flop here they are on the roofs of the tent. For sure you cannot miss their joy.
Our birds, our angels of the Chada sky. Well birders, you gonna be happy here. Party time every day at our different birdbaths. Purple-crested Turaco, Red-headed Weaver, White-browed Robin-Chat, Terrestrial Brownbul, Common and Yellow-bellied Greenbul, Collared Sunbird etc. Watching them having fun in the water in the morning is such a delight.
The Chada Pride. The King and his pride - 11 individuals including 2 cubs, Simba and Nala. Such a strong pride specialised in buffalos hunting. Big shoulders full of muscles, they rule the place, hearing their roar in the night makes you feel as if you are in the heart of Africa. Good luck Simba and Nala, soon it will be your time.
Of all the Paths you take in Life, make sure a few of them are dirt… Working in Chada Katavi is such a privilege, and these few I’ve introduced you to will always be deep inside my heart. Love you all! And always will!... Julien
Tue, Jul 5, 2016
The legacy of our Chada Pride is on the march! When we arrived end of May we did witness 4 new cubs! But It ain't easy being king!
All lions face high mortality as cubs, for a variety of reasons, including injuries, lack of food, illness or being killed by adult lions . Previously the lioness when it is time to give birth leaves her pride and has her lion cubs in dense cover. Cubs remain hidden for one to two months before being introduced to the rest of the pride.
Over here the Chada Pride is lead by the 2 male brothers, but within this pride lives a third weak male, not in great condition, let's call him «Scar» Well, one day, our guests witnessed Scar actually quickly grabbed one of them, the females tried to protect their angel but it was too late. The next few days another one disappeared from the group... yes, it ain't easy being king... !
But the Sun is rising on Katavi! Our last 2 are doing really fine, life for them is all about fun, those 2 energetic cubs keep mom and dad busy playing and snuggling. Let's call them «Simba and Nala», remembering something now?!
Yes, it ain't easy being king. Simba and Nala will stay with their mother for about two years, by which stage they will join the pride's hunting trips. And under the eyes of their mother we could see and feel her saying : "I have given birth to a future great King!" Huge thanks to our guest Heike van Staden for her wonderful photos!
Sun, Jun 12, 2016
Here we are! After 6 months our Chada Camp is open again! Could not wait for it!! A few work to be done, and now we are all fit and ready to host our guests in this beautiful and wild Katavi!!
Our Chada plain full of girafs, hippos, crocs, sweet nights with calls of hyenas and lions, Joseph the bull elephant back in camp and than of course the stunning forest surrounding it with Marula and Star Chesnut Trees, making it almost mystical! Just love it!
« Of all the paths you take in life, make sure that a few of them are dirt », John Muir
It is with those John Muir's words that we are starting this season 2016! Welcome all in Katavi, the True Old Africa!!
Tue, Nov 10, 2015
Next year 1st September of 2016, we are going to be the lucky guys to witness an annular solar eclipse!!! A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. The annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun's, blocking most of the Sun's light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring), "the ring of fire"! An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region of the Earth thousands of kilometres wide. The path of annularity for this eclipse starts in the South Atlantic Ocean, crossing central African regions of Gabon, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and Mozambique before passing over Madagascar, the small island of Reunion before ending in Indian Ocean. Here is a map of its trajectory :
The best viewing is near the point of greatest eclipse in Tanzania, giving an annularity duration of 3 minutes and 6 seconds, so yes we will be ready for that here in Katavi and our friends in Mahale!!! Can't wait to witness this unique event in the middle of the african savanna!!! Here is the link to the Nasa'site for it!
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