Chada Katavi

The Original Katavi Camp

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. 

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Tue, Aug 16, 2016

The Chada Family ; Our fellows Friends here in Chada!

Today I want to introduce you to our fellow friends often seen around our lovely camp.  After 1 year in Chada Katavi, you really get attached to some of them and they become part of your own family.

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

Legacy - new cubs in our Chada Pride

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

The Rocking Chada is back!

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

1st Sept 2016, an annular solar eclipse in Katavi and Mahale!


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!


Fri, Oct 23, 2015

The spotting of Sable and Roan Antelopes in Katavi!

One of the great stuff in Katavi is that sometimes you can spot those marvelous antelopes! Last morning on the way to the airstrip boum! here they were, 2 cubs and 5 adults Sable's. As the season getting so dry, the chances are bigger as they coming close to the last remaining water points! A few days earlier, again, a male this time, all black, very shy, ran away from us straight, I know the photo is not the best but quiet an excitement! 

Sable's and Roan's are very similar in appearance and both overlap the same range of habitat in Katavi. The Sable Antelope is just slightly smaller, the male is black and female reddish-brown above, unlike the Roan Antelope’s rufous-grey colouring. The Roan Antelope’s horns are shorter and less curved than the Sable’s. Here are the Roan's on the nexts photos, confusing isn't it?!

Such a privilege to be in Katavi and seeing those...., so rare in Tanzania! Thanks to Jonathan Wynne and Chris Ferrante to share with us your Roan's photos guys!  Julien


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