Katavi National Park

Way out west, this rugged national park is one of the least known, but most exciting wildlife areas in East Africa.

Katavi is like travelling back in time, maybe to the Pleistocene era. Animals seem bigger and more bestial. As a human, for once, you don't feel like you own the planet. It's a thrilling experience. Survival here depends on fragile seasonal rivers, the Katuma, the Kavu and the Kapapa. Between the rivers, huge herds of buffalo and other herbivores concentrate for the rich grass of four great floodplains, including (our own backyard) Chada.

As months wear on, the grass dries gold and withers. By the end of the dry season, it’s all going a bit mad. As water becomes limited, so animals are drawn to the riverbanks. Hippopotamus in their thousands cram dwindling pools, crocodiles dig riverbank caves. Buffalo and elephant compete for waterholes.  Lion, hyenas and other predators know this and wildlife watching here becomes even more outstanding.

Our Camps in Katavi National Park

Experience Fly camping

Fly camping is a wonderful surprise, best left unexplained. If you ask us it’s simple. You have to try it.

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When to go

 Dry season  Green season  Closed
When to go closed


Camp closed for the rains


Camp closed for the rains


Camp closed for the rains


Camp closed for the rains


Camp closed for the rains


Tail end of the green season

When to go wildlife Lots of grazing around - good game viewing likely though long grass may make walking challenging.

When to go weather Cool mornings & evenings, getting warmer and dryer as the month progresses.


Drying out fast

When to go wildlife Game viewing is excellent now, with less vegetation and mostly short grasses. Elephants frequent Chada camp, as they do almost every month, but especially as the park dries and the tamarinds drop fruit on the tent roofs.

When to go weather Warming up. Hot days but bring a jumper for the cool mornings & evenings.


Great variety of wildlife

When to go wildlife Wildlife competes for the available water and the bush is dry and grass low, ideal for walking. Wiildlife often on the plains or taking refuge from the heat of the day in the treeline.

When to go weather Hot days, warm nights and dry.


Great variety of wildlife

When to go wildlife Peak wildlife viewing time as wildlife gathers around available water and food pressure increases. Large pods of hippo fight for territory and crocodiles start to aestivate in riverbanks.

When to go weather Middle of dry season - hot days and warm nights, surface water thinning out.


Great variety of wildlife

When to go wildlife Vast hippo pods and dozens of crocodiles are a unique Katavi phenomenon at this time of year. Otherwise great month of big game and walking.

When to go weather Hot and dry. Clear skies ideal for nights out in the flycamp.


Possibility of first rains

When to go wildlife First rains start to ease the pressure on the water and food while still offering great opportunities for big game viewing.

When to go weather Generally hot and dry with the possibility of first rains.