Green Katavi

14 December 2010

By Philip Pendaeli - Guide, Chada Katavi

Katavi National Park has been getting drier and drier, just what we wanted to make sure the action in the shrinking hippo pools was good. This lack of water was causing serious fighting between big male hippos, sometimes resulting in fights to the death. This is not easy for some people to see, but it is life and death in the bush and it is happening even if people don’t want to watch it.

Many of our game drives and walks led us to the pools of mud, where even the crocodiles were all forced to move into caves because the hippos were taking all the space. Then when we were all starting to feel bad for the animals because they were really struggling from lack of clean water, the rains came.

Elephants were trumpeting just from being happy, at least according to some of our guests, and I was tempted to believe them. They didn’t have to dig with their forefeet and tusks any more to find clean water in the riverbanks.

Hippos and crocodiles returned to the river that is starting to fill with water and will be flowing again soon. Even some species of terrapins (like turtles) appeared like magic from where they were cased in dried mud for almost six months. Now we see them walking on the tracks and we try very hard not to drive over them.

Even though dry season is our most popular and busy time at Chada Katavi, somehow I think it is a blessing to look at how green and beautiful the park has become. And not many people complain about a cloud covering up the hot sun in Katavi occasionally.

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