Katavi National Park

Discover the Untouched Wildnerss

Katavi National Park is one of the most pristine and rugged nature reserves in Tanzania. The enormous grass landscape with thousands of buffalo and antelopes are a true highlight. In the beautiful forests and around the lakes you find many hippos, crocodiles and birds. The park is primarily fed by the Katuma River which in the rainy season – April and May – transforms the park into a wetland. Lake Chada and Lake Katavi are both seasonal lakes which are situated within the park boundaries. In terms of vegetation the park hosts a varied mix of bush land, Miombo forests, riverine forests as well as grasslands.

Katavi National Park, is found on the western part of Tanzania, it was formerly a game reserve; the park was established in 1974. It was originally 1,823km2 In 1997 it was extended to 4,471km2. The park is located 40km south of Mpanda town, being Tanzania’s third largest national park, after Ruaha and Serengeti.

Activities in Katavi National Park

Prepare to have your mind blown amidst an adventure with the excitement of Katavi National park habitat to some of the greatest concentrations of large mammals in the world, while indulging yourself in different Tourist Activities in Katavi National Park which include;

Game Drives

A Game Drive is an absolute must in Katavi and given the abundance of Game, unique landscapes and untouched wonder of this park, getting into a jeep/land cruiser safari vehicle and you set off for your Game viewing at your freedom with encounters of few vehicles creates little traffic and a special sense of intimacy with this extraordinary natural environment that you will get is nothing short of breathtaking.

Bush Walks

The wide-open spaces of the Chada flood plains with extra wide-angle visibility make for a unique brand of rambling. No worries about the backdrops of golden grass, distant herds of buffaloes, piercing blue skies it all redefines your bushwalk unique experience plus your safety as your walking safari will be accompanied by an armed park ranger.

Fly Camping

Nights out of your safari lodge and under the stars are one of the most complete expression of tourists can relate to the wilderness, just get yourself out there and connect with the African bush in Katavi National Park in the safest and comfortable areas to experience the big beyond in the deeper wilderness while getting so close to nature as possible, breathing Africa together with the animals as you enjoy the campfire after your bush dinner with your safety guaranteed form the park hosts.

Bird Watching

For Bird watchers get to spot varieties of favorite and new Birds from over the 400 Bird species that inhabit in the Katavi National Park as you experience the pure magic in the Bush with the authenticity added to it which is incredibly inspiring.

Best Time to Visit the park

Katavi National Park is a classic dry season park with the game viewing getting progressively better and is even more outstanding towards the end of the year, as months wear on, the grass dries gold and withers, the lakes and rivers dry up, Wildlife moves down from the surrounding hills and congregates around the remaining river banks which usually turn into muddy pools and water holes. By the end of the dry season, the park is all going a bit mad, wet and slippery and thus the dry the season between June to October which is absolutely peak season for Katavi is the best time to visit Katavi National Park as now the Game viewing gets seriously good with Hippopotamus in their thousands cram dwindling pools, Crocodiles digging riverbank caves, Buffaloes and Elephants competing for waterholes, Lions, Hyenas and other predators getting close to these areas to catch prey.

Getting there

The best way to reach Katavi National Park is by taking chartered flights that begin from the town of Arusha or the capital city of Dar es Salaam due to its the location being in the far remoteness of western Tanzania not far from Lake Tanganyika. Flights are the most advisable easy means as road transport is not very good, it is always a tough day’s drive from Mbeya 50km (340 miles) away, and a long way from anywhere else

By Air: Several companies like Zantas air, Safari air link (SAL) arrange charter flight from Dar es Salam, Mwanza or Arusha cities to either Mpanda airport which is located in Mpanda town or to Sitalike and Ikuu airstrips inside the park. Usually every Monday and Thursday. Coastal Aviation Charted flight within the park Ikuu airstrips.

By Road: From either Dar es Salaam via Mbeya (1513Km), Dar es Salaam via Tabora (1392km), Arusha via Tabora (1015.7km) or Mwanza via Tabora-Inyonga (741 km).

By Rail: It is also possible to reach Mpanda by train from Dar es Salaam via Tabora then catch a public transport to Sitalike, where game drives can be arranged.


The park is endowed with various tourism activities that visitors can do during their visit. The activities includes; Nature Walking Safaris (Short Walking Safaris (SWS)), Long Walking Safaris (LWS), , Picnicking, Filming, Camping, Birding Bush meals, Night Game Drive, Hiking and Game Viewing .