Katavi National Park
Isolated, untrammeled and seldom visited, Katavi is a true wilderness, providing the few intrepid souls who make it there with a thrilling taste of Africa as it must have been a century ago. Tanzania’s third largest national park, it lies in the remote southwest of the country, within a truncated arm of the Rift Valley that terminated in the shallow, brooding expanse of Lake Rukwa.
Size: 4,471 sq km
Location: Southwest Tanzania , east of Lake Tanganyika. The headquarters of Sitalike lie 40 km south of Mpanda town.
Getting there: Charter flights from Dar or Arusha. A tough but spectacular day’s drive from Mbeya(550km),or in the dry season only from Kigoma(390km). it is possible to reach Mpanda by rail from Dar via Tabora, then to catch public transport to Sitalike, where game drives can be arranged. If traveling overland, allow plenty of time to get there and back.
What to do: walking, diving and camping safaris. Near Lake Katavi, visit the tamarind tree inhabited by the spirit of the legendary hunter Katabi (for whom the park is named) – offerings are still left here by locals seeking the spirit’s blessing.
When to go: The dry season ( May-October). Roads within the parks are often flooded during the rainy season but may be passable from mid-December to February.
Accommodation: One seasonal luxury tented camp overlooking Lake Chada. A resthouse at Sitalike and campsites inside the park. Basic but clean hotels at Mapanda.