We stayed at the lovely Chada Katavi camp and absolutely loved it.The guides, staff, facilities and food were fantastic!
Gill H 45 yrs, California, USA, Read 5 reviews »
Katavi National Park, Tanzania
- Some of the biggest herds of elephant and buffalo in East Africa
- Totally remote, offering a pioneering approach to safari
- Great opportunity for birding in the green season
Facilities includeWiFi Lounge Laundry
- Bush Walking
- Game Viewing
- Fly Camping Available
Seasons in Tanzania
About Chada Katavi
Chada Katavi is a small and intimate camp with just six East African safari tents. Each tent is spacious and comfortable with wide-open fronts giving you panoramic views of the plain and animal life that constantly comes and goes.
From the air you have to be looking carefully to spot the tents as they blend totally into their surroundings. So much so in fact, that you often don't have to leave your tent veranda to see game of all kinds. Elephant are frequent visitors, attracted to the same shady fruit trees, and vast herds of buffalo graze on the flood plain.
Chada Katavi is stylish and wonderfully comfortable; all the resources are shared with Katavi's animals and so the human footprint remains light.
Chada Katavi's tents are raised up on wooden platforms on the edge of the Chada Plain. They have wide-open fronts and lots of shade net windows to let in the passing breeze.
The en-suite bathrooms are at the side, also on platforms, and have eco-flush loos, an urn of cool water to refresh yourself. Safari style bucket showers are the best thing here, tried and tested and we can think of no better way to wash off the Katavi dust under one of these.
In a clearing you'll find the dining tent and a library, both are comfortable spaces to while away the hours when you're not out in the midst of a safari adventure. An evening drink around the camp fire is the essence of safari, helping to round off a day of excitement out in the wild.
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 travelling back in time.
The park centres on a series of wide flood plains, blonde with waist high grass in the early dry season, green and flooded like a mini Okavango after the rains.
Connecting the main flood plains – Ngolema, Katisunga, Katavi and Chada - is a network of fragile seasonal rivers. It is these rivers that form the focus of the game viewing for which Katavi is renowned during the dry season.
Water rapidly becomes a limited resource in Katavi during the dry season so animals of all kinds are drawn to the Katuma, Kavu and Kapapa Rivers.
Hippo in their thousands cram the remaining pools, crocodiles retire to caves in the mud walls of the river banks, buffalo and elephant are drawn to the rivers to drink.
The lion, hyenas and other predators know this. In the late dry season, there are few places that offer such a raw and wild experience as Katavi.
How to get there
When to go
Chada Katavi is open June to mid November.
Katavi has two vastly different faces. The dry season, which runs from June through to end October, gets more and more intense as the temperatures rise. As the season progresses, the river - life blood to so many of its animals - starts to dry up; the pools and watering holes fill up with pods of hippo almost stacking up on top of each other to try and get into the water. The savanna grass is golden and the sunsets are dusty, the heat shimmers like a mirage over the plain.
The rains usually come mid November and go through until early June. Katavi then undergoes a complete transformation. Almost as soon as the first rains hit the ground, everything goes green; long green and lush grasses sprout from what was just dry and cracked earth. The rivers flow again, the pools overflow and there is space for all. It's a birders paradise as all the migratory birds flock back. Grass as high as an elephants eye, but there is still so much to see.
Tanzania's climate is predominately tropical. For the whole country, the hottest months are from October to February. The long rains are from mid-March to late May, and the short rains from November to January. The coolest months are June to August when the nights and early mornings can be cold. In high-altitude areas such as Kilimanjaro, temperatures can fall below freezing.
Travelling with children
Children over the age of 16 are welcome.
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