Katavi national park

Katavi national park

Katavi national park


The Hidden


Katavi national park – Overview

Katavi is pure wilderness. This classic Dry-season park is completely off the beaten track, but teeming with wildlife. Four of the Big Five are present. Lion, buffalo and elephant are all very common but leopard sightings are more hit-and-miss. Rhino is absent.

Best Time
August to October
High Season
July to October (Katavi is rarely crowded)
Low Season
April and May (Many lodges are closed)
Best Weather
June to October (Little to no rainfall)
Worst Weather
November to April (Wet season)
***Pros & Cons ***
Good general wildlife viewing in the Dry season
Hippo pods converge in spectacular numbers in the Dry season
Unusual antelope species, like sable and roan
Very exclusive and doesn't get crowded
Difficult to get to and accommodation options are limited
Animals are scattered during the Wet season
Most lodges are closed from March to May
Katavi National Park

There might not be the widest variety of wildlife on the average drive, but sightings tend to be spectacular, and you'll mostly have them to yourself. While lion are very common, the more remarkable sightings are buffalo herds that number in the thousands and the hippo, which are pushed into small pools as the river dries up. Pods of them share too small a place, and fights are a common sight.


The habitat is mainly grassland savannah and brachystegia (miombo) woodland on the east of the park. After the rains, the place transforms to lush marshes and shallow lakes, leaving behind dusty floodplains of the Dry season.

Weather & Climate

Katavi is a hot place in the Dry season (May to October), except for the evenings when the temperature sinks along with the sun. Not by much, though – nights average a warm 17°C/63°F. The Wet season (November to April) is when things get really uncomfortable, with high levels of heat, plus humidity thanks to the brewing rain.

Best Time to Visit

It's best to visit Katavi in the Dry season (May to October). Unlike during the wetter months, you won't get cooked by the temperature, savaged by mosquitoes, or have to negotiate boggy tracks. Most importantly, the drier months are when animals congregate on the floodplains to get a drink, and the thin vegetation won't shield them from your view.

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