Katavi is the third largest national park in Tanzania, it lies in the remote southwest of the country, within a truncated arm of the Rift Valley that terminates in the shallow, brooding expanse of Lake Rukwa.
The bulk of Katavi supports a hypnotically featureless cover of tangled brachystegia woodland, home to substantial but elusive populations of the localised eland, sable and roan antelopes. But the main focus for game viewing within the park is the Katuma River and associated floodplains such as the seasonal Lakes Katavi and Chada. During the rainy season, these lush, marshy lakes are a haven for myriad waterbirds, and they also support Tanzania’s densest concentrations of hippo and crocodile.
Great clouds of dust rise from the feet of over 3,000 buffaloes moving across the short grass plains and woodlands of Katavi. These comprise the largest herds of buffaloes on earth. You can be sure that where there are buffalo there are predators, and lions prefer buffalo meat above all else. Leopards prefer smaller prey like impala while hyenas are content with zebras.
Of the more aquatic creatures, Lake Chada in the south of the park is said to contain the largest population of hippos and crocodiles in Tanzania with hippo pods containing up to fifty individuals.
Dry Season: May to October and mid-December to February are the dry months.
Rainy Season: the long rains are from March to May and which time it is not recommended to visit.