Katavi National Park
Tanzania's third largest national park, Katavi National Park is a true wilderness that 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.
Much of Katavi is woodland, and is home to a substantial population of the localized Eland, Sable and Roan antelopes. The Katuma River, Lakes Katavi and Chada are major highlights here. During the rainy season, these lush, marshy lakes are a haven for myriad water birds, and they also support Tanzania’s densest concentrations of Hippo and Crocodile.
During the dry season an estimated 4,000 Elephants might converge on the shallow and muddy remnants of the lake, together with several herds of Buffalo, while an abundance of Giraffe, Zebra, Impala and Reedbuck provide easy pickings for the numerous Lion prides and Spotted Hyena clans whose territories converge on the floodplains.
Katavi’s most singular wildlife spectacle is provided by its Hippos. Towards the end of the dry season, up to 200 individuals might flop together in any riverine pool of sufficient depth. And as more hippos gather in one place, so does male rivalry heat up.