Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park

Katavi is a completely wild place. This famous Dry-season park is off the usual path but packed with animals. There are four of the Big Five present. Leopard sightings are more hit-or-miss than lion, buffalo, or elephant sightings. Rhino is not present.


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.