Katavi National Park
Located in the south-western part of the country and part of the Lake Rukwa ecosystem, Katavi is an extremely difficult park to get to and is thus seldom visited. The park covers some 4470 sq. kms and is the third largest park in Tanzania. Dominated by the seasonal floodplains of the Kapapa and Katuma rivers, and the seasonal lakes of Chada and Katavi, the dry season of June to October is when this park comes into its own. At this time, the receding waters force herds of buffalo a thousand strong to gather, and hippo pods of over 200 to cram into diminishing pools. Crocodile pack themselves into river banks as if on a supermarket shelf, and large numbers of elephant roam with herds of zebra and impala in search of water. In the woodland areas, roan and sable antelope, kudu, and eland are found. Lion, wild dog and leopard ensure that only the fittest survive.
During the wet season, the park transforms itself into a flowering wetland paradise, attracting vast numbers of migratory birds. There is a limited road network and lots of tsetse fly – Katavi is really a park for the hardened safari traveller.