Wildlife & Animals – Katavi NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Tanzania.

Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.

During the Dry season, huge herds of buffalo, zebra and impala gather with elephant and Defassa waterbuck around the drying water reserves of Lake Katavi and Lake Chada. At this time, the Katuma River is packed with hippo, and crocodile can be seen in caves in the river banks. Opportunistic lion are never far from the remaining water sources, waiting for they prey to come to them.

Abundant
Common
Occasional
Rare
None
ElephantCommon
GiraffeCommon
HippoAbundant
BuffaloAbundant
ZebraCommon
WildebeestVery Rare
LionCommon
LeopardOccasional
CheetahRare to none
HyenaOccasional

Wildlife Highlights

Katavi isn't particularly known for unusual animals, but it is the numbers of them that are staggering. Buffalo herds numbering thousands can be seen. Hippo burst out of the remaining puddles of the seasonal rivers at the end of the Dry season. Beautiful sable antelope can sometimes be found in the miombo woodland.

Best Time for Wildlife Viewing

Katavi is a classic Dry-season park. Wildlife viewing is best in the middle and end of the Dry season, from June to October. Wildlife is easier to spot because vegetation is thinner and animals gather around predictable water sources. The park is open throughout the year, but most roads become very bad in the Wet season, and most camps close.

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