Katavi National Park

Katavi National Park is the third largest Park in Tanzania; it is about 4,471 sq km (1,727 sq miles) Southwest Tanzania, east of Lake Tanganyika with its headquarters at Sitalike lie 40km (25 miles) south of Mpanda town. 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. 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 riverside pools of sufficient depth. And as more hippos gather in one place, so does male rivalry heat up – bloody territorial fights are an everyday occurrence, with the vanquished male forced to lurk hapless on the open plains until it gathers sufficient confidence to mount another challenge. Getting to Katavi National Park is by charter flights from Dar es Salaam or Arusha City; you can also get there by driving from Mbeya (550 km/340 miles), or in the dry season only from Kigoma (390 km/240 miles). It is possible to reach Mpanda by rail from Dar via Tabora, then to catch public transport to Sitalike, where game drives can be arranged. If travelling overland, allow plenty of time to get there and back.