Chada Katavi

Katavi National Park, Lake Tanganyika and western Tanzania, Tanzania

At a Glance

  • Walk out to your fly camp where you can spend a night out under the stars

  • Katavi National Park must be one of Tanzania's most remote and unspoilt National Parks

  • Explore the Katavi National Park on foot or on game drive

  • Unbelievable game with vast herds of buffalo roaming the plains

  • Spacious safari tents wide-open fronts for panoramic views

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Katavi is closed in mid November to late May.

The dry season, which runs from June through to end October, gets more and more intense as the temperatures rise. As the season progresses, the river - life blood to so many of its animals - starts to dry up; the pools and watering holes fill up with pods of hippo almost stacking up on top of each other to try and get into the water. The savanna grass is golden and the sunsets are dusty, the heat shimmers like a mirage over the plain.

The rains usually come mid November and go through until early June. Katavi then undergoes a complete transformation. Almost as soon as the first rains hit the ground, everything goes green; long green and lush grasses sprout from what was just dry and cracked earth. The rivers flow again, the pools overflow and there is space for all. It's a birders paradise as all the migratory birds flock back. Grass as high as an elephants eye, but there is still so much to see.

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Insider's View

Go for a walk with the fantastic guides to really get a feel for the bush.

Towards the end of the dry season sit and watch hundreds of hippo jostling for space in the remaining pools of water

From the long rains (May) until about mid September see huge herds of buffalo on the plains

In the late afternoon walk along the tree-line overlooking Katavi’s rich water-courses, pause to check for large elephant and buffalo herds. Then, after a cold sundowner and dinner cooked over an open fire, lie under a mosquito net canopy beneath the stars & fall asleep to the night sounds.

This is REAL Africa! At its vast, wild and pristine best. You HAVE to visit Katavi.

To start planning your holiday to Chada Katavi


Chada Katavi is a small exclusive safari camp with just six Meru guest tents. The camp is situated in the incredibly remote Katavi National Park, in Western Tanzania, which is reputed to be one of the wildest places on earth.

Accommodation at Chada Katavi consists of just six large Meru style safari tents, with ensuite bush bathrooms. It is a unique bush camp, with an elevated vantage point rising out of the miombo woodland, and perfectly positioned for panoramic views over the Chada plains.

The central tented mess area is hidden under a canopy of acacias, kigelias and tamarind trees which also provide popular shade and food for the abundant bird and animal species which inhabit the region. Guests can choose from game drives in open 4-wheel drive vehicles, night drives, bush walks with an armed safari guide, or flycamping under the stars. Alternatively, guests can take the opportunity to relax outside their tent with a bottle of chilled wine and soak up the total privacy and isolation.

Miles from anywhere, in Western Tanzania, Katavi National Park has an almost mythical status and is thought to have a greater density of mammals than any other Tanzanian reserve. Massed on the plains are the last great herds of buffalo in East Africa, up to 1,000 strong, and the rivers groan with hippos and crocodiles.

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Chada Katavi has just six large guest tents with fine wooden furniture, woven rugs and beds spread with crisp white Egyptian cottons. The tents are large, romantic and airy and the bathrooms bush deluxe, with an outside bucket shower.

Tented Room

There are 6 tents on raised wooden decks. Each tent has a double bed and en-suite bathroom with eco-flush loo and safari style bucket showers.


Chada Katavi is not suited to very young children and therefore only caters for those over 12 years of age. It should also be noted that only children of 12 and over can go fly-camping, or go on walking safaris.

Meal times and food can be tailored to suit children, and drives can be adapted to keep the children entertained and interested.


Smart open-sided Land Cruisers, Well-stocked library, bar, internet access, telescopes, binoculars, 'fly camps' set up on request


Game viewing is the daily activity from Chada Katavi and guided game drives are taken in 4WD vehicles a couple of times a day. Also to be enjoyed is fly camping under the stars, outstanding birding, and walking safaris. It is recommended that fly camping is booked in advance and this is at an additional cost.



Louisa Verney (Staff)

For those wanting Africa as raw and wild as it gets Chada Katavi is a must. After a three hour flight over the Serengeti and the endless forest you touch down on the Chada Plain, which was teaming with elephant and giraffe. After a game drive of note, we saw 2 separate leopards up trees and the Chada pride of lion on a hippo kill, we arrived into camp. The tented camp is a comfortable bush camp with just six large tents with views over the en a dusty game drive.

During my three night stay here we only saw the two other vehicles both from Chada Katavi camp...what a treat to have a National Park almost to your self, how many other parks in East Africa is this possible? We had a incredibly memorable breakfast over looking a hippo pool groaning with hippos all jostling for space and the watched in awe as a breading herd of elephant wandered down to drink ten meters away from us...I think we all forgot to breath for a few moments.

We also spent a very memorable night out under the stars in the fly camp where a bush shower was set up under a tree and a delicious dinner was served and we then whiled away the rest of evening round the camp fire and chatted about all the exciting incidents during our stay in Katavi.


Louisa Verney (Staff)

Chada Katavi is a truly unique safari experience. It is tucked away into the far western corners of Tanzania and is one of the only camps around for miles; the chance of seeing anyone else on your game activities is very slim. It is seriously remote.

The walking is lovely here, it's pretty flat, so it's not at all strenuous but it's a great chance to get out and see the game on foot. The game viewing is good. We saw lions on our way from the airstrip to the camp. However, the game isn't the main focus of Katavi. It's that feeling of true wilderness, the total lack of any civilisation, that makes Katavi such a one off.

There are just six large guest tents. The bathroom is en-suite, joined by a small walkway to the main bedroom, and it is long-drop toilets and bucket showers. They're very well done for such a remote place! There are definitely more luxurious tents out there but it's in keeping with the whole authentic theme of Chada Katavi.


  • Fly camping in Katavi

    Head out into the wilds of Katavi on foot with your guide for the afternoon and spend the night sleeping out under the stars - the ultimate safari adventure.

Holiday Ideas

  • Remote Tanzania

    Katavi National Park & Mahale Mountains

    from £8100 pp inc flights & transfers for 8 nights

    • Go trekking in the Mahale Mountains to find the wild population of chimpanzees
    • Have a true wilderness experience and spend a night sleeping under the stars in the bush of Katavi National Park
    • Explore Katavi National Park in search of wildlife on 4x4 game drives or even on foot

Location & directions

Katavi National Park, Lake Tanganyika and western Tanzania, Tanzania

Chada Katavi is set in a remote part of Katavi National Park in western Tanzania. The camp has an elevated vantage point, shaded by acacias and tamarinds, rising out of the miombo woodland, with panoramic views over the Chada plains. Katavi National Park is wonderfully remote and little frequented, and its plains are home to vast herds of buffalo, some of the largest such herds in East Africa.

How to get there

Best place to start is Arusha, so Kilimanjaro International Airport is the closest airport, but Dar es Salaam is a more popular hub. From then you can take an internal flight or travel overland to Arusha (8-10 hours). From Arusha, air transfers to the camp's air strip at Ikuu will be included in your safari package. Given the remoteness, it's not really feasible coming overland.

Speak to our specialists 020 3993 8860

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