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Katavi National Park, Tanzania

Katavi National Park in the west of Tanzania is a place for those of you who want to get off the beaten track. Not many travellers make it all the way here, to the third-largest national park in the country, rich with wildlife and not too popular with tourists. The terrain of the park is mainly comprised of flood plains and waterways, which means you will definitely see hippos piled on top of each other and cooling down on a hot day, and sneaky crocodiles waiting for the prey to come to them. Staying in one place for a few hours will allow you to watch the animals arrive down to the water to drink: gigantic elephants slide out from the bush, herds of buffaloes come from the opposite side of the plains, elegant sable antelopes skip among the tall baobabs.

 

Best wildlife viewing spots would be along the river Katuma, and on seasonal lakes Katavi and Chada. During the dry season, Katuma, reduced in sizes, becomes the only source of water for the entire region, and all the wildlife congregates here: an estimate of 4,000 elephants, and over 1,000 buffaloes, along with multiple zebras, giraffes and hyenas.

 

Besides the ordinary driving safaris, you can organize fascinating walking tours around the park, including the route to the sacred tree inhabited, as the locals believe, by the spirit of the legendary hunter Katabi, who can bring good luck and blessing to those who would leave an offering by the tree.

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