GUIDE ON CHADA KATAVI CAMP IN TANZANIA
Chada Katavi Camp occupies a grove of tamarinds and thorntrees on the edge of the Chada flood plain in little known Katavi National Park. The third largest National Park in Tanzania, it is undiscovered by any but the most intrepid African safari enthusiasts who know that it is well worth the effort to get here. Katavi is home to an unbelievable density of herd animals, including hippopotami pods by the hundred, some actually grazing out on the plain during the day.
Thousands of buffalo and elephant, together with eland, impala, giraffe, reedbuck, Roan, and Sable antelopes, draw closer together on the banks of meandering seasonal rivers as the dry season advances, forming an irresistible attraction to clans of hyenas and prides of lions. Whilst roads may be passable from December to February, permitting avid birdwatchers to relish the abundance of avian life, the real action begins in the dry, when crocodile by the hundred clamber over each other on the banks of rivers reduced to a trickle, and hippo battle for access to the muddy wallows.
Chada Katavi Camp makes little impact on this fabulous wilderness, visited by a privileged few who can cope with tough but spectacular adventure travel in Africa: a road trip of more than 24 hours from Dar Es Salaam (not recommended at all), or a three hour flight from Arusha in a small plane to a dirt landing Ikuu strip for an authentic Tanzanian safari vacation in this last outpost of old Africa.
Accommodation At Chada Katavi Camp6 large, open fronted, decked tents, designed to channel every breeze through with wide net canvas windows, look out over the plain, offering comfort and security whilst allowing you to experience yourself as part of this fabulous wilderness of over 4,400 square kilometers, untouched by more than few hundred privileged visitors in a year from the many tens of thousands on tour in Africa.
You feel utterly alone in paradise (read more on where else to stay in Katavi on your Tanzanian safari). But there is a price. Seasonal Lake Chada covers the plain in the wet season, drying to a marsh, then to a caked clay pan, where teeming hordes of animals risk their lives daily for a life-giving mouthful of muddy water.
On a Chada Katavi Camp safari, an urn of precious, clear water stands in your beautiful bathroom on the deck of your residence, a constant reminder of the values you share with the rest of the surrounding wildlife. Ingenious bush showers of smoky hot water in an overhead bucket are provided at your requested hour, while eco-friendly flush toilets demonstrate your commitment to preserving the ambient environment.
The tents are furnished in authentic Colonial style with rustic woven rugs, pristine sheets and fluffy towels. Service is exemplary. Cheerful and intuitive staff make your intimate Katavi trip a life-affirming delight. You will learn far more than basic Swahili from your hosts and guides whose survival skills are awe-inspiring. A comfortable library lounge and a simply furnished mess tent with low back chairs, dissimilar sofas and outside seating chairs on suntan decks complete the intrepid explorer effect.
Safari At Chada Katavi CampBird watching in Tanzania is at its best during the softer part of the year, when marshes are lush and alive with migrants and endemic avian spectacles. But a game viewing trip in Katavi in the dry is an unforgettable event. Your natural tone 4x4 jeep is customized for the purpose with on board radio. The scenery is fantastic, and there is not a trace of any other human being, just hundreds of hippo, interspersed with zebra and giraffe.
In the distance, massed ranks of stalwart buffalo, herds of elephant, amazingly light on their feet, gangs of expectant hyenas and families of supercilious lions. Suddenly, explosive action, a foal down, a hippo fight, an irate elephant trumpeting and flapping tremendous ears, or a nest of crocodile, snapping massive jaws and piling atop one another in a struggle to immerse themselves in cooling mud.
Your guide is expert at lining up heart-stopping photo opportunities in Tanzania. He breathes in the scent of the animals, hears tell-tale rustles in the grass, and knows exactly where to direct your eye to action you would never spot alone. Discard the veneer of technological man and try fly-camping. Fall into the rhythm of bushwalking: the hypnotic trance state that draws you onward across the parching grass until you are completely attuned to the power of wilderness. Sleep in total self-awareness under a mosquito net beneath the stars, absorbing your Tanzanian safari identity as part of all that is.
Dining At Chada Katavi CampFood prepared at Chada Katavi Camp has its own special charm; a hint of wood smoke and the aroma of open-air bush cookery. After a night soothed by insect, bird and animal calls, you awaken to the scent of fresh-brewed tea or coffee brought to your tent. Breakfast is a picnic experience in the bush. Tuck into fresh bread, juice, eggs and fruit, your appetite enhanced by wonder as the world rouses itself and wildlife makes its way to water.
After a morning walk onto the plain, lunchtime heralds a range of hot and cold dishes, tasty salads, mouthwatering meats, poultry and baked vegetable dishes. On your dream tour in Katavi, you are wise to take a reinvigorating siesta before atmospheric afternoon tea, beloved of the great explorers.
Set out on an afternoon game viewing adventure, stopping at a site of outstanding beauty for sundowners as the bush veldt changes from gold to amber and the sky fades to dusky purple while elephants, buffalo and other denizens lumber back to water before settling to sleep. As early night falls, another world emerges in your headlights.
Green eyes of leopard and smaller cats, civet and serval, glitter along the track. Porcupine shuffle out from the bushes and round-eyed bush babies peep around tree boles. Back at the camp, a romantic dinner is served by candle light before you relax around the camp-fire to exchange your best African holiday yarns and experiences with a select few other guests.
|1. Katavi Camp Safari Park Guide
|2. Best Time & Weather To Visit Katavi Camp
|3. Katavi Camp Map
|4. Safari Lodges, Camps & Hotels In Katavi Camp
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EAST AFRICA SAFARI BOOKING TRIP IDEA FOR CHADA KATAVI CAMP IN KATAVI TANZANIA
When staying at Chada Katavi Camp in Katavi, we recommend combining it with your Northern Tanzania safari to Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti (wildebeest migration). End your trip with a Swahili cultural tour and beach holiday in Zanzibar.
You may optionally extend out to offbeat parks in Southern and Western Tanzania such as Nyerere (Selous) or Ruaha ending with a chimpanzee trekking safari at Gombe or Mahale by the relaxing Lake Tanganyika.
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