Katavi National Park is an isolated and rarely visited national park than the Serengeti. It is located in the south- west of Tanzania. It is the third largest park in Tanzania. It lies within a truncated arm of the Rift Valley that terminates in the shallow, brooding expanse of Lake Rukwa.
Katavi is named after a legendary hunter – ‘Katabi’. There is a myth about ‘Katabi’ that states that the spirit of the legendary hunter inhabits a tamarind tree which is located near Katavi Lake. Many locals still leave offerings under the tree in a bid to seek the spirit’s blessings.
The vegetation is mainly hidden under the cover of tangled woodland, flood plains and seasonal lakes. During the rainy season the area becomes lush and marshy creating a haven for many varieties of water-birds. Hippos and crocodiles also abound here. The Katavi river banks come alive during the dry season when the water levels of the other rivers recede; this is when the substantial but elusive populations of the localized eland, sable and roan antelopes come to quench their thirst. Herds of elephants, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, impala and reedbuck also congregate on the river banks. They provide easy pickings for the predators. Katavi National Park is a true wilderness leaving one with a thrilling taste of Africa.