Katavi National Park in the far west of Tanzania is somewhere that, even today, few people have been lucky enough to visit. Perhaps because of this, it feels untouched, almost like travelling back in time. The park centers on a series of wide flood plains, blond with waist high grass in the early dry season, green and flooded like a mini Okavango Delta after the rains. Connecting the main flood plains – Ngolema, Katisunga, Katavi and Chada - is a network of fragile seasonal rivers. It is these rivers that form the focus of the game viewing for which Katavi is renowned during the dry season.
Water rapidly becomes a limited resource in Katavi during the dry so animals of all kinds are drawn to the Katuma, Kavu and Kapapa Rivers. Hippo in their thousands cram the remaining pools, crocodiles retire to caves in the mud walls of the river banks, buffalo and elephant are drawn to the rivers to drink. The lion, hyenas and other predators know this. In the late dry season, there are few places that offer such a raw and wild experience as Katavi.
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 elephant's eye, but there is still so much to see.