Remote, untamed, unrestrained, wild, isolated..... all words are describing this rarely visited national park in the western trunk of the Rift Valley.
Katavi National Park got its name from the spirit Katabi from the Wabende tribe and legend says that it lives near Lake Katavi in a twin pair of Tamarind trees. The Wabende tribe believe that Katabi appears as an unusual human being or a strange animal, like a bird with one leg, deformed animals or albinos. There are actually albino giraffes and reedbuck in the park.
Rivers flow through the park, enclosing a land of open plains, forests, bushlands, wetlands and lakeshores which are very rich in wildlife. This includes some species not seen in the northern parks, for example puku, southern reedbuck, roan antelope and sable antelope.
Katavi hippos provide spectacular and at times violent shows. As the dry season draws to an end, up to 200 individuals may wallow together in muddy pools. The growing rivalry among the males result in daily bloody territorial fights. All this being part of the Africa of long ago -
wild, remote and captivating.
Photo by Michael Lund Markussen