Here are my thoughts on Katavi!
This park is amazing and this camp is simply fabulous! Apart from the French film crew of 3, there were only 4 of us staying there and 3 at Chada so we had the park to ourselves. The camp is quite small so provides a really personal and friendly service. Nothing was ever too much trouble. Fabulous views over the plains, super food and being woken up at night by the lions, the hippos, the nightjars or a combination of all three was all part of a wonderful experience. Although finding a scorpion in my bathroom on the last morning was a bit unusual!
Our guide and driver were incredibly knowledgeable and had quite ridiculous eyesight! Spotting a giant eagle owl hidden away in a tree 200 metres away was extraordinary! It took me a a bit of time to find it even with binoculars! The camp is also really well located for the game drives. Most days we came across the people staying at Chada Camp who had a bit of a drive down to areas closer to us for their viewing.
I honestly can’t think of anything negative to say about the 4 nights I spent here other than it wasn’t long enough!
It is a bit of a trek to get to Katavi but so worth it. Stopping off for a few days in Ruaha breaks the journey up nicely. The journey back to Dar was long and pretty tiring. Six flights in all, including 3 stops in Selous. On the last leg from Saadani to Dar, with only two of us left on board, the pilot let me sit next to him and once we were up he switched off the auto pilot and handed controls over to me for 10 minutes!! Not sure who was more scared - the other passenger or me but quite a cool experience!
The highlight for me was certainly the leopard sightings in Katavi. I don’t go out with a wish list of animals I want to see but if I did then leopard would have been top of the list. I feel very fortunate to have spent such a long time with the male. Once you had gout used to the smell, the hippo pools were also quite a special sight and sound. As they were so densely packed together, there was a lot of of aggressive behaviour to watch and listen to. My guide for one day in Ruaha and our guide in Katavi were both brilliant at identifying the birds. I now have a list of 94 birds that were identified (a few only by their call) which is only a fraction of the total number of species there but it adds another level of interest.
I think that’s all from me. I hope some of this is helpful. If there is anything you would like to discuss then please give me a call.
Next stop Botswana!