NOMAD CHADA KATAVI - KATAVI NATIONAL PARK
Little has changed at Chada Katavi since the Nomad Tanzania founders arrived 20 years ago. From the air you have to look carefully to spot camp - you'll find your eyes are immediately drawn to such wide-open spaces. That's the promise of Katavi - total absorption into the natural world.
Designed to be a stylishly simple bushcamp, the camp is small and intimate with just six East African safari tents - spacious and comfortable with wide-open fronts giving you panoramic views of the plain and animal life that constantly comes and goes. Elephant are frequent visitors and vast herds of buffalo graze on the flood plain in front of camp.
Chada Katavi is just one of three tented camps in Katavi National Park - southern Tanzania.
Chada Katavi has just 6 Safari Tents - large, airy ensuite tents with a big veranda, twin or double beds with fresh linen. There's a place to hang clothes, a bureau, chairs on the veranda on which to sit and enjoy the sounds and sights of the bush.
Bathrooms are ensuite, and open to the canopy. Safari-style bucket showers lend a sense of adventure and help keep the camp’s environmental footprint small in this area of scarce water. There's also an eco-flush toilet which is both convenient and uses 90% less water than a conventional toilet.
The tents are scattered among a grove of tall tamarind trees, which in turn attract monkeys, elephants and other wildlife. It's not uncommon to watch a herd of impala wonder by while you're enjoying a cup of tea on your veranda or have an elephant walk past while you have a siesta.
Venture out for a night under the starry sky. Fly camping is a way of shedding amenities without being uncomfortable and getting as close to nature as possible. The camp is set up by a small team while you enjoy a guided bushwalk - arriving in time for sunset and a cold gin and tonic by the fire.
Tents are made of heavy duty netting encasing a deep bedroll which is made up with fresh sheets, cosy blankets and soft pillows - so quite comfy.
There's a safari style bucket shower and a short-drop toilet which is located a modest distance away. The camp is lit by paraffin lamps and there are torches and a scout who keeps any curious creatures at a distance.
You'll eat well. A three course dinner and good breakfast is standard (unless you're planning to walk back to camp in time for breakfast). One night is the norm and it's essential to pre-book.
Known for fantastic game with vast herds of buffalo roaming the plains; also elephant, lion, leopard, crocodiles and hippo. The park is best between June and October which is when the camp operates. With water sources becoming increasingly hard to find hippo's crowd in their hundreds into the last water holes and crocodiles dig big caves into riverbanks to aestivate through the hot season. Katavi is the only place you can see such phenomena.
Explore on walking safaris, game drives in open 4WD vehicles, night drives, or perhaps head out into the bush for a night fly camping under the stars.
Game drives in open 4WD vehicles - set out to explore Katavi with your expert guide. Game drives typically run in the early morning from dawn until late morning and in the afternoon from 3:30pm to sunset. Full day game drives are also available but preferably as part of a privately guided safari as most activities are on a shared basis. A private guide and vehicle is available if pre-booked and there is a supplement to be paid.
Night drives - are also possible from Chada Katavi and must be pre-booked.
Guided walking safaris - there's walking and then there's real walking; bush walking in a good pair of boots where you want to keep going on and on. With your guide and an armed ranger, you could find yourself watching elephants from up close, or be meandering along the river line seeing all the different birds around the pools, and crocs and hippos who are a big feature of Katavi life. Animals who would often take flight at the sound of a vehicle won't even know you're there and that's what makes walking safaris such an incredible experience.
NOMAD CHADA KATATI IS OPEN 15TH JUNE - 15TH NOVEMBER EVERY YEAR
THE CAMP WELCOMES FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN AGED 12 AND OVER - THE CAMP IS IN A VERY WILD AREA AND IS NOT SUITABLE FOR SMALLER CHILDREN