Serengeti. Ngorongoro. Zanzibar.

These are the highlights most travelers associate with safari in Tanzania. And for good reason. These iconic destinations deliver spectacular wildlife, unique vistas and exotic, colorful culture.

But today we wanted to let you in on one of our favorite secret spots in Tanzania; Katavi National Park.

With a wild valley floor teeming with wildlife and dramatic escarpment cliffs that frame the park and create a backdrop ideal for photography, Katavi has long been one of our favorite parks in Africa.

This park, located in the remote Western region of Tanzania, is perhaps a perfect safari destination. Here’s why.

You’ll have the park to yourself

Thanks to a remote location, several hours flying time from Tanzania’s safari capital in Arusha, this park has remained pristine, untouched and blissfully free of crowds.

With only a few properties in the park’s 4,500 square kilometers, Katavi is Tanzania’s third largest national park yet receives the least number of travelers of all of Tanzania’s national parks. In fact, the park sees as many guests each year as the Serengeti sees every day.

Abundant Wildlife

After more safaris than I can count, I can’t remember another time when I saw so many species of wildlife in one view.  While on safari a few years ago, I saw elephants, hippo, antelope, birds and cats all frolicking together in a lush, green backdrop.

Expect to see massive herds of Cape Buffalo, plenty of hippo and crocodiles here. The park is also home to the beautiful and extremely rare Sable and Roan antelope!

The unique terrain of Katavi National Park transitions from lush, marshy swamps during the rainy season to life-giving rivers during the dry season.

Classic Safari Experience 

Chada Katavi was the original camp in Katavi, and in our opinion it’s still the very best. Small and intimate, with just six East African-style safari tents, here you can enjoy spacious and comfortable accommodation with wide-open fronts giving you panoramic views of the plain and animal life here in Katavi. We love the camp’s light footprint dedication to delivering a classic, authentic safari experience.

Have we sold you on Katavi National Park? Check out this fabulous safari itinerary, Tanzania Chimps and Wild Places!