The Katavi National Park, is about 40 kilometers south east of Mpanda town, at the foot of the Mlele escarpment, was established in 1974 covering an area of 2253 square kilometers. Despite of being dissected by the Mpanda – Sumbawanga road, it is considered by many as difficult to reach, that makes Katavi one of the unspoiled and beautiful national parks with variety of game life in Africa. The main vegetation in the Katavi National Park is miombo woodland, acacia parkland, grassland plain and swamps around the River Katuma, which joins Lake Katavi and Lake Chada.The dry season is the best time to visit especially by light aircraft or by road.
Dry Season: May to October and mid-December to February are the dry months. Rainy Season: the long rains are from March to May, which makes the road impassable.
Temperature range between 15° C at night and 35° C during the hottest hours.
The lakes (Katavi and Chada) which are joined by the River Katuma give an excellent attraction to the visitors. Bird Watching around lakes and swamps provide the safest breeding ground for the birds, over 400 species of birds have been recorded in Katavi National Park, among others are pelicans, Water fowl, and Flocks of open-billed storks, which are easily observed. the park has one of the largest undisturbed herds of buffalo in Tanzania, hippos, crocodiles and other sorts of reptiles.
Other animals include lions, leopards, roan and sable antelopes, reedbuck, topi, eland, zebra and elephants, all are visible during the safari. The Katasunga plains, is much more of attraction occupied with thousands of antelope, zebra, giraffe, topi, hartebeest and Defassa waterbuck.