Help needed; Self-drive Katavi NP





Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Age
    46
    Posts
    670
    Thanked: 224

    Default Help needed; Self-drive Katavi NP

    Hello,



    In July we would love to go to Katavi NP for a couple off days.

    We hope there are some members that can give me some advice and could answer some questions for me.

    I would really appreciate this.



    1. Ís it true that when you pay for special campsites, that in Katavi NP you can choose your own spot in the park to set up camp?



    2. When we come from Mbeya ( Sumbawanga side), where do we have to pay and sign in?



    3. Which areas do you recommend in this period? What are your favourite spots in the park? Coming from Sumbawanga and after Katavi NP we like to go to Ruaha NP.

    We love to stay each night in different areas. Can you give me a good sequence for the areas. We have 4 nights in this area coming from Mbeya.



    4. How long will be the drive from Mbeya to the Katavi gate?



    5. Do we need to make a reservation for the special campsites or can we just show up and pay the requested amount?



    6. When we want to go from the Katavi area to the Ruaha NP, what is the best / safe way to go to Ruaha NP?



    It would be a big help if someone could answer this questions.

    There is not much clear information for the self drivers about this park.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    66
    Posts
    4,390
    Thanked: 2515

    Default

    Sylvia we are also planning to visit the highly recommended Katavi NP later this year, probably in about June. My reply here is based on research and the advice given by others and not from personal experience. Although the park is not visited much, hopefully someone who has actually been there will reply, but let me try and help where I can.

    It seems like you can just choose your own special campsite in the park and just set up anywhere you find suitable. For the night of your arrival it may be wise to stay outside the park to save some money, as you are likely to arrive fairly late in the day. Near the gate entrance but outside the park is Riverside Camp (S 6 37.766 E 31 08.644), which is highly recommended. The next morning you can then enter the park to camp further after saving a day's fees.

    The main road north from Sumbawanga passes through the north-western part of Katavi and you check in at Katavi Gate (S 6 37.702 E 31 08.557) and pay your fees here. You should be able to drive from Sumbawanga to the gate in a long day, others have done so. Most in fact drive from Kipili (Lakeshore Lodge) on Lake Tanganyika.

    This park is seldom visited and no booking is advised.

    I hope you do get some replies from people that have actually been there. It would be of assistance to me as well.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Harare
    Age
    39
    Posts
    8
    Thanked: 0

    Default

    We are heading there next week so I'll leave a report on here once we have been through. In the mean time, I look forward to any updates from people who have visited it during February. Is there any information on when the flamingoes are in Lake Rukwa?
    Many thanks,
    Charlotte

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Age
    46
    Posts
    670
    Thanked: 224

    Default

    Hello Stan,

    Again I'm very pleased with the information, very helpfull, thank you.

    Hello Charlotteas, thanks for your reply and I would love to read your report when you come back from Katavi.

    I hope there are other people that will give us some more info

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Leipzig
    Age
    61
    Posts
    180
    Thanked: 88

    Default

    As first a few infos from our report 2013 to Lake Rukwa and Katavi. On the right side is a translation button.

    http://www.botswanadreams.de/reisebe...a-2013-teil-2/

    A few more infos in the evening.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    51
    Posts
    42
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    Have flown over Katavi a few times and all I can say it is spectacular. Wet season can be tricky and difficult.

    If you are going through Mbeya consider Utengule Coffee Lodge, you will get a lot of information from them about the area and Katavi.

    Kipili Lodge is also a must see, you can spend a few days there will also get a lot of information from the lodge owners.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    66
    Posts
    4,390
    Thanked: 2515

    Default

    I have found this official brochure and map for Katavi. Unfortunately it has come out sideways and upside down, but I am sure if you print it you will find it of some use.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default Katavi NP

    1 and 2. Yes, if you pay for a special campsite, you can set up anywhere. You have to enter the park and pay all fees at the park HQ which is shown on the brochure sent by Stan. We camped wild in Katavi in June 2014.

    3. The game is concentrated around the swamp (shown as Lake Chada on Stan's attached brochure and map). So, camp near the Ikuu ranger post. You will have to go to the HQ before hand to pay. If you want to go to Ruaha after Katavi, you will be backtracking, so can't comment on how you want to do it. Check out Tracks4Africa. I would go to Ruaha first from Mbeya and then to Katavi and then do the backtrack to Mbeya unless you are heading north. You must go to Kipili on Lake Tanganyika and spend time at Lakeshore Lodge.

    4. Check timings on tracks4africa as I haven't been from Katavi to Mbeya.

    5. No you don't need to make a reservation for a special campsite in Katavi, but it will cost you.

    6. See above about Tracks4Africa. You will have to backtrack. No way straight from Katavi to Ruaha. This is pretty remote Africa.

    Check out the TANAPA website or email Chris and Louise Horsfall at Lakeshore Lodge, Lake Tanganyika (google for address). You might need to book for Lakeshore Lodge anyway.

    Katavi is wild and remote and fantastic.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Age
    46
    Posts
    670
    Thanked: 224

    Default

    Hello, Thank you all for all this great info. Very great help all this tips.
    Southern dreams what a great report and what an adventure. Thanks for sharing.
    I could not understand everything because the translation did not work, but I understand most of it.
    Stan i just printed the brochure thanks.

    At the moment I m sitting here wih maps and tracks for Africa trying to figure out what route is the best to go to Mbeya.
    We have a hired 4x4 car for 31 days from and to Johannesburg.
    We like to to by Mbabae ( 1st day) to the Goba border to Xai Xai ( 2 day) then on our way to Malawi ( what s the best / fastest)border to take?)

    Then up to the border Malawi to Mbeya.
    Mbeya, Kipili, Sitalike; 3 or 4 days in the park
    Back to Mbeya ( do we also have to backtrack again to sign out at the Sitalike gate? Or can we go fro the rangerpost straight away to Mbeya?


    Then the Ruaha part ( or as managend do the Ruaha part first?? What do you think en why?)
    Then back to Mbeya or straight away to Sangilo in Malawi?
    Back through Malawi and toMozambique back to Johannesburg.
    First I was thinking that I had also the time to include South Luangwa and drive through the park to the kapishya Campsite and then to Sumbawanga ( looks nicer and not 2 times the same way through Malawi) but it not possible, not enough days....

    It would be great to hear your opions about our plans / route


    Oh, 1 more question is the border; Casscatize / Ndzadzo open for toerist and is it an advisable one if we still can get South Luangwa in the route?

    Thank you, greetings Sylvia

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default

    I would say that it is not possible to do all you want to do in 31 days. Even if you only spend a few hours in each place, it would be challenging and tiring. On your current plan you will only be spending a few hours in each place and therefore not have the opportunity to appreciate what you have driven thousands of kilometers to see.

    You are being over ambitious in your itinerary. This is Africa.

    You have chosen a nice selection of places to see, but don't ruin this wonderful chance by trying to do too much.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    67
    Posts
    55
    Thanked: 4

    Default

    Hi,
    I was in Katavi in 2009 for the MAPA project and recorded the tracks as they exist on T4A.
    Katavi is a magical place and if my memory is correct the total number of visitors in 2007 was something like 760 and I'm sure it wouldn't have increased much since then. You will be blown away with the number of hippo that squeeze into the river and pools.
    If you're paying for special camps then you MUST stay at the place marked Fig Tree Picnic Site at S6.90216 E31.16360. Another good place to stay is at S6.99239 E31.26280 but depending on how wet it is you could battle to get there. July should be OK though. Then there is a place marked as picnic site on Paradise Island S6.92733 E31.40425 which would also be pretty cool.
    We drove from Mbeya to Sumbawanga in a day and then from Sumbawanga to Katavi in another day. Roads were pretty bad then but they were working on them.

    Enjoy
    Peter
    Last edited by leveypa; 2015/02/09 at 06:41 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by leveypa View Post
    Hi,
    I was in Katavi in 2009 for the MAPA project and recorded the tracks as they exist on T4A.
    Katavi is a magical place and if my memory is correct the total number of visitors in 2007 was something like 760 and I'm sure it wouldn't have increased much since then. You will be blown away with the number of hippo that squeeze into the river and pools.
    If you're paying for special camps then you MUST stay at the place marked Fig Tree Picnic Site at S6.90216 E31.16360. Another good place to stay is at S6.99239 E31.26280 but depending on how wet it is you could battle to get there. July should be OK though. Then there is a place marked as picnic site on Paradise Island S6.92733 E31.40425 which would also be pretty cool.
    We drove from Mbeya to Sumbawanga in a day and then from Sumbawanga to Katavi in another day. Roads were pretty bad then but they were working on them.

    Enjoy
    Peter
    Paradise was inaccessible in June 2014.

    We did not have to camp at Fig Tree or the other spots you mentioned, but were allowed to set up where we wanted to (we chose a spot in an acacia grove not that far from Ikuu ranger post). We asked at the HQ and that is what they told us, so we did wild camp. You must, of course, leave no trash or sign of having camped there.

    The tracks shown on the Katavi brochure map heading eastwards were no longer accessible in June 2014 - and this was not due to rain or water.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2015/02/09 at 06:53 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Pretoria
    Age
    67
    Posts
    55
    Thanked: 4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    Paradise was inaccessible in June 2014.

    We did not have to camp at Fig Tree or the other spots you mentioned, but were allowed to set up where we wanted to (we chose a spot in an acacia grove not that far from Ikuu ranger post). We asked at the HQ and that is what they told us, so we did wild camp. You must, of course, leave no trash or sign of having camped there.

    The tracks shown on the Katavi brochure map heading eastwards were no longer accessible in June 2014 - and this was not due to rain or water.
    Definitely a case of "you take out what you take in". All the places I mentioned are completely wild camps with no facilities at all. The tracks to the east in T4A were very rough and needed a lot of bush work when we did them in 2009.

    Peter

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Leipzig
    Age
    61
    Posts
    180
    Thanked: 88

    Default

    Hi Charlotte

    Is there any information on when the flamingos are in Lake Rukwa?
    I havn't hear anything about flamingos in Lake Rukwa. There is one access to Lake Rukwa in the south written in the guide book with a campsite. Another access is close to Muse in the northwest. It's the place were we spend two nights on the shoreline of the lake in October 2013 wild camping with the permission from the local chief. We had a very nice time with the local people.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Leipzig
    Age
    61
    Posts
    180
    Thanked: 88

    Default

    Hi Sylvia

    First question: Why you don't spent this 30 days only in Tanzania? It is very much worth to do it. I think it isn't possible from Mbeya to Katavi in one day. We drove from Kipili to Mbeya nearly 10-12 hours. From Mbeya into Ruaha it's an other long day to drive.

    We were 5 nights on the public campsite in Katavi in 2013. The last guest left 6 weeks ago. The Katavi Plains in the north is a nice area. The best wildlife area in the dry season was around Ikuu ranger post along the river. The problem was to get there. We had to go around. So we spend the hole day with packed lunch on game drive. They have started to make a direct way from the public campsite to this area. I don't know how far they are. Lake Chada could be a problem to drive after the rain. In the dry season we didn't have many animals there.

    Christa
    Last edited by botswanadreams; 2015/02/09 at 08:48 PM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Age
    46
    Posts
    670
    Thanked: 224

    Default

    Hi Christa,

    We have flights and a hired car from Joburg, so we have to go from en to there. So I have to find a good way to get to Tanzania.
    I 'm now looking at driving from Joburg through Zimbabwe and skipping the Moz. part. I think this saves days.

    Thanks for the respons, very helpful.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by botswanadreams View Post
    Hi Sylvia

    First question: Why you don't spent this 30 days only in Tanzania? It is very much worth to do it. I think it isn't possible from Mbeya to Katavi in one day. We drove from Kipili to Mbeya nearly 10-12 hours. From Mbeya into Ruaha it's an other long day to drive.

    We were 5 nights on the public campsite in Katavi in 2013. The last guest left 6 weeks ago. The Katavi Plains in the north is a nice area. The best wildlife area in the dry season was around Ikuu ranger post along the river. The problem was to get there. We had to go around. So we spend the hole day with packed lunch on game drive. They have started to make a direct way from the public campsite to this area. I don't know how far they are. Lake Chada could be a problem to drive after the rain. In the dry season we didn't have many animals there.

    Christa
    July is the dry season. There is no problem to get to the Ikuu area as there is an all weather main dirt road from the HQ eastwards and then south. Ikuu area is adjacent to Lake Chada (the swamp) and the tracks were fine in the dry season in June 2014. Of course, being a low lying black cotton soil area, it might be more challenging in the rains. Have a look at the map attached to Stan's email and Tracks4Africa and the TANAPA (Tanzanian National Parks) website. I disagree about animals in the Lake Chada area. Thousands of elephants spend their day in the swamp (Lake Chada) along with thousands of buffaloes and then come out of the swamp in the late afternoon. Katavi is wild and remote and the game is definitely shy and skittish. It is not the savannah of the Serengeti, but remote thick bush with an incredible swamp which is the key to this ecosystem.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2015/02/09 at 09:54 PM.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default

    We drove from Kigoma to Mbala in June 2014. Whilst this road might have a few challenges in the rain, it is just another African road with nothing exceptional. Your Google maps is way out on timings, however. We drove from Jakobsen's Beach campsite near Kigoma to Katavi in 8 hours. This was in a Land Rover Defender. It is tarmac from Kigoma to Uvinza, and then dirt down to near Mpanda, but the Chinese are working on some sections near Mpanda. The route from Kigoma to Katavi is remote, but beautiful winding at times through lovely limestone forested ridges. We spent a few nights in Katavi, then to Lakeshore Lodge at Kipili (which is not to be missed - lovely in every way). Then from Kipili to Sumbawanga took 3 hours. Sumbawanga to the border crossing at Kasesha took just over 2 hours. From Kasesha border crossing to Mbala (where you do Zambian immigration) took 1 hour. You then need to go down to Mpulungu to clear Customs and this was a good Tarmac road and took less than an hour.

    In summary:

    Kigoma to Mpanda 6 hours 20
    Mpanda to Katavi 1 hour
    Katavi to Kipili 4 hrs 40
    Kipili to Sumbawanga 3 hours
    Sumbawanga to border 2 hours 15
    Border to Mbala 1 hour

    This is what I posted on the HUBB (horizons unlimited) in response to a question regarding the route from Mbala (Zambia) to Kigoma (Tanzania), but we did it north to south. The timings are from our GPS.

    Happy planning.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Leipzig
    Age
    61
    Posts
    180
    Thanked: 88

    Default

    Wazungu Wawili I know were Lake Chada is but remember we were there in the fist days of November. All the pure animals were waiting of the rain. It was the end of the dry season. There was no swamp anymore. It was dry sand with a bit left over dry gras. Katavi is very different in the seasons.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by botswanadreams View Post
    Wazungu Wawili I know were Lake Chada is but remember we were there in the fist days of November. All the pure animals were waiting of the rain. It was the end of the dry season. There was no swamp anymore. It was dry sand with a bit left over dry gras. Katavi is very different in the seasons.
    Ah well, Lake Chada was definitely swamp on June 2014 and the Kitisunga plains is more like your description of dry sand with left over dry grass. The most expensive luxury camp is on the south side of Lake Chada and the other camps/lodges overlook the Kitisunga Plains.

    As you say, the season makes a huge difference, and one has to take that into account, but I know the man who set up Katavi in the 1950s and he told me that the key to the whole ecosystem is the permanent swamp and the river.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 18
    Last Post: 2013/06/19, 07:23 PM
  2. Drive Lights Brackets, Help needed
    By Terry in forum GWM / Haval
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2011/03/25, 03:07 PM
  3. Passenger needed for drive: SA to Kenya
    By aturner in forum Overland advice, reports etc
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2011/02/23, 02:05 PM
  4. KB300 D-Teq and 3.0 D-4D test drive...
    By Philip Foglar in forum General 4x4 Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2010/03/30, 10:15 PM
  5. 4WD Glossary
    By 4ePajero in forum Vehicle & Technical Chat - General
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 2008/10/31, 02:57 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •