Chada Katavi is owned and operated by Nomad Tanzania. This is one of our favourite safari companies, with its impressive portfolio of safari camps and lodges spanning the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Ruaha National Park, and more! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, all activities apart from fly camping, and a laundry service. The camp is open from June to mid-November every year.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is accessed via 20 minutes’ road transfer from the local airstrip, Ikuu. Flights are available from Arusha on Mondays and Thursdays, a journey that takes approximately 3 hours. Chada has a fantastic location on the edge of Katavi’s sprawling plains, in the shade of acacias and tamarind trees.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Guest accommodation consists of just six tents, all spaced well apart and mounted on wooden decking. At the front, an outer layer of canvas extends well over the entrance wall to create a veranda. This is set with a couple of chairs and a table, and it’s a great spot for watching wildlife on Katavi’s plains! Inside every tent, there’s a double bed or twin beds, bedside tables and lighting, a couple of luggage racks, a writing desk and chair, a storage unit, and colourful rugs on the canvas floor. Wide windows in a netted fabric allow plenty of breeze to waft through, while keeping insects away. Each bedroom is situated close to a tented bathroom – this has an eco-flush toilet, a washbasin, and an outdoor bucket shower!
Chada’s communal lounge and dining areas occupy a tent apiece, also elevated above ground level on decking that links them together. The lounge space is known as the library, and it contains ample comfortable seating around coffee tables and a good selection of reading material. In the dining tent, there’s a large table and chairs for communal meals. Lounge and dining furniture is set up on the deck too, for a little al fresco relaxing and dining. Breakfast is provided in camp or during early morning game drives, and it’s usually a hearty medley of hot and cold options. Chada’s light lunches can also be enjoyed while on safari, although you might prefer to return to camp to escape the midday heat. Dinner is always served in camp, and it’s a lavish three courses. There’s a campfire here too, where guests gather for pre-dinner drinking and swapping of safari stories!
Chada offers classic safari activities – game drives, walking safaris, and, at extra cost, fly camping. Katavi boasts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in all Safari Africa! The plains close to camp are bordered by all sorts of woodland, providing habitats for a great range of species. During the park’s dry months, there are just two reliable water sources, resulting in breathtakingly good game viewing. Four of the Big Five live here – lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. Leopard are fairly rare, but lion numbers make up for this and it isn’t unusual to see ferocious battles between lion and buffalo! Elephant herds are huge, and a lot of smaller herbivores mass in their thousands, including zebra, impala, and topi. Among the smaller predators to look out for are cheetah, spotted hyena, and wild dog. Hundredfold hippos wallow in the waterholes, and crocodiles are plentiful too.
Birding is outstanding, with over four hundred species recorded at last count. Just a few feathery friends considered Katavi specials are fish eagle, pink-backed pelican, yellow-billed stork, and lilac-breasted roller. All these sightings and more can be enjoyed on Chada’s morning, afternoon, and full-day game drives, as well as the camp’s walking safaris. Guiding standards are phenomenally good, and any travellers seeking a full immersion in this outstanding national park can take part in fly camping. This activity involves walking all the way out to a satellite camp and sleeping under the stars there, following a delicious candlelit dinner. Come morning, you’ll tuck in to a generous breakfast before returning to camp!
Chada is sister camp to nearby Greystoke, the famous chimpanzee camp in the Mahale Mountains. We would always advise combining the two camps when pushing out to travel this far.