Last of Tanzanian Parks… we saved the best for last!

Katavi

The road getting to Katavi is long, hard and slow, it utilises all your senses to make one hell of an impression on any traveler heading out that way. At this time of the year, mere puddles of water remain and the number of Hippo in the park dominate almost every inch of them. Ele dig holes to find water and Croc share what little space remains. We have never seen so many Hippo in a park before and they literally were rammed into muddy rivers, side by side, packed in like fat sardines – It was quite a hair-raising sight to say the least but I suppose nature must play its course and it does this every year.

On our trip I joined Margie each afternoon when we rested, to listen to a book, the book we started listening to was a thriller called Silent Scream. It was fantastic to be able to close your eyes and listen to a story and really relax. One afternoon while we were finishing up the book, an Ele who had been right behind us for a few minutes made a noise  and we all realized how close he was to us, we stayed calm and quiet and let him pass by. He was so close to the car that when he reached our front door his trunk was inside the car smelling the dashboard. Once he got round to the front of the car he turned his head round to look at us, at this we all shuffled further back to make sure we kept a safe distance as well as the car between us and him. Because he had approached us, he was doing so on his terms so we knew we were ok, however when they are that close to you, you realise the size and strength of these gentle giants.

 

Lion were everywhere, feeding off Hippo carcasses, stalking Zebras and Buffalo as they made their way down to the water. We actually sat and watched Ele and Buffalo approach a pride of Lion and literally boot them out of the way. We saw no attempt at a kill in this park but lapped up all the Lion sightings. We were watching one big male Lion sleep on an afternoon drive afternoon, and once he had had enough of us gawking, he stood up and walked right passed Margie’s car window – That was the sighting of the trip for her and she was so pleased.

One thing is for sure, every night we whipped up such delicious meals that not one of us can say we did not eat well in Africa or even crave a certain meal that we couldn’t have whipped up ourselves.

The end of the Southern game parks and actually all of Tanzania’s game parks has now come to an end. So to break the journey back to Mbeya (a hair-raising one indeed) we had a place in mind to stop off at and put the tootsies up in the sun and relax a little.

TBC…

 

Stop over on route to Katavi N.P.

On arrival – Hippos lying in the little bit of water that remains

Crocs feast on Hippo corpses all day long

Submerged hippos in puddles of mud waiting for the rains to arrive

All predators make a go for the many Hippo corpses that litter Katavi

Mama and baby Ele drinking from a water hole they have dug themselves

Our first papa Lion since The Crater

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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