Katavi National Park

Country/territory: Tanzania

IBA Criteria met: A3, A4i (2001)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 323,000 ha

Nature Tanzania
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2005 medium favourable low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Katavi lies south-east of Mahali Mountain National Park (TZ005), 40 km east of Lake Tanganyika at Karema, and extends eastwards around the northern shoulder of the Ufipa plateau towards Lake Rukwa (TZ033). The original National Park covered an area of seasonally inundated flood-plain grassland with an associated series of small lakes and swamps, and areas of miombo woodland to the south and west. The park has recently been doubled in size to incorporate more of the wide Kafufu river valley to the west and south-west. It now abuts Mlele Game Controlled Area, which is contiguous with Lukwati Game Reserve, which in turn meets Lake Rukwa. The north-eastern boundary of the park runs along the Mulele Hills which rise (outside the park) to over 1,500 m. The western area of the park forms the eastern boundary of the Karema Gap, a zoogeographical boundary between the Tanzania–Malawi mountains Endemic Bird Area (EBA 105) and the Albertine Rift mountains (EBA 106) to the north-west.

Key biodiversity
See Box and Table 3 for key species. The site is in an area of south-western Tanzania that is ornithologically poorly known. A full species checklist is not available, but is likely to exceed 400 species. Regular monitoring of waterbirds is likely to reveal that the site regularly holds more than 1% of the biogeographic populations of Pelecanus onocrotalus, Ardeola ralloides, Anastomus lamelligerus and Plegadis falcinellus, but data are not yet available.There are few records of Falco naumanni, but it may be seasonally common on passage. Similarly, Circus macrourus is known from very few records, but the site is within its passage and wintering range. Gallinago media is likely to occur, but there have been no confirmed records. There is a single record of Balaeniceps rex from 1996.The park may support a population of the restricted-range Ploceus reichardi (the distribution of which defines Secondary Area s055), which is known from similar habitat to the west and east. However, there have only been unconfirmed records as yet. In addition, five species of the Somali–Masai biome have been recorded (see Table 3).

Non-bird biodiversity: Among mammals, Loxodonta africana (EN) occur in reasonable numbers and Panthera leo (VU) are found throughout the area.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Katavi National Park. Downloaded from on 19/08/2022.