Katavi National Park

Chère Nancy,

Bienvenue à Katavi National Park! I have been meaning to write you ever since I arrived here in Africa, which is a place that I think you would enjoy immensely. I realize that your blustery Acadian home is quite different from the steamy green forests that I find myself in now. In fact, this is the complete opposite of Les Îles de la Madeleine–there is no grey ocean, no lobster boats or whales spouting in the distance. Ceci n’est pas le Canada.

There is water though–and sand bars–long stretches of white sand and shallow reflective pools of rainwater that show the clouds in the sky and at times, the passing animals. The physical beauty of this park continues to surprise me–especially its shocking pink and yellow sunsets and how in a single hour, the world shifts from tan to green to gold to and then to black night, splattered with a few thousand white stars spelling out southern hemisphere constellations unfamiliar to me.

I know that like me, you Nancy, love animals. There is much more to Tanzania than simply animals, but it is one of the most memorable features here in Katavi: the hippos are mammoth and vocal, the monkeys vivacious and the zebras always trotting along for their cameo appearance on the horizon. I can never tire of this menagerie.

En bref, I thought I would send you some of my favorite animal sightings from Katavi–everything from the ever-present and inquisitive elephants (who I have yet to tire of, even after nearly three weeks of them!), and then the small and exquisite birds that dart from branch to branch like colorful fairies.

My note to you is short–it is late here, I still must pack and I have a very large hill to climb tomorrow. Please know that I appreciate everything you send to me online, that I read all of it, and am wishing you the best. I do hope you make it to Katavi one day. It’s definitely your kind of place.

Ton Ami,


P.S. I normally don’t reveal such things, but stay tuned for my story on Les Îles in an upcoming issue of National Geographic Traveler!