A Tsetse repellant that works!
31 May 2015
Tsetse flies are a necessary evil of the bush and the reason that vast areas of Africa remain wild and uninhabited.  Here is a recipe for a repellant that we have tested in Katavi that is made of natural ingredients.

After spending years being plagued by Tstetse flies in many parts of Southern and Eastern Africa I have tried out a variation of a bug repellent similar to Skeeter Beater. This is 100% natural produce and contains no toxic DEET inclusions. The ingredients are ease to obtained in many Health Stores and Aromatherapy outlets and you can mix up a bottle to travel with/
The indegredients are:-
10 parts Lemon Tea Tree Oil
2 parts Sumatra Patchouli Oil
2 parts Atlas Cedarwood Oil
This mix should be added to neutral base oils such as sweet almond oil or more practically to sunscreen oil at a ratio of 10% repellent oil to 90% sunscreen or neutral oil. Thereby killing two birds with one stone!
If you have sensitive skin reduce to 5% repellent oil.
Test have shown the mix is incredibly effective and those using the oil seldom get bitten whilst those not using can be seriously pestered by these annoying ‘flying hypodermic needles!’
Green Season video
10 March 2014
A Day in Katavi - Doug Greaves
The Dogs are Back - Stanleys Kopje
02 February 2014
A Wild Dog sighting is always an exciting event but none more so when totally unexpected and in Camp.  The following report comes from Kate Corner manager at Stanleys Kopje.
This morning two Wild Dogs were seen near the Camp’s borehole and another single wild dog spotted near to the Mwanamboga  waterhole.
Another pair were spotted by guests  lying in the grass just before the baobab close to Camp.
The excitement of these sightings was shortly trumped.  During Breakfast, the waiter, Method heard a noise close to the dining room and an Impala hind jumped out of the bush and ran around the Dining Room closely chased by a Wild Dog.  The dog stopped at the top of the path joining Tents 1 and 2.  The Impala had now departed between the Kitchen and bathroom, so the Dog turned around and charged down hill past Tent 1 and the straight past Kate, the manageress, to close down on the Impala close to the Camps firebreak.
After some food, he left to find his brother who had a bad leg and then both Dogs returned to feed, with the fitter Dog regularly leaving to check for scavengers.
A rare treat!
January News
31 January 2014
Katavi Over the Festive Season
The Festive Season is always a special time of year, wherever you are in the World.
Here in Foxes Katavi Wildlife Camp the Emerald Season is in full swing. The rains have turned the place into a vivid green ensemble of Mbuga (floodplains) and forests. Flowers proliferate and butterflies and dragonflies add to the spectacle.
Despite there being water and food everywhere we have had some pretty spectacular sightings. Just the other day we were watching a herd of 600 buffalo chase off the Katuma pride females and their 4 cubs. All this was being watched by a young female leopard sprawled in the sausage tree no more than 25 meters from us!
Usually seldom seen, herds of eland are often out in the open but still very shy. Herds of Roan are nearly a daily sighting out in the Katisunga. Large herds of elephant are regularly encountered, sometimes right in front of camp.
One old elephant died near the Ikuu Ranger post and the local pride, the Katuma Pride had a real feast for days. The cubs were a particularly gory mess! After such a gargantuan feast the pride decided to visit us in camp and the guests were treated to lions walking past the dining room whilst we had dinner. The roaring was particularly spectacular well into the early hours!
One thing maybe worth a mention is that most guests arrived not expecting rain. Whilst many parts of East Africa experiences the Little Trains and Big Rains weather system. Not so in Katavi as we are more closely affected by the Congo low Pressure system. Though our rain is a little less in January February we still get regular storms and guests were very lucky we managed to dodge most of the showers and storms by doing some cloud watching. Some nights we were treated to spectacular lightening displays along the Rift on the way to Lake Tanganyika.
Now the season winds down and a few guests are still to visit us before the Lodge is battened down and left to the care-taker staff at the end of February.
Then it’s time to get ready for the next season and the sights that will be witnessed by those lucky enough to visit Katavi later this year.
All the Best for a great 2014 from all the staff at Foxes Katavi Wildlife Camp!
Happy Christmas from Katavi
17 December 2013
The rains have well and truly set in and thunder storms are a daily event, especially along the Ufipa Escarpment to the West. Some spectacular lightening displays along the Rift and over Lake Tanganyika, even as far as the Congo, have entertained us in the evenings.
Cloud formations and some sunsets have given wonderful photo opportunities from the comfort of the guests own verandas. The Park is a sea of emerald green now and though the animals can now disperse anywhere they want, food and water now being abundant, guests have had some exceptional sightings. Last week a gathering of over three hundred elephant at the end of the Ikuu airstrip and out into the Katisunga Mbuga (floodplain) provided a not often and encouraging sight. Especially in this era of increased elephant poaching elsewhere. But it is the small but spectacular that dominates, especially as wildflowers are bursting forth and the myriad insect life that try to pollinate in a frenzy of activity.
One rare sight, and one right in camp, was the flowering of a Sansevieria plant. More commonly known to horticulturalists around the world as, the less than flattering, “Mother-in-Laws Tongue”. Even in a pampered hot-house these plants rarely flower, sometimes decades between a flowering event. So I was lucky to follow the progression of the nightly flowering of this plane over a period of a fortnight. The photo attached had the nocturnal flowerer being pollinated by a Hawk Moth. Even the artist and botanical expert based in Ruaha, Sue Stollenburg, had not witnessed this showy event.
So, as thunder rumbles all around and the afternoon storms brew up, the daily display of hundreds of butterflies, the cacophony of cuckoo calls of many species, including the stunning Emerald Cuckoo, the camp work progresses. New family bandas are under construction and the camp prepares for the fast approaching Festive Season.
A Merry Christmas to all our friends and Guests who have visited us over the past year and earlier. Best Wishes for 2014 and hope we see you again soon.
Nick Greaves
Water Divining
24 November 2013
The Old Tried and tested methods
During the course of 2013 our camp well was showing signs of drying up. Naturally in a camp such as ours, as in any camp, water is the first and most important commodity essential for daily functioning. Lake Chada camp had a well that dried out and the daily chore of carting water from Ikuu Ranger post was a time consuming and costly exercise. Plus Tanapa ( The National Parks Dept) was worried about excess water consumption from the last water point at the end of the dry season. That could threaten the well-being of the wildlife, particularly the elephant and hippo that are totally dependent on the water at Ikuu to get them through the hot, dry period.

Despite the rainy season having been good and surface water lasted longer than the previous season the well level kept dropping. When Vicky and Geoff Fox visited Katavi in 2012, Vicky showed me where she had divined several possible spots. To show me where we used a couple of bent spokes from a defunct umbrella as divining rods! Vicky has a track record of being able to sleuth possible water spots but such low-tech equipment did leave me somewhat sceptical; understatement. But the rods crossed at several places which were marked out. One spot behind the site of the new bandas currently under construction was a strong and wide positive indication. Geoff swore blind that this would be the spot. He tried and got no reaction what-so-ever. Albert, the clerk tried with similar result. Vicky then told me to give it a bash, which I did with a level of scepticism, but what the hell! To everyone’s’ surprise, especially mine, the rods indicated the exact same reading in exactly the same spots!
So cutting a long story short, I procured a proper set of divining rods in brass and copper on my overseas leave. The ‘pukka’ rods gave exactly the same readings. Moral being bent umbrella spokes are a lot cheaper!
In October the old well had just about given up the ghost and the new well was dug and the pump installed and we now have the best water supply in ages. Touch wood! An ancient method that modern science can’t quite explain worked a treat! Pays not to be sceptical about the old ways and guests can still enjoy a shower at the end of the day!
Now the new seasons rains have started it will be interesting to see if the old well’s water table recovers enough to be a stand-by water source. But to be on the safe side I think the rods had better be put to use again. Always good to keep a card up the sleeve!