Friday, June 26, 2015

Western Caprivi in Namibia

Namibia's wild and seldom visited Nkasa Rupara (formerly Mamili) National Park is a watery wonderland of wildlife rich islands, river channels and wetlands. In many ways the park mirrors Botswana's Okavango Delta.Wild is the best word to describe this park, there's nothing fancy about, no luxurious campsites or guided tours, you're on your own, driving on a series of unmarked 4x4 trails. Nkasa Rupara holds the distinction of being the largest wetland area with conservation status in Namibia.

The focal points of the 320km² national park are Nkasa and Lupala, two large islands in the Kwando / Linyati river. During the dry season the islands can be reached by road but after the rains 80% of the area becomes flooded, cutting them off from the mainland. The good news is that it remains a sanctuary for birds, with more species of birds recorded here than anywhere else in Namibia.

In addition to large herds of elephants and buffalo, lion, leopard, spotted hyena, giraffe, impala, red lechwe, reedbuck and the elusive sitatunga can be seen.

The splendid Nkasa Lupala Lodge borders the park to the north - and as the are is unfenced much of the wildlife from the park wanders through the property. Nakasa Lupala lodge also has exclusive rights to offer game drives in the park as well as game viewing from a boat on the Linyanti (a very exclusive experience) - so those wanting a little more than a self drive experience in the park should consider spending time at the lodge.

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