Northern and Eastern Parks
Etosha National Park; Caprivi Game Park; Mudumo National Park; Kaudom Game Park; Mamili National Park
Etosha National Park
Etosha is the oldest and most famous National Park in Namibia and also the 3rd largest in Africa. What makes it so riveting is the incredible terrain which includes a shimmering white salt pan, a vast shallow depression measuring 5000 square km - 25% of the Park. What was a great inland sea is now a dusty bowl of salt, minerals and clay forming mirages in the intense heat.
After heavy rains, this area is transformed into a lake for a short while which attracts an incredible variety of game and birds. In the southern areas of the Etosha Pan game viewing is spectacular. A series of waterholes (30 in all) attract the wildlife, especially as the dry season progresses.
Time spent waiting at any one of these waterholes can be very rewarding and provide excellent photographic opportunities. Just about all African animals can be found in Etosha, including Rhino, Black-Faced Impala (endemic species) and Cheetah which are endangered. Etosha boasts the tallest Elephants in Africa, up to a magnificent 4 metres high. These huge animals number in the thousands in the Park only surpassed by the great herds of Giraffe and Zebra.
The largest amount of single species is the Springbok, at well over 20 000. Lions are plentiful; other animals that can be seen include Blue Wildebeest, Hyena and Leopard. There are many bird species to be found here, at least 340 including large numbers of Flamingos and Pelicans who especially love the Pan after the rains. There are 4 camps within the Park, Okaukuejo, Halali, Namutoni and Onkoshi. The theatre-like atmosphere on the waterholes will make this special experience last a lifetime. Etosha is 400km (249 miles) north of Windhoek.
When to go:
From May - September the game viewing is the best. From November - March is perfect for bird-watching enthusiasts.
Caprivi Game Park (Bwabwata National Park)
The Caprivi Game Park and the Mahango Game Park have been linked together to form the Bwabwata National Park, home of 4 of the Big Five. Known as the Okavango Delta of Namibia, this narrow stretch of land on the Caprivi Strip is in the far north east of the country, wedged between Zambia and Botswana. This remote place is unique from the rest of Namibia as it is the wettest region, fed by the major Okavango, Kwando and Zambezi Rivers; excellent for boating and fishing, there are rapids near Popa Falls.
Clear waters and lush islands surrounded by predominant woodlands characterise this Park. Animals inhabiting this area are Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Hippo, Roan, Kudu, Hyena, and more than 30 small game species as well as nearly 400 bird species. In the past tourism has been limited in this Park; it is now a superb conservation area with huge potential.
When to go:
For game viewing May - October is the coolest and best time, malaria medication is strongly recommended. Only experienced 4x4 drivers used to wilderness terrain should undertake driving on the very sandy roads. There are no fences so game roam freely.
Mudumu National Park
Lush with marshes, riverine forests, dense savannah and mopane woodland, this Park is characterised by the Kwando River waterways which are a delight when explored by boat. Located in the eastern Caprivi, the birdlife here is prolific, with at least 400 species.
There are significant small populations of Sitatunga (which are able to walk on the reed beds) and Red Lechwe antelope, Spotted Neck Otters, Hippos and Crocodiles. Other animals found here seasonally include Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra, Roan, Kudu and Impala. The rare African Wild Dog can sometimes be seen in this area too.
When to go:
April - September for game viewing. December - March the Park is lush and birdlife is prolific.
Mamili National Park
This park is secluded and characterised by vast swamps, unique to Nambia. The wilderness includes reed beds and oxbow lakes, also tree-covered islands and two large islands in the Kwando / Linyanti Rivers in the Caprivi. Mamili is famous for the birds that reside here. Other animals that may be seen include Buffalo, Sitatunga, Lechwe and maybe Hyena, Lion and Leopard.
When to go:
Mamili is inaccessible in the wet season. In the dry season visitors should only travel in convoy of at least two 4x4 vehicles for safety and must carry all essentials to be completely self sufficient.