Day 43 – 51: Caprivi

Distance travelled from home: 8 816 km

Landi and Hein departed from Katima to Windhoek to go home the day after we got back to the campsite from the boat trip.

We decided to spend another week exploring more of the Caprivi area and took the C49 towards the game reserves on the southwest of the horse shoe.

GPX log

Nkasa Rupara National Park

The Nkasa Rupara NP was formerly known as Mamili NP and is the Namibian section of the Kwando Delta or better known as the Linyanti Swamps of Botswana. The Kwando river originates in the eastern highlands of Angola and flows down to this area, where it is blocked and forms swamps. It is bordered by Botswana on the east, south and west.

There is no camping inside the park, only an expensive tented camp lodge, which also manages the former community camp outside the park – Rupara RestCamp. We camped there after driving through most of the accessible areas in the park.

There were many visitors, due to the Namibian school holidays. Both the tented camp and the RestCamp were almost fully occupied.

The landscape in this park is absolutely beautiful. Large clusters of trees on the higher sections and reeds and grasslands on the lower sections with wildlife almost everywhere.

Red lechwe

Within minutes after entering the two spoor roads in the park, we found two lions lying next to the road. The male resting under a tree, and the female a few meters to the right, sleeping in a patch of grass.

The camp owner warned us to stay close to our vehicle while camping, as the lions were seen between the camp and the park entrance that morning. The whole area from the village near the tarred road through the park into Botswana is unfenced.

That night we twice heard the lions roaring nearby.

What we saw:

Baboons, monkys, zebra, kudu, red lechwe, wildebeest, impala, warthog, lion, hippo.

The warthogs are everywhere – we saw hundreds of them while driving around – and I mean hundreds – groups of more than ten at a time, everywhere.

Nkasa Rupara NP

Mudumu National Park

Another pristine park along the Kwando River opposite the Botswana border some 40km to the north of Nkasa Rupara.

Beautiful, lush dense mopani veld to the east and swamps towards the river in the west. The road was more sandy near the swamps, and we had to engage low range 4×4 at some spots.

There are only three bush campsites in the park – one only pays park fees and the camping is free. But they were fully booked. We had permission from the office to find a suitable spot between them to camp. The only nice spot was behind the lookout deck. We phoned the office and promised that we would only pitch our tent after 18h00 and will closed down before 07h00, and we would not make a fire.

What an awesome spot to spend the day!

180′ view from the lookout deck

What we saw:

Giraffe, impala, zebra, wildebeest, elephant, warthog, kudu, crocodile, baboons, monkeys, buffalo, roan antelope

Mudumu NP – our trip log

Bwabwata National Park

The Bwabwata NP stretches from Divundu in the west to Kongola in the east between the Okavango and Kwando rivers. Along the road on the bridge at the Kwando core area we saw a nice large herd of red lechwe, and further on a group of roan antelope ran across the road.

We saw the following from the tarred road:

Roan antelope, red lechwe, warthog, impala, baboon, ground hornbill, ostrich

Roan antelope

Buffalo Core Area – Bwabwata NP

Before checking in at our next campsite, we visited the Buffalo Core Area of the Bwabwata NP near Divundu.

Another one of these parks worth the visit. Along the Okavango River after it turns southwards.

Two elephants
Wattled crane
Buffalo in the swamps

What we saw:

Buffalo, elephant, kudu, impala, hippo, warthog, waterbuck, monkeys

Buffalo Core Area – our trip log

We found a campsite near Divundu after phoning 3 lodges – the area is full of Namibian tourists.

White Sands Lodge is the prime spot to see the Popa Falls. A newly built lodge, with the restaurant still under construction, on the site of the old community campsite and gate to the Popa Falls. Three luxury campsites on the river, with private ablutions, private wooden decks and electricity. Two more campsites just behind, without the river view and deck. All immaculately kept.

Popa Falls
White Sands campsite

Then we moved to Riverdance Lodge. Thirty km west of Divundu, on the banks of the Okavango river, across Angola. Another excellent upmarket lodge and campsite with private ablutions and kitchenette. We just needed a day or two to do some laundry and sit around.

We watched the life in Angola across the river, seeing no house or village, but women washing children and clothes in the river, guys fetching water in huge plastic cans, tying them onto a donkey to carry home, fishing in mokoros…. There are crocodiles and hippos in this river.

We explored the map of Angola to see what lies there, but for miles and miles there are no roads or villages. We can see some maize fields, but no buildings or towers or power lines. The rivers are the lifeline of these people.

Mahango Core Area – Bwabwata NP

We entered the Mahango Core Area of the Bwabwata NP and it was another beautiful park. To the west of the dividing road from Botswana it was savanna bush and very sandy. The amount of wildlife again impressed us. Lovely kudu, giraffe, large herds of impala, warthogs, etc.

To the east the road is along the Okavango swamps with huge herds of reedbuck, red lechwe, impala, kudu, buffalo, warthogs. And we saw a herd of sable antelope.

What we saw:

Buffalo, kudu, warthog, impala, ostrich, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, sable antelope, red lechwe, reedbuck and lots and lots of different water birds.

The wattled crane is rare and special to see, as well as all the different ducks.

Mahango Core Area – our trip log

We camped at the Mahango Lodge – not at the standard of the other lodges around, but totally acceptable with the campsites right next to the water. Their claim to fame is the fact that the camp is opposite the Buffalo Core Area, and elephant and buffalo are frequently seen on the opposite bank of the Okavango River. We saw hippo, waterbuck, fish eagles and later a group of ten elephants from our campsite.

Elephants across our campsite
Misty sunrise on the river – view from our campsite

Next: Windhoek and southern Namibia…


  1. Hi Eric en Ina,
    Mooi fotos van ‘n besondere deel van Afrika.
    Oppad terug na Windhoek, gaan julle Khaudum ook deur, of is julle al verby?
    Geniet dit.


  2. Wow, this is definitely now on my bucket list, I did not even know or think about the parks that you have mntioned here – it is absolutely amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

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