Mahango Game Reserve
Bwabwata National Park - Caprivi - Namibia
If you are looking for somewhere “off the beaten track” with a true wilderness feel, the Mahango area of the Bwabwata National Park is well worth considering. Located in the north east of Namibia on the Botswana border, the contrasting vegetation of the 25 400 hectare Mahango Game Reserve is widely considered one of Namibia’ s most varied and fascinating conservation areas.
There are three distinct habitats that can be identified, the river, which offers a blend of trees, reeds and grasses along its banks and on the wetlands. One tree that you will quickly recognize is the baobab. The Omurambas, which are fossil rivers, are covered with open grassland with tall acacia and bushwillow around the borders. Between the Mahango Omuramba in the north and the Thinderevu Omuramba in the south the vegetation is open dry woodland with some thick patches of Zambezi teak, wild seringa and wild teak.
Year round water ensures an abundance of game, however, during the dry winter months, April-November, your chances of seeing game is higher as the animals seek out the river and waterholes.. Mahango is home to many antelope, if you are fortunate you may spot; roan, sable, reedbuck, tsessebe, sitatunga, red lechwe, kudu, Chobe bushbuck , Duiker and Steenbok.
Apart from antelope you can expect to see Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Wildog, Hippo, Crocodile, Warthog Baboon and Vervet Monkey.. The large herds of elephant are migrants, moving between Angola and the Okavango Delta, outside the dry season sightings will be fewer. During the wet summer months, November-March, birdlife is prolific. After it rains various trees flower and bear fruit attracting an abundance of insects and creating a birding paradise. Over 400 bird species have been recorded in the Mahango Reserve.
This area is remote with very little in the way of development. Apart from the main road running through the park, linking Namibia to Botswana, there are only two other “tracks”.
The track to the east follows the river, it is approximately 15kms and is suitable for conventional vehicles. The track to the west is only suitable for 4x4 vehicles. This trail is approximately 31kms and follows the course of the two fossil rivers in the park , the Mahango and Thinderevu. The drive through this unspoilt bush is spectacular but it is important to know that these roads can be very sandy in the dry season and very slippery in the wet.Unguided walking is permitted, but there are dangers, for the ultimate experience you may decide to employ the services of a knowledgeable local guide who is familiar with the region.
An upmarket lodge and spa on the banks of the Kavango River. The only traditional luxury lodge on this stretch of river
Small lodge situated close to the town of Rundu
Another lodge close to Rundu, offers good fishing
Situated on the banks of the river (hence the name) in Rundu
Situated close to the Mahangu Park in west Caprivi - this is an excellent stop-over between Namibia, Maun (in Botswana) and the Victoria Falls
A rustic river side campsite and lodge offering excellent value for money. A lively bar and restaurant ensures this appeals to the younger or more socially inclined traveller
Close to Popa Falls and the Mahango Reserve this lodge offers stunning river views
Refreshingly, and surprisingly for the area, this lodge does not have the word 'River' as part of its name. Do not be misled it is situated on the banks of the river opposite the Caprivi Game Park (Bwabwata National Park)
Close to the Popa Falls (a series of rapids on the Kavango River), this rest camp was renovated in 2013
on the Kavango River banks this lodge offers plenty of water based activities
Near the village of Divundu, this small but wonderfully managed lodge is a perennial favourite of ours. Lovely wooden chalets, with large decks overlook the river. Those wanting to experience the river can choose from fishing and sunset river cruises
On a beautiful plot of indigenous plants and trees overlooking the river
One of the best lodges for birders visiting Namibia - but also great for fishing, chilling or generally becoming part of the family (the family consists of a host of creatures including goats, otters and guinefowls all lovingly adopted by the owners)
A small lodge a short distance east of Rundu. The rooms have river views and guests can choose from a range of activities