Mahango Game Reserve
By far one of the most intriguing conservation areas
The Mahango area of the Bwabwata National Park is a little out of the way but it has that wilderness feel. It is located in north east Namibia on the Botswana border and spans about 25 400 hectares. It is by far one of the most intriguing conservation areas. The three distinct habitats are the river which has a blend of trees; reeds and grasses along its banks and on the wetlands. The Omurambas which are fossil rivers and are covered with open grassland with tall acacia and bushpillow and between the Mahango Omuramba in the north and the Thinderevu Omuramba in the south, vegetation is an open dry woodland with some thick patches of zambezi teak; wild seringa and wild teak. There is an abundance of water which ensures an abundance of game and during the winter months, visitors can spot large numbers of wildlife as they congregate around the river and waterholes. There are a number of antelope in the Mahango area including roan; sable; reedbuck; tsessebe; sitatunga; red lechwe; kudu; Chobe bushbuck; duiker and steenbok. Other wildlife include elephant; lion; leopard; cheetah; wild dog; hippo; crocodile; warthog; baboon and vervet monkey. There are large herds of elephant which migrate between Angola and the Okavango Delta. The summer months between November and March are perfect for bird-watching. Over 400 bird species have been recorded in the area. The area is very remote and there is just the main road running through the park which links Namibia to Botswana as well as two other tracks. The track to the east is more suitable for regular vehicles and the track to the west is suitable for 4x4 vehicles, this track is about 31km long and follows the course of the two fossil rivers in the park, the Mahango and Thinderevu. Unguided walks are allowed but visitors are advised to engage the services of a fully knowledgeable local guide.
Accommodation in the area includes Nunda Lodge; Ndhovu Safari Lodge and Popa falls resort.
Nunda Lodge is set on the Kavango river, about 2km east of one of western Caprivi’s attractions, the Popa Falls. Nunda is the local Thimbukushu name for the fruit of the Jackalberry tree. The lodge is an ideal stopover for those heading to the Okavango Delta; East Caprivi; Zambia or the Victoria Falls. The main lapa complex consists of the reception area; furnished thatched restaurant and bar which serves delicious Namibia cuisine complemented by some delectable wines. Breakfast is served buffet style and guests can choose their dinner from a set three course menu. The lodge also has a curio shop where guests can purchase some trinkets or just relax. The large wooden deck overlooks the river and is the ideal place from which to enjoy a sundowner. There is also a large swimming pool which is set in a gorgeous grassed garden. Accommodation at the lodge is either in seven large luxury tents which have twin beds; en-suite bathrooms; fan; mosquito net; in-room safe; plug-in points and are built on wooden decks. There are also three thatched bungalows which have twin beds with features similar to the luxury tents.
Ndhovu safari lodge is located in a riverine setting opposite the Bwabwata National Park and is the perfect stop for those heading to Etosha and the Victoria Falls. Wildlife entushiasts can view game at the Mahango Game Reserve which attracts animals such as buffalo; red lechwe and sable antelope. Located in the lapa are the kitchen and dining areas. Guests can indulge in a healthy breakfast; light lunch and buffet dinner. Guests are entertained by an after-dinner performance of cultural dancing. The curio shop at the lodge has locally made arts and crafts including hand-painted dinner sets and branded t-shirts. There is also a library where guests can relax with a good book. There are ten single or double luxury tents on the ground with their own en-suite bathroom and mosquito nets and one river tent on the water which has similar features as the luxury tents. The river tent is anchored to the bank which makes it feel a little boat-like, it also has its own small private deck.
Popa Falls resort is located on the banks of the Kavango river. The resort is located about 15km from the Mahango Game reserve and services include a restaurant; bar; kiosk; firewood and water and there is a petrol station nearby. The restaurant serves breakfast; lunch and dinner. Accommodation at the resort consists of ten thatched river cabins which are set alongside the river. Each unit is equipped with four beds and facilities include communal ablution blocks and a field kitchen. There are a variety of wildlife in the area including elephant; hippo; buffalo; Nile crocodile; red lechwe; reedbuck; roan antelope; sable antelope and the rarely seen Sitatunga antelope. Activities at the resort include fishing; canoeing; boating; unguided self-drive game tours to Mahango game reserve; scenery drives and walking trails.