Todays game drive down to the southern extent of Rupara Island and the Botswana border was 45km long and we spent 4 hours exploring slowly. There are no campsites within the park and the Rupara Community site is the closest to the park which is unfenced. To get to the park entrance and the office where the fees are paid, drive straight past all the campsites. At the Y-junction veer to the right. To the left is Lupala Tented Camp. This short route is signposted in a fashion.
We were up early and before 07H00 we into the park exploring. The habitat is lovely with woodlands and grassy plains and then a lot of greenery when one approaches the floodplains. The map and T4A are reasonably accurate but the exact location of the two track roads obviously varies each season as the floods vary. Although the setting and our first ever view of the Linyanti Swamps made the visit worthwhile, the game viewing and numbers were frankly disappointing. In our two long game drives we have not seen too much in the way of birds or animals, but this was certainly warthog central.
Madumu – C49 – turnoff to Nkasa Lupala National Park – two track road to Rupara Community Campsite. Well directed by T4A.
"Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.
This is our 13th sleepover site already, we sure are sleeping around! The weather is lovely at this time of year, early mornings and nights can be a little (one light sweater) chilly, but the days are warm without being excruciatingly hot and there is virtually no wind.
• The setting along the Kwando River is magnificent and the riverfront game drives will be more rewarding in winter.
• It does not appear as if this park is ever crowded so privacy appears a given.
• The animals are there but possibly more visible later in winter.
We took the B8 through Katima and then towards Kongola. After 113km, just before Kongola, you turn left down the fairly newly tarred C49, signposted Sangwali/Linyanti/Katima Mulilo, towards Mdumo NP.
This road takes a slow loop back to Katima allowing access to the National Parks along the Kwando River. The most important fact is that this turnoff is before Kongola and the foot and mouth barrier.
I have already reported on Saturday morning on the houseboat. We arrived back at 10H30 and still had to shower, pack up and have brunch. I then had some time to investigate using the minor border crossing from near Kongola via Singalamwe/Imushu into Zambia and the seldom visited Sioma-Ngwezi National Park. Curt could not help me at all but did phone around to no avail. I tried the 2 numbers given to me by Piet “Toit” also to no avail, possibly because it was already late Saturday morning and out of office hours. The other bugbear was the foot and mouth barrier at Kongola.
Costs at Caprivi HS:
Camping: Namibian $100 pppd. (approx. 8US$)
Houseboat: 2 persons X 24hrs, N$ 2380, Fuel N$865.
Add to this 15% VAT.
There are 3 campsites at CHS, each with a water point (river water not potable for most) and full-time power point. Shared ablution block, separate male and female with flush toilet and effective hot shower. Ablutions cleaned regularly. Fire pit for each site, also large communal one near the deck with gas cooker plates available.
Another good night after some good beef cooked on the fire. Already I am champing at the bit to get out into the wilds and some proper bush camping again. The houseboat 24hr trip on the Zambezi is scheduled for tomorrow so I think this will fit the bill to some extent. I am going to have to get used to shared campsites as this will be the sort of accommodation available for much of our travels. Later this week we plan to move on to the National Parks in the Caprivi and this certainly will fulfill my present relative antisocial state of mind.