Nkasa Lupala National Park in Namibia is a pristine piece of nature and one of the best places in the world to enjoy true wilderness.
The one word that best describes Nkasa Lupara National Park is “Wild”. Lush marshes, dense savannah and high river reeds – the park is an extraordinary piece of wilderness, waiting to be explored. Large herds of elephant congregate on Nkasa and Lupala islands during the dry winter months, making it a delight for adventure lovers. Game drives go through the edge of deep pools and close to rivers where crocodiles lie in wait.
Largest wet wonderland
Nkasa Lupala National Park, which was earlier called the Mamili National Park, was renamed in 2012 after its two largest islands – Nkasa and Lupala. The park is situated in the most southerly kink of eastern Caprivi, thus finding itself surrounded by Botswana on three sides. In a vast arid country, Nkasa Lupala National Park holds the distinction of being the largest wetland area with conservation status in Namibia.
Though the park is also situated in Namibia’s highest rainfall area and during the rainy season up to 80% of the park is flooded, there is much to celebrate about this wet wonderland.
Spanning across an area of about 320 sq. km, the highlights of the park are the many game-viewing experiences. The fauna is very versatile here; elephants, lions, crocodiles, several species of antelopes buffalos, hippos, etc call this park their home. However, one must also exercise caution wandering in the park. The waters are home to crocodiles and families of hippopotamus, which venture onto the floodplains at night to feed themselves.
Remote, beautiful and utterly wild, this reserve is also a bird watcher’s paradise, with over 430 bird species recorded here. Birding is best from December to March, though the vast majority of the park is inaccessible during this time.
Who like it rough
For campers who like it rough, the park offers basic campsites at Nzalu and Lyadura in the east and south-east of the reserve. However, people visiting should keep in mind that there are no facilities in terms of water, food, fuel etc. So visitors have to be self-sufficient. And be prepared for extremely rough road conditions.
Although there is generally a ranger to collect park fees at the entrance gate, you’re all alone once inside, and it’s highly recommended that you travel as part of a convoy. Needless to say, a 4WD vehicle is mandatory and be ready to expect lots of deep mud. Entry permits for the park are obtainable at the MET office in Katima Mulio and Windhoek.