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Mamili National Park

Image - Mamili National Park

Mamili National Park is a national park in Namibia. Mamili is Namibia's version of the Okavango Delta - a paradisiacal area of watery channels, reed islands and beautiful wetlands.


Just as the Caprivi region is oft referred to as Namibia’s wetland paradise, then surely Mamili National Park can rightly claim to be the jewel in that crown. For this Park perhaps stands alone when compared to all other Protected Areas in the country. It not only forms the largest wetland area with conservation status in Namibia; it is wild, it is untrammelled, it is pristine nature at its scintillating best, but moreover it can often be indundated with extreme water levels, a wonderful sight in this predominantly arid, desertified land.

Mamili is centered on the Nkasa and Lupala islands on the Kwando and Linyanti rivers in the south-western corner of East Caprivi. During the dry season the islands can be reached by road, but after rains 80% of the area becomes flooded, cutting them off from the mainland. Vegetation is dominated by species associated with floodplains and termitaria. Floodplains provide ideal protection for swamp and floodplainmammals such as the sitatunga and red lechwe, buffalo, wild dog and it is the last stronghold of the remnant population of Puka. It is home to elephant, lion, buffalo, giraffe, rare sitatunga and red lechwe, crocodile and hippo, puku and otters. Wattled cranes have been recorded breeding here.

Birdlife

amili National Park is predominantly known for its bird population.

The lush vegetation is a magnet for game and birds. The area is regarded as one of the best bird-watching spots in Africa and, if very lucky, travellers may see a Sitatunga, an antelope that spends most of the day wading or swimming in water.

Remote, beautiful and utterly wild (only visitors with 4x4 can use the roads), this reserve is a great birding spot with over 430 bird species recorded here.

Mamili National Park is difficult to reach and requires expert 4x4 driving. A number of local operators and lodges in the area offer trips into Mamili, combined with trips into Mudumu National Park.

Accommodation

Accommodation is limited to five undeveloped wilderness campsites, in the eastern area of the park are Lyandura, and Nzalu and in the west Muumba, Shibumu and Shishika. Camping permits are available from MET in kitima Mulilo or Windhoek.

Best time to visit

From September to early November.

Access

Presently there is only one access route into Mamili NP. From Kongola on the B8 tar road, turn onto the D3511 (MR125) gravel road, now being re-classified as the C49, and travel south for approximately 70 kms. Turn right and pass through Sangwali Village, taking the available left forks twice thereafter. This will lead you through the Wuparo Conservancy to a bridge constructed by local entrepeneur (and character) Linus Mukwata. The track(s) wind on, avoiding any waterlogged areas to a second Mukwata built bridge close to the Park boundary and the MET Ranger Station at Shisinze that stands just a few hundred metres further on. All visitors must report to the office upon arrival and purchase the necessary Park permit. A 4x4 vehicle is essential for travel within Mamili NP. The extremely helpful MET staff can provide you with both hand-drawn and GPS reference maps of the Park, together with expert local advice on which areas are accessible. The MET staffs remit to carry out patrols within the Park, for the purposes of game monitoring, game counting and to control poaching is hampered by the very wetlands themselves. Presently it is not possible to reach the areas around Nkasa, Ionego, Shivumba and Mumba except on foot.

Last Updated on Sunday 13th December 2009