We drove from Spitzkoppe on the direct way to Swakopmund. There it turned out that Hansen’s geyser was the problem. He had a leak somewhere and was removed. We had tried it once during our travel time so far, but otherwise had not used it. The loss was bearable for us and we got new storage space under the bench seat. Our next destination was the Caprivi. The thought that now the animal world should determine our everyday life again, let our hearts beat faster.
Short detour via Windhoek
Before we drove into the Caprivi, we made a detour via Windhoek. We picked up our new mattress, the existing one was too hard for us, and also picked up our side panel for our awning. Both were custom made by Canvas & Outdoor and we were highly satisfied with both products. We can highly recommend Jörg and Frank for all custom work that has anything to do with Canvas. Once we had everything done, we were ready to set off for the Caprivi Strip.
Arrival in the Caprivi
We opted for a fast drive, which meant that we reeled off about 500 km per driving day. First, we drove from Windhoek to behind Grootfontein and stayed at the well-known Roy’s Rest Camp. Here two overlander groups dominated the campsite. The next morning we drove from Grootfontein to just before Divundu and visited Chris and Pascale, two Swiss who had taken over Riverdance Lodge in 2018. We registered by phone early in the morning and snagged the last campsite. Contrary to our intention to pay a morning visit to the Buffalo Core Area in Divundu, we drove through to Kongola the next morning. We had registered with Anke, from Camp Kwando and were curious to see how she was doing in the meantime.
we make a plan
Anke didn’t know our names anymore, but when we entered her office, she was beaming over both cheeks and happy to see us. Camp Kwando had given up the campsites at the lodge in the meantime and had taken over a camp next to the Kwando Core Area, near the B8. There are four campsites with their own ablutions available. Anke was awesome again and we made a plan. First, we drove to Mudumu National Park to spend a night at one of the wild campsites in the park. The next day, she booked us into a Treehouse (the nice ones we had stayed at for Christmas 2018) at Camp Kwando. We then drove to the Linyanti Region for two nights and visited Nkasa Rupara National Park before staying at Bushcamp by Kwando for two nights, with quick access to the Kwando Core Area with the famous Horseshoe. From there we planned to leave Namibia for Botswana.
Mudumu National Park
The Caprivi is dominated by the Bwabwata National Park, with its three publicly accessible parts in Divundu (Mahango and Buffalo Core) and Kongola (Kwando Core). Mudumu National Park is about 35 km south of Kongola. We like it a lot – this is where we saw our first bathing elephants in 2018. The park is mostly used by day tourists. However, in addition to a lodge located in the park, it offers three campsites, which are located on the riverbank, are wild and without infrastructure. At the office we learned that Campsites 2 and 3 were already occupied. We were offered Campsite 1. Unfortunately, this is very close to the ranger station, which we did not like very much. When the staff saw our displeasure, he offered us another very special spot. Internally called Campsite 4, it is an overflow campsite. People are accommodated here when all campsites are booked and there is further demand.
Follow the Track
Since the overview maps of the park were out, he explained us the way using hands and feet, quite nebulous and took a poor copy of the park map to show us approximately what he was talking about. He gave us his cell phone number and we agreed to text him to let him know which campsite we had now chosen. All we knew was that we had to turn off to the river bank behind Campsite 3. We set off, looked at Campsite 1 and were not particularly impressed. After a short drive on, the road became deep sand and we knew we were right. At the turnoff to Campsite 2, we continued at high speed with our donkey to avoid getting stuck in the increasingly deep sand. The track took us through Campsite 3 and then we came to a flat area with a small bay of sorts. This track led back into Mopane forest. We looked at each other and both thought that the bay had to be the place the office staffer was talking about. We left the track, drove into the small bay and inspected the place. Wow, this is it. We sent a text message and were happy.
We want to stay here
Open, right on the water, with high elephant traffic, as revealed by the legacies. We decided to stay there, looked for a place that indicated not to be directly frequented by elephants, and set up our camp. The evening passed quietly, two elephants crossed our path a short distance from the camp, and we enjoyed this magnificent light atmosphere at the water. Hippos grunted us to sleep and after a mostly quiet night, we quietly set out and headed towards Camp Kwando. We took a detour, driving through the park first, following the track from which we had turned into the bay in the evening. After some distance a small track went back towards the water. We followed it out of curiosity and ended up at the Overflow Campsite. So we were in the wrong place during the night, although the two places were actually not very different and there was no indication of the campsite even on the right track.