As we left Mudumu National Park, we were looking forward to a day of pampering at Camp Kwando. We really enjoy such downtime. After all, we knew we would be living simply in Nkasa Rupara National Park for the next few days, so we were looking forward to the Treehouse so much more. The houses are exactly as we know them from 2018 and 2019. After an extensive shower including hair wash, we rested and just enjoyed the room. In the afternoon Sonja got a white wine, champagne was unfortunately not available, and we got into the spacious bathtub – with cold water – and let it go well. In the evening, a quite excellent 3-course menu was waiting for us. Anke has been cooking herself for some time now and we are very happy to certify her upscale skills as a cook/chef! The food was delicious and after a nightcap at the campfire we went to bed satisfied and slept until sunrise.
Which camp do we choose at Nkasa Rupara National Park?
As warmly as Anke always welcomes us and we interact with each other, it is then difficult for us to move on. It was great to see her again and she promised to pay us a short visit at the Bush Camp when she is on her way back from Katima Mulilo. We headed south and had found out that there were two possible camps in the region around Nkasa Rupara National Park that we could consider. One was Livingstone Exclusive Camp and the other was Rupara Community Camp. We drove to Livingstone Camp and learned that it was fully booked that day. We made reservations for the upcoming night and our route then took us to Rupara Community Camp which was closer to the park. The camp was so great that we decided to stay there both nights and we cancelled the reservation for the upcoming night at Livingstone.
Relaxing in the camp and visiting the park
Our campsite was located directly on a water channel. We had a great view and no immediate neighbors. In the afternoon of the first day, elephants came out of the forest to the channel to refresh themselves and we once again enjoyed the pachyderms in action. The next morning we were up well before sunrise and had a game drive on the agenda. The Linyanti region was a white spot on our map. Neither in Namibia, nor in Botswana was this part passable when we were in the area during the rainy season 2018/19. Now we were even more pleased to be able to get a personal impression. The park held up to our expectations.
Varied vegetation and an injured lion
The region is very scenic, the park is wild and you are almost alone. Crossing water channels is prohibited, but the park offers a variety of drivable trails, so we were not bored and experienced a varied game drive. Some scenarios, like the elephants in the forest, reminded us of Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. On the way back we encountered a resting pair of lions. Both had been tagged and were resting in partial shade. The male was injured on his front foot. Upon our return to the front desk, Guido inquired if they were taking special care of the animals that had been tagged and when this was answered in the affirmative, he gave the coordinates to the lady and she relayed the information to the correct location. We liked the park as well as the Rupara Community Camp so much that we could imagine staying there for a week.
Bush Camp by Camp Kwando
Our way led us back to Kongola after the game drive and after a short fuel stop we drove directly to the Bush Camp by Camp Kwando. Here Roxy welcomed us and after a camp tour we knew that we could enjoy two more days. The camp consists of only four campsites. These are large, have a large lapa with braai area, storage areas and a pool with borehole water. Each campsite has electricity and its own ablutions. We stayed on Campsite 1 and had direct water access. Next to us on one side was the sundowner deck and on the other side was a small metal bridge that crossed over a small water channel from which you can access the pool and bar. The bar was unstocked during our visit. All in all, very best conditions to relax. The elephant visit on the first evening made us feel even more comfortable.
We enjoyed the two days and unfortunately we didn’t meet Anke anymore as the lodge was fully booked and she also had to attend Zoom meetings. On the second morning we set off at sunrise to complete the short drive to the Kwando Core Area. As a surprise, a naked man dressed in a winter coat opened a door next to the office, came out obviously sleepy and opened the gate for us. We should please pay his colleague on the way out. She was not yet there at that time of day. We were curious what the park would offer us on this visit and drove in full of curiosity. Like last time, we drove very deep into the park and turned back just before the border to Botswana. Like last time, the game drive was unspectacular and except for buffalo and some antelopes, no other animals wanted to show themselves during this visit.
next destination: Botswana
We left the park after the game drive of several hours and headed towards Katima Mulilo. There we had to stay overnight again from Sunday to Monday to have our gas bottle filled at Bargain on Monday morning. After that we drove towards the Ngoma border to Botswana and could enter Botswana without any difficulties after about 15 minutes. Our next destination was Kasane.