Kongola is situated in the so-called Zambezi strip (previously known as the Caprivi strip) along the Trans Caprivi Highway the B8 at the Kwando River close to the Angolan border in the north and the Botswana border in the south.
This small place with about 4200 inhabitants serves as stop over along the B8 en route to Katima Mulilo about 120 km further east. Furthermore it serves as starting point for visitors to the Mudumu National Park 40 km south of Kongola, bordering Botswana. The park covers an area of about 1000 km² and is home to some unusual Namibian landscapes such as river courses, reed islands and marshes (flat plains without natural elevations). Due to its rather bad road conditions it is advisable to only visit the park with 4×4 vehicles or by boat. Although the park attracts a lot of game, its tropical climate and the high Malaria risk has kept visitor numbers rather low.
Namushasha Lodge lies in a great location for day trips and safaris into Bwabwata Park and for boat trips along the Kwando River. It is set on the banks of an oxbow lake and enjoys an elevated position to view the water through a thick canopy of dense Jackalberry and Mangosteen trees. Here individual self drive travellers and families happily stay alongside to largerNamibian safari groups. The lodge is situated 24kms south of Kongola in the eastern confines of the Zambezi Region. It is bounded on all sides by wild game parks.
Mainly buffet meals are served in the restaurant. The small pool is ideal for a dip after a long drive or day’s activity. Locally made arts and crafts can be purchased in the curio shop. An added attraction is that Namushasha overlooks a hippo pool. The view also takes in river, the game-spattered floodplains and the bird-filled riverine forest.
Accommodation in Namushasha River Lodge is in 27 luxury en-suite bungalows, all fitted with elegant mosquito nets draped over sleigh beds, and granite tiled floors. They are beautifully set along the water’s edge, and each unit has a private balcony that peek through the trees.
Activities in the area, include boat and fishing trips on the Kwando river, and 4×4 game drives in the West Caprivi Game Park. A spotlit night ride by boat or vehicle into the wild African night will certainly get the adrenalin pumping, as guests can observe crocodiles and nocturnal animals at close quarters. (Not too close of course!)
There is also a 4km hiking trail, with the potential to spot an interesting variety of birdlife and flora. With over 400 of Namibia’s bird species recorded around here, the river’s rich birdlife includes dazzling colonies of migrant carmine bee-eaters, and endemic coppery-tailed coucals.
There are wonderful photographic opportunities from in and around Namushasha Lodge. Game concentrations are excellent, with incredibly large numbers of elephant and buffalo, with common sightings of lion and red lechwe. Hippo, sable antelope, tsessebe are frequent visitors to the area.
Not too distant attractions include the Mudumo and Nkasa Rupara Parks, (12km and 70kms away by road respectively) Lizauli Traditional Village and Mashi Craft Centre. The Bwabwata Park is only a few minutes away by boat or 30kms by road.
There is a gravel airstrip nearby, and a low level flight over the camp, indicates a pick-up.
Visitors to the Eastern Caprivi Strip can now use a new base to explore Nkasa Rupara (formerly Mamili) National Park and Mudumu National Park. Situated only 400m from the entrance to Nkasa Rupara Park is Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge. The lodge is located on the unfenced northern park border and the wildlife from the park is free to wander from the park through the lodge property and into the Wuparo Conservancy.
Nkasa Rupara park is wild! Perhaps that is why it is seldom visited. This adventurous watery wonderland of wildlife rich islands, river channels and wetlands, mirrors Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Mamili holds the distinction of being the largest wetland area with conservation status in Namibia. In turn it protects flora and fauna living within a complex channel of reed beds, lakes and islands, that form the Linyanti swamps. The focal point of the 320km² national park are Nkasa and Lupala, two large islands in the Kwando/Linyati River systems, from which the tented lodge takes it’s name.
Nkasa Lupala Lodge is spacious and comfortable the main lounge and dining area are built on an elevated wooden deck, providing breathtaking views across the papyrus floodplains and reedbed permeated channels. One of the lodge’s main drawcards is that a large population of the park’s wildlife roam freely around the unfenced lodge surroundings, through the floodplain, savannah and woodland habitat.
Other facilities include a laundry service, guest lounge and secure parking. Electricity and hot water are supplied throughout the camp by solar power.
Nkasa Lupala Lodge offers comfortable remote wilderness living at its best, but the lodge is not for those expecting a high level of ‘city style’ luxury. Lions, hippos and elephants frequently roam through the camp, on cloudy days hot water may be scarce, and while the lodge offers a wi-fi connection this is also solar powered. The road to the lodge is pretty much 4×4 only (high clearance vehicles should also have no trouble reaching the lodge) and for the adventurous visitor to Namibia looking for a unique wilderness experience this lodge is a must.
Accommodation is in 10 en-suit tented units, all elevated on stilts. Each tent deck affords fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities. They are in a combination of:
• 8 x Luxury tents.
• 1 x Honeymoon suite.
• 1 x Family tent.
A number of exciting and adventurous activities by vehicle, on foot or by boat can be arranged. All excursions are conducted by experienced and knowledgeable guides, in custom-made safari vehicles and appropriate boating equipment. Large herds of elephants and buffalo, lion, leopard, spotted hyena, giraffe, impala, red lechwe, reedbuck and the elusive sitatunga can be observed. Over 400 species of bird have been recorded in the area including wattled cranes, rosy-throated longclaw, slaty egret, Meves’ starling and the greater swamp warbler.
Children are welcome at Nkasa Lupala Tented Camp, although it is not recommended for smaller children due to the presence of wild animals in unfenced surroundings.
Jackalberry Tented Lodge is the only lodge situated inside the prime wildlife-rich Nkasa Rupara National Park. The small four tent lodge is a perfect base to explore this remote and seldom visited watery wonderland of islands, wetlands and river channels of the park. Self-drivers in Namibia who are looking to get off the beaten track and avoid the overcrowding of other popular parks in the area (such as Chobe and the Okavango Delta) should stay here.
The best game viewing months are from May to September when large herds of elephant and buffalo frequent the park. But there are no bad months in this area and the game populations within the park are good throughout the year. Jackalberry Camp is a seriously remote and unfenced camp and it is entirely possible to have herds of elephants or lions strolling through the camp, this is their area and guests at the camp need to respect that wildlife have right of way.
As the lodge is located right on the Linyanti river lagoons, you will witness huge herds of elephant congregate on nearby islands in the drier winter months. The park is also a sanctuary for birds and there have been more species recorded here than anywhere else in Namibia. The Jackalberry Tented Lodge is a sister lodge to Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge which is just outside the borders of the park.
Nkasa Rupara Park holds the unique distinction of being the largest wetland area with conservation status in Namibia. This protects flora and fauna living within it’s complex channel of reed beds, lakes and islands that form the Linyanti swamps. The main focal features are 2 large islands, Lupala and Nkasa. During the dry season they can be accessed by road but expect them to be cut off from the mainland due to flooding after the rains.
The main building is build around a huge Jackalberry tree. A communal fire-place is on the ground floor and often guests congregate here to boast about their day’s adventures. On the 1st floor are the main hospitality areas where you can wine and dine indoors or outside with complementary drinks from the bar. The spacious and comfortable lounge is located on the 2nd floor and affords great views of the going’s on around you.
Guests stay in large customized tents:
• Twin Rooms: There are 3 eco-friendly twin rooms with double beds and side lamps, a camping fridge, in-room bathroom and a tea/coffee station. Enjoy stunning views across the lagoons from the comfort of your elevated deck. Hot water is supplied by solar power.
• Honeymoon Room: This is a larger double room with similar facilities to the twin units.
Lush marshes, dense savannah and high river reeds attract large herds of elephants and buffalo, hippo, lion, leopard, giraffe, crocs, spotted hyena, giraffe, impala, red lechwe, reedbuckand the elusive sitatunga. Bird species include rosy-throated longclaw, wattled crane, Meves’ starling, slaty egret and the greater swamp warbler.
Self-catering rates are only applicable when booking the entire lodge.
Due to the unfenced nature of the camp no children under the age of 16 years old are permitted at Jackalberry Tented Lodge.
Offering an outdoor pool and sun terrace, Mukolo Camp is located in Kongola. Namushsha Heritage Centre is 13 km away. Free private parking is available on site.
Mukolo Camp features free WiFi .
Guests can enjoy a drink at the on-site bar.
The area is popular for fishing and hiking. Kwando River Viewpoint is 13 km from Mukolo Camp, while The Monster’s Garage (currently flooded) is 13 km from the property. This property also has one of the best-rated locations in Kongola! Guests are happier about it compared to other properties in the area. This property is also rated for the best value in Kongola! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this village.
Nambwa Lodge is an exclusive luxury lodge set on the banks of the seasonal floodplains of the Kwando River. The remote location within the boundaries of Bwabwata National Parkemphases exclusive, personalized service for upmarket individual travellers, self-drive tourists and families alike.
The lodge is a short drive south of Kongola accessed on a gravel road by 4×4 vehicles only and can be used as a base to visit both Mudumu and Mamili / Nkasa Rupara National Parks. To the west is Katima Mulilo, Kasane and Victoria Falls and to the east Mahango National Park and the panhandle of the Okavango Delta.
Bwabwata Park accommodates both a large human population as well as a variety of wildlife. Conservation combined with rural community development has seen an increase in tourism and game guards and resource monitors improve the quality of life for local people, who have been presented with eco-tourism opportunities. This initiative has given the region and it’s inhabitants a stable future.
The elevated main tented complex provides the focal point for the guests hospitality. Wine and dine in the boma and on individual tables in the dining area. (Special dietary needs can be catered for in advance except for Kosher and Halaal meals).
Unwind and chat to fellow travellers in the lounge and bar over drinks. Meals can also be taken on a large raised viewing deck.
Afterwards settle on comfy armchairs that invite relaxation as you admire the outstanding waterhole and floodplain views Check out that unusual bird or animal sighting in the reference library and help the local community by buying a souvenier at the curio shop. The fire pit on a separate raised deck is a social focal point, the perfect place to re-tell the day’s experiences.
Guests staying 2 nights or more are welcome to take advantage of the complementary laundry service. It is not recommended to drink the tap water here so bottles of water are supplied in your rooms, the main dining area and on activities. Even though electricity is supplied from either solar power or a back up generator, the Internet can be accessed at these times through roaming 3G/4G services through an internet phone connection. Parents/guardians are kinkly requested to accompany and supervise their children in the swimming pool.
Sturdy raised walkways from the main lodge to the 10 luxury stretch tents allow guest to safely walk above the surrounding veld.
Accommodation is also elevated in the tree canopy enhancing that adventurous close to nature feeling. Each one has an en-suite bathroom with bath and shower, twin wash basins and fitted mosquito netting around your twin/double bed. You can sit back in your own private lounge and walk around your own spacious viewing deck. Mosquito repellent spray and netting around your bed is provided. An in-room safe is standard.
Mammals large and small includes predators such as lion, African wild dog, hyena and leopard. Elephant, buffalo, hippo, roan and sable antelope as well as red lechwe and bushbabies reside in the area. More than 300 species of rare and endemic bird species have been recorded in the area around Nambwa Lodge. A full range of land and water based adventure activities can be organized around river forest, savannah, wetland and Kalahari woodland habitats.
Camp Kwando is a popular stopover set on the banks of the River Kwando. Many people on fly- drive safaris use it as the perfect base to explore Mudumu and Nkasa Rupara (formerly Mamili) National Park and then on to Bwabwata National Park and Victoria Falls. Others like to unwind here after a period of intensive travel and admire the riverine location. Situated 25km south of the village of Kongola, it is approximately 125km west of Katima Mulilo and 400km east of Rundu.
The main building consists of a large thatched lapa, decorated with African artifacts. Relax and unwind in the spacious lounge on the comfortable leather sofa’s chairs. The open-sided dining area overlooks the river and crocs and hippo can often be seen.
There is a bar, Internet connection, secure parking and locally made arts and crafts can be bought from the curio shop. Tea & coffee is available throughout the day.
Solar power provides 24/7 electricity. The swimming pool is a great place to take it easy after a game drive or boat swamp trip. There are sun-shades and umbrellas as well as a thatched chill-out zone to escape the hot afternoon sun.
Guests enjoy a hearty Camp Kwando buffet breakfast before joining the morning’s activities; there are 12 options available! A light lunch of asparagus soup or quiche can be ordered on your return. The evening meal usually consists of a selection of game meats and the fresh vegetables are grown in their very own herb and vegetable garden. To finish off your 3 course dinner, how’s about a dish of home-made ice-cream?
Accommodation is in either single or double thatched roof island tents or single or double tree houses:
• Tented Chalet: Each of the 14 tents is equipped with 2 beds fitted with mosquito nets. One of these tents is a family unit. En-suite open-sky bathrooms with shower, toilet and basin (hot and cold running water), mosquito nets and an in-room safe are standard. The tents are built on poles with a terrace overlooking the river; anglers can fish the river from here.
• Luxury Chalets / Tree Houses: The six Tree Houses are thatched roof bungalows built on stilts. The very spacious rooms have big en-suite bathrooms with shower, toilet and basin and a large terrace with a great view of the plains. These rooms are equipped with ceiling fans.
Camp Kwando has several child friendly activities, including making fishing rods and learning how to weave baskets and as such is a great choice for those looking for a family friendly lodge.