Nkasa Rupara (Mamili) National Park Safari Guide

safarigo   Namibia  

Nkasa Rupara National Park (formerly Mamili NP), located in the Zambezi Region (formerly Caprivi Strip), is an adventurous, undeveloped destination. The birding is great and it’s a stronghold for water-loving antelope. Wildlife densities are rather low, but there is a good variety of resident and migrating species. The park’s swampy environment makes it inaccessible during the Wet season



Pros & Cons


Excellent bush vibe
Buffalo, which is uncommon in 
Namibia, present
Little visited and adventurous destination
Fantastic bird-watching destination
Accommodation options limited
No facilities inside the park
Tracks are often in bad condition, making driving difficult
Vehicles must travel in pairs at all times
The park becomes totally inaccessible when it floods


Wildlife & Animals

Nkasa Rupara National Park (formerly Mamili NP) in the Zambezi Region can be quite inaccessible, but there is a good variety of wildlife present. Elephants and buffalo can be found wallowing in the marshes. Lion, wild dog and spotted hyena are the main predators, although sightings are rare. Hippo and Nile crocodile are abundant in the reed-lined channels.

Wildlife Highlights


Rare sightings of spotted-necked otters have been recorded in the Mashi River. Water-loving antelope that can be found wading through marshy areas are the red lechwe and the rare semi-aquatic stitatunga. The park is also a stronghold for the country’s last population of puku antelope.


Birds

With over 400 species recorded, Nkasa Rupara National Park (formerly Mamili NP) is Namibia’s best birding area. The year-round marshes create a great habitat for a large variety of species and migrants are abundant in the wet summer months, from November to April. Some interesting species to look out for are breeding pairs of wattled cranes, Denham’s bustard, coppery-tailed coucal and rosy-throated longclaw.

Best Time to Visit

Nkasa Rupara National Park (formerly Mamili NP) is a wetland reserve and the roads become virtually impassable in the wet summer months, from November to April. The best months for wildlife viewing are in the dry winter months from July to September.

May to October – Dry Season


Best time for wildlife viewing as the roads are passable and vegetation is thinner
Weather is warm, but not stiflingly hot (with the exception of October)
Even during peak tourist season, the park isn’t busy
Birding is better in the Wet season


November to April – Wet Season


Birding is optimal with the arrival of migrants
The skies are clear and the scenery is beautiful
There are baby animals around
It seldom rains all day and when it does, it comes as a relief after the long dry winter
The roads get bad to impassable
It tends to be oppressively hot
Heavy vegetation makes animals difficult to spot


Weather & Climate

Nkasa Rupara National Park (formerly Mamili NP) has a hot climate. The winter months from May to October are predominantly dry, with bitterly cold morning temperatures. The summer months of November to April represent the Wet season. Rainfall isn't very high and usually falls in the form of afternoon showers. It is mostly sunny and hot.

Dry Season – May to October – Winter


These are the coolest months and represent the wintertime. It gets drier as the winter wears on.

May, June, July & August – These dry months have an average afternoon temperature of 27°C/80°F, which is pleasant thanks to the low humidity. Mornings are cold, approximately 8°C/47°F. Warm clothes are a necessity for morning game drives in open vehicles.
September & October – Warm weather increases with the end of winter. The highest temperatures are during October, and averages of 34°C/93°F can spike much higher. Mornings warm up to around 16°C/61°F, and the end of October usually brings rainfall.


Wet Season – May to October – Winter


These are the coolest months and represent the wintertime. It gets drier as the winter wears on.

May, June, July & August – These dry months have an average afternoon temperature of 27°C/80°F, which is pleasant thanks to the low humidity. Mornings are cold, approximately 8°C/47°F. Warm clothes are a necessity for morning game drives in open vehicles.
September & October – Warm weather increases with the end of winter. The highest temperatures are during October, and averages of 34°C/93°F can spike much higher. Mornings warm up to around 16°C/61°F, and the end of October usually brings rainfall.


Getting There

Nkasa Rupara National Park (formerly Mamili NP) is 1,200km/745mi from Windhoek in the Zambezi Region. Most often embarked upon as a self-drive safari, visitors are advised to drive in convoy with at least two robust 4x4’s, as the park is very remote. Roads are often very bad to inaccessible during the Wet season.

Most trips (either self-drive or organized tours) begin in Windhoek by way of Hosea Kutako International Airport (WDH) located 40km/25mi to the east of the city. Some visitors elect a ‘fly-in’ experience using charter flights between parks and lodges.