Overview – Bwabwata NP

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Bwabwata is a recently established park merging the former Caprivi Game Park and Mahango Game Reserve. The park preserves an area that has suffered heavy poaching. Wildlife numbers are recovering but a visit here is more about escaping the well-trodden tourist trail. Mahango Game Reserve has a floodplain attracting large numbers of elephants and provides access to northern Botswana. The few tourist facilities tend to be located around the park’s boundary.

Best Time to Go June to September (Animals are easier to see)
High Season October to March (The park never gets crowded)
Size 6,100km² / 2,355mi²
Altitude 900-1,100m / 2,953-3,609ft

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent wilderness ambience
  • Little visited off-the-beaten-track park
  • Wildlife numbers are increasing
  • Poaching and human encroachment are still a problem
  • There are few accommodation options inside the park
  • There are limited driving tracks

Bwabwata Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

There isn’t a huge amount of wildlife in the park, but you’ll have a chance of seeing elephant, buffalo and several antelope species including greater kudu, roan and sable antelope. All big cats are present and there have been a few sightings of wild dog as well. Some of the species that have been re-introduced include red lechwe and the semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope.

Scenery

The park is bordered by the Okavango and Kwando rivers. The main habitat is deciduous woodland with Zambezi teak and wild seringa. A scenic highlight is the Horseshoe Bend, an oxbow lake with white sandy beaches, surrounded by Zambezi teak.

Weather & Climate

It stays reasonably hot in Bwabwata for most of the year. The exception is the heart of winter (May to October), when cold temperatures dominate, despite the absence of rain. Bring your thermals if you’re keen on early-morning game drives. In summer (November to April), fierce but short-lived storms accompany the consistently high temperatures.

Best Time to Visit

Animals tend to crowd around the park’s water sources in the drier months (May to October). This is also when the undergrowth recedes, making wildlife that much easier to spot. Tolerating the stifling heat of the wetter months is only really worthwhile if you’re a dedicated birder, as there’ll be plenty to look at in the sky.

Want to Visit Bwabwata NP?

Bwabwata Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
An Exciting Park for the Future
3/5

The recently proclaimed Bwabwata National Park is Namibia’s newest wildlife sanctuary, protecting a precious chunk of wilderness sandwiched between the Kavango and Kwando rivers. Moulded from an amalgamation of the old West Caprivi Game...

Latest User Review
They shoot animals in front of you
1/5

They shoot elephants and rhinos in front of you and leave them to suffer. Horrific!