Overview – Nkasa Rupara (Mamili)

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

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.

Best Time to Go July to September (The roads are less wet)
High Season July to November (The park never gets crowded)
Size 320km² / 124mi²
Altitude 940-955m / 3,084-3,133ft

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

Nkasa Rupara NP Safari Reviews

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

Wildlife

This is a park in which you need to work for your sightings, but there is a good variety of wildlife. It’s one of the few places in Namibia to see buffalo and elephants regularly pass through. The wet habitat is great for antelope such as red lechwe and sitatunga. Wild dogs roam the area and lions are quite common. Many hippos and Nile crocodiles live in the water channels.

Scenery

The park is primarily a swamp between the Kwando and Linyanti rivers. There are several overgrown channels crisscrossing the marshland. It becomes Namibia's version of Botswana's Okavango Delta when flooded – an inaccessible paradise of islands and reed-lined waterways.

Weather & Climate

Nkasa Rupara has a hot climate but in mid-winter (June to August), early mornings tend to be chilly and you’ll need warm clothing for game drives. November to April is the Wet season. It usually doesn’t rain all day, but afternoon thunderstorm can be expected.

Best Time to Visit

Although precipitation at Nkasa Rupara is not that high, during the Wet season (November to April) it can be enough to close the wetland’s roads. The heat tends to be oppressive at this time. The drier months of May to October are a better time to visit, particularly as this is the peak time for wildlife watching.

Want to Visit Nkasa Rupara NP?

Nkasa Rupara NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Stephen Cunliffe  –  
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Dynamite Often Comes in Small Packages
4/5

At a meagre 357 square kilometres, there is no denying that Nkasa Rupara is a small national park; however, it lies in the midst of a vast wildlife-rich region: a watery wilderness of tree-covered islands and expansive wetlands that ensures...

Full Review

Latest User Review
Pierre  –  
Switzerland CH
Reviewed: Sep 11, 2012
5/5

Wild and beautiful. In the season we were there, the waterlevel was quite high and we had to camp outside the regular camps. So we were really face to face with nature and wild animals. Hippos and elephants sounded as if just under our...

Full Review