​User Reviews – Nkasa Rupara NP (Mamili)

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Mike Wanliss   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: December 2006 Reviewed: Jan 30, 2012

Email Mike Wanliss  |  20-35 years of age

Overall rating

Nkasa Rupara, when accessible, is an awesome birding park

Jürgen Muscholl   –  
Germany DE
Visited: July 2008 Reviewed: Aug 23, 2012

Email Jürgen Muscholl  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Camping and guided safari excellent
Overall rating

Ladies and Gentlemen,
below you find my Report about Nkasa Rupara Park.I confirm that it never has been published before. You are free to use. If you have questiones, don't hesitate to ask me on muscholl@web.de. Also, if you are interested on photos (free of charge).

My Report about Nkasa Rupara Park of July 2008

In July 2008 we travelled three weeks through Namibia, Botswana and Zambia with 5 couples (at the age of between 24 and 58) in 4 cars. We took the Trans Caprivi Highway until a point where we met Keith Rooken- Smith, a very respectable and impressive park ranger. From now on we followed his Jeep for several miles over smaller ways and sand strips through the bush until we reached a water course which we had to cross on a simple wooden bridge. The problem was that the whole bridge with its longitudinal and transverse loose comprised wooden beams was under the water surface, only a few posts on both sides were standing out of the water and showed the driver the direction. It was a wild and risky ride for each car over the rolling slippery beams and after each crossing the transverse lying beams had to be ordered and positioned new by hand.

After about two hours all 5 cars had reached the other side and we could continue our way through the bush and reached one or two hours later the place where we had our camp for the next three days. We slept in tents which were placed on the top of our cars, easily to built in the evening in 5 minutes and to fold together in the morning in 15 minutes. Those tents have 2 main advantages: the low weight and flat package does not disturb upon the car during travelling and the position on the top of the car gives you the feeling of safety before wild animals during the night. It is said that a lion never will enter your closed tent on the ground, but once, when a pack of hyenas were chasing through our camp, we were happy to watch them from our safe lookout.

The camp included the luxuries of a toilet, not water flushing but with a comfortable seat over a digged mine and a bucket with unslaked lime, all hidden behind a blue white striped tarpaulin, and we had a big bucket hanging down from a branch filled with warm water with a shower and a water tap under its bottom. It is a great feeling standing after an exhaustive day alone and naked in the forest under the down running warm water. Some black people looked after warm water all the time and for enough wood for the camp fire in the evening.

Soon after our arrival Keith gave us information about the Caprivi and Nkasa Rupara park and its peculiarity, the frequent annual flood waters which attract thousands of wild animal, elephants, buffalos, lions and many more. And he gave us some basic instruction, how to meet a wild animal (or how better not) to avoid returning home inside plastic sack (citation).

The next three days we went on safari: each day with a little truck to another interesting area and then following Keith through the bush on foot, he was always not armed. He led us close to hippos which gathered when he called them with specific shouting. He brought us close to an Elephant which just crossed a water entered the riverside not more than 100 meters in front of us. To make this possible Keith required from us to obey his orders and advices strictly - and we did.

We had to run over the dry flat or to step through slippery mud and even had to cross streaming watercourses by food which were quite cold at this time and reached up to our chest. It was not easy to keep standing and save our cameras dry. The clever ones of us wore swimwear and put off their trousers and kept them dry, the others had to run through the Kalahari in briefs or had to be cold in their wet clothes. One time we crossed a deeper water course by rowing boat and had a lot of fun. Whether all these exertions really were necessary ore was some sort of safari program for tourists is, an is an unresolved question for me. But all in all it was a great adventure. We watched lots of all kinds of animals and birds living there – only lions were missing.

Because of the high water in that year 2008 there was only one way to enter and leave Nkasa Rupara Park – across our well known bridge under water surface. On the way to it we had to pass a ford and one of our Range Rovers got stuck in the deep mud and we needed 3 hours of hard work and the help of the other cars to get him free again.

When we reached our bridge we found it blocked. One hour before some people from South Africa broke the bridge when they tried to cross it with a caravan trailer. They needed three full days to retrieve the caravan with our help and to repair the bridge with a team of black natives. It was a real torture for the black people to work and dive in the cold water.

As I saw in the net the old bridge has been replaced by a new steel construction and the times of this kind of adventure are gone.

For three other days we opened a new camp in the bush – this time without toilet and shower. We went washing in a nice water course, always being aware of hippos and crocodiles. At last we run out of food, but Keith supported us with bread and beer and helped us to come through the time with some additionel safari trips.

After three days we left Nkasa Rupara Park over the renewed bridge and could continue our trip with our next target, the Caprivi River Lodge, a very comfortable house at the shore of the Sambesi River, at that time owned by Keith and Mary Rooken-Smith.


Nkasa Rupara Park at 2008 was a beautiful area for people who want to experience wild nature and watch animals and birds. The approach is very difficulty without a guide. Self driving is risky and was not allowed. The guided tours by food were excellent and exciting but strenuous (for the elder ones). During the trips each opportunity to take photos was respected by the ranger. We met no other tourists (except at the broken bridge).

Jürgen Muscholl 20.08.2012

Emiel de Lange   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: October 2011 Reviewed: Aug 26, 2012

Email Emiel de Lange  |  under20 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Overall rating

Truly excellent. Unparalleled remoteness and adventure. Plenty of wildlife and spectacular floodplains. Often unreachable and easy to get stuck!

Pierre   –  
Switzerland CH
Visited: July 2010 Reviewed: Sep 11, 2012

Email Pierre  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Overall rating

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 cartent. 2 days we were all alone.

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