Pg 15 – Senyati Safari Camp, Chobe, Botswana via Ngoma Border Post to Nambwa 4×4 Camp, Caprivi, Namibia – Day 17 and 18

Day 17 and 18 – 16 & 17 August 2013 – Senyati Safari Camp, Botswana via Ngoma Border, into Namibia, Caprivi Region, camping at Nambwa 4×4 Camp, Kongola, Susuwe area in the Caprivi – Coordinates for Nambwa Campsite:  S17 52.500 E23 19.056

Trip Report:

We headed out from Senyati Camp, onto the A33 through Chobe, which takes you directly to the Ngoma Border between Botswana and Namibia.

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We realised that we’d been on this road before.  A few years back we’d taken our children on a vacation to Chobe.  We’d stayed at Chobe Safari Lodge, which had been wonderful.  Early one morning, we all went on one of their game viewing drives into the Chobe National Park.  The vehicles are open and exposed, the ultimate game viewing experience, the only problem was that it had ended up pelting down with rain, half way through our drive.  It was strange to realise that they’d taken us on the tar road route instead of the off road course which is remarkably better.

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The children walk many kilometres to get from their school to their homes.

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We stopped and admired this gentleman’s wooden sculptures.

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If you are looking for local gifts then stopping in at the Mashi Craft Centre is a must do pit-stop.  The shop is full of local arts and crafts where you’ll be able to find plenty of beaded necklaces, bowls made from wood or ceramics, bows and arrows, animals carved into every imaginable shape.  Coordinates for Mashi Craft Centre:  S17,822297 E23,398015.

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Arriving at the entrance to Nambwa Campsite from the B8.  The gravel road to get to the campsite took us around 30-40 mins due to the bumpiness in places and the viewing sites along the way.

This campsite is within the Bwabwata National Park with its campsites overlooking the Kwando River.

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We came across this tyre, perched up for all to see.  Someone must have lost it along their way in or out, probably a spare tyre that has fallen off from below the vehicle.

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Nambwa Community Rest Camp is in the Kongola, Susuwe area of the Caprivi.  It is within the Bwabwata National Park which is the former Caprivi Game Park.

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There is a drawn map at reception showing you where the campsites are situated and anything else you need to know.

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Arriving at our campsite, no 7, right at the end of their campsite.

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There is a variety of bird life and wildlife including elephants, hippos and crocodiles.

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Relaxing alongside the Kwando river and its wetlands.

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We had an old Strangler Fig Tree bordering our campsite which created great silhouettes to view the sunset and moonrise through.

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As dusk we heard some rustling noises coming out from the bushes close by, the noise got louder and louder as around five elephants made their way towards our campsite and us.  Our car doors were standing open and we didn’t want to frighten them so we watched them as they went about rubbing their trunks and eating some leaves of the Strangler Fig Tree.  The leader of their herd had ushered them in, checked the surroundings and stood proudly to one side, a few feet in front of our Gem’s bonnet.  I moved ever so slowly to grab my camera and take the few pics that I could.  My heart was pounding, being so close to them and vulnerable in size compared to their sovereign power.  It truly was one of the most into the wild, incredible experience that we will cherish and remember forever.

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In the morning, we took a walk around the edge of the campsite on the look out for the game viewing deck.

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If you’re in luck, you could view buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and hippo from here, over the flood plains.

There is also a short 4×4 self-drive that takes you away from camp to the Horseshoe, which is famous for the hundreds of elephant that drink along its white sandy beach.

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The Vervet Monkey was watching over our early morning breakfast table.  If you leave anything open, they’ll be in your car, helping themselves to anything edible that they may find.

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The Vervet Monkey holds a full history within this National Park as the reasoning behind the name of the old SADF military base that we passed coming into and going out of Nambwa Camp.  Fort Doppies the SADF army camp was named after a Vervet Monkey who lived in the area that had a habit of stealing and running away with the spent cartridge cases, known in Afrikaans as “doppies”.

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It was time for us to pack up camp and to say goodbye to our fellow campers.

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We stopped at this viewpoint and found ourselves looking at all the ruins around us.  It was only later that I confirmed, it was the ruins of Fort Doppies,  which we knew was in the area.  The South African Defence Force ran this base from the 1970’s till 1990.  It was here that they had their Operations support and where the special forces trained during the Angolan War.  The terrain was wild and similar to what they would be experiencing in Angola, including a variety of wild animals.  The base was built up with pre-fabricated huts and buildings.  A small parade ground known as Freedom Square was their place to sort out any personal disputes man to man and not rank to man.

There are still quite a few ruins in the area including a cement ramp where they’d probably serviced their vehicles.  There are a few steps and a barricade wall still standing here or there, and this leaves one wondering about all the stories it could tell, from the past.

For more information regarding Nambwa Camp and their new Lodge that they opened in January 2015 you can visit the page http://www.nambwalodge.com where you’ll find contact information, rates and further valuable information should you wish to visit this beautiful area and experience the wild side of life, comfortably.

Nambwa Camp contact no:  +264 81 373 9040

Or:  +264 (0)81 422 0078.

The cost for camping here in Aug 2013 was Nam Dollars 220 for 2 per night camping. Then the park entrance fees which we paid on our departure at the Environment and Tourism Susuwe Office was Nam Dollars 140 for one car and two people for two days.  The park entrance fees could change depending on the passport you hold.

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