Day 12 – 11 August 2013 – Caprivi, Katima Mulilo, Namibia, camping on the banks of the Zambezi River at Island View Lodge and Campsite – Co-ordinates: S17 32.666 E24 31.324
Trip Report –
Our campsite was in a perfect position for shading us from the early morning sun. The number of bird species in this area made the dawn chorus of their song that much livelier. There was a lot of cheep, cheep, cheeping and rustling in the nearby bushes as they welcomed the day.
We had quite a few Carmine Bee-eaters around our campsite with the two in the picture above, perched on a branch overhanging the Zambezi River. The river banks and cliff faces provide the perfect place for their “hole” nests. They feed on flying insects and have been known to catch a ride on the back of sheep, goats, antelopes, warthogs and bustards.
We started the day with a fulfilling breakfast then set about getting a few chores done, like washing the dishes and catching up with the last 11 days of laundry. The neighbouring campsites were empty and we managed to dry everything on lines strung between all the trees. The trees with their overhanging canopies provided us with the most welcomed coolness at our campsite, throughout the day.
We watched the men below as they took their handmade mokoro across the river to herd the cows, who’d been grazing on the island, back to the mainland. They paddle, alongside the cows as they encourage, or frighten them, by hitting their rowing-oar down onto the water, to move them back to the mainland! I’ve never seen cows swimming across a river before! It is apparently a common event here as the island is their prime grazing area.
The fire is on and the sun is getting into position for another spectacular setting.
We met our friendly neighbours during the day and exchanged homemade bread with them as they’d given us some of their homemade Copenhagen’s which were delicious! Butch and his wife were living the dream of spending a few months holiday, right here, with their fully kitted up caravan and tent, including a satellite connection and their boat moored in the river below. Heavenly for any keen fisherman or nature lover.
The day is slowly coming to an end and its the perfect time for Ian to do a bit of fishing.
Sundowner drinks and a traditional braaivleis meal on our fire rounded off our day. The evening was warm enough to go well into the night with just a pair of shorts and t-shirt on.
The middle of the night was quite frightening as they were burning some grasslands further up the river which engulfed the sky in its bright flames as the fire moved quickly, towards us. We were relieved to find out that there was a decent fire break between us and the fire. It made for an entertaining night amongst our fellow campers.
Day 13 – 12 August 2013 – Island View Lodge and Campsite
Ian was up early to do some fishing in the river and it paid off as he caught a Tiger Fish! It gave an excellent fight. They have a colourful tail and fin. It looks like a well groomed with its accurate scales. A beautiful fish! I took a quick pic then Ian released it back into the river. Well done Bokkie!
The picture below is of the Kalimbeza Island from our campsite.
This little monkey was a menace! As soon as we turned our back he was straight into stealing anything he could, in the most cunning and sneaky manner. You can’t leave any food out while you’re camping here!
Ian took today to check the wheels as he was concerned over some noises and vibrations coming from our front suspension. He took the drivers wheel off, only to find that a nut had come loose and we’d lost it, from the bottom area of the shock where it attaches to the mounting. We took a stroll to reception to find help regarding our missing nut! They went the extra mile and within no time, we had a nut that would work perfectly! A big Thank You guys!
The drink we had in the bar while awaiting our replacement nut went down incredibly well. There is nothing more refreshing than a nice cold one!
This lodge is full of character with a distinct homeliness about it. We are planning to be on our way tomorrow and there is no doubt in our minds that we will be back here again one day!
The swimming pool above and the ladies ablution facilities below.
The blessings of another extraordinary sunset that was spectacular and magical with its warming hues of colourful light as it kissed the earth goodnight, making for another perfect vacation in the land!
On signing ourselves out at reception, we settled our bill. The camping fees were N$220 per night.
We are on the road again, leaving Island View Lodge and Campsite but before we do that, here is some information from the lodge regarding their facilities and activities.
Island View Lodge Information from their pamphlet –
Island View Lodge, situated in a sheltered backwater overlooking Kalimbeza Island. The perfect place to capture the spirit of the Caprivi with its unspoilt natural beauty, magnificent sunsets and spectacular riverine scenery.
The facilities include:
- Accommodation – in comfortable, rustic, thatched roofed bungalows, each with its own self-catering kitchen and freezing facilities, electrical plug points and an overhead fan. The units are serviced daily. Visitors have a choice of bed and breakfast, full board, semi-full board or self-catering.
- Camping – overlooking the vast expanse of the river, where Terminalia, Natal Mahogany and Acacia trees offer campers a shady canopy under which to erect their tents. Barbeques are provided at each campsite and electricity points are available for a nominal fee. Ladies’ and Gents’ ablution facilities with hot water and a communal kitchen are in proximity to the campsite.
- “Way-In” Bar – Relax with a refreshing drink where anglers meet to discuss the day’s events. They say more fish ‘are lost’ in this popular venue than in the Zambezi River! Darts and Pool are popular activities enjoyed by guests. The “Way-In” Bar stocks a variety of wines, beers, spirits and refreshing drinks. The bar area has a tv for visitors who wish to keep abreast of events in the “Other World” or for the fanatical sporting fans; DSTV is available in the lounge.
- Swimming Pool – This is ideally situated near large shady indigenous trees and green lawns which offer visitors the perfect locality to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
- The Tackle Box – A large selection of lures, spinners, hooks, sinkers and fishing line; suitable for landing any of the many angling species, is available to purchase at the Tackle Box. Earthworms can also be purchased at the Lodge.
- River Cruises – Relax with a refreshing sundowner on our cruise boat while enjoying the spectacular riverine scenery. View Hippos, Crocodiles and an abundance of birds which inhabit the region. From July to September herds of elephant can often be seen on the river banks, while the magnificent sunsets of the Eastern Caprivi are ravishing and colourful and makes the perfect memento when captured on your camera or VCR.
- Angling – Island View Lodge is renown for the trophy size Tigerfish as well as multiple Bream species which are caught by conventional fishing methods as well as on the fly. Tigerfish angling is enjoyed throughout the year and Beam angling from late May to an end of December. Popular Bream species include Threespot, Nembwe, Green and Pink Happy, Grean head and Readbreast Tilapia.
- Boating – Their well-maintained fleet of boats can be hired on an hourly, half day or full day basis. All boats are hired with an experienced professional guide.
- River Guides – Their experienced river guides will assist and advise on the best angling methods, bait selection, and locations to fish. Experience the thrill of angling renown spots as False Mwandi, Mwandi, Tiger Alley, Grey Banks, Golden Pond and Jo Jo’s.
- Sandbank Breakfasts and Barbeques – Enjoy a champagne breakfast or a lunchtime barbeque on a shimmering white sandbank under the African skies!
- Birding – The diverse ecology of the North Eastern Caprivi, consisting of floodplains, riverine vegetation, grasslands and savannah Woods is host to a large variety of birdlife which is endemic to these habitats. Birding enthusiasts visiting the lodge can expect to see a large selection of birds near to the lodge and this includes Hartlaub’s Babblers, Schallows and Tropical BouBou, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbarbet, White Fronted Bee-eaters, a variety of Shrikes, BulBuls and sunbirds, including the rare Shelley’s Sunbird. Taking a boat cruise on the River offers visitors a unique close-up experience of viewing large selections of Waterfowl and Herons, Storks, Plovers, Lapwings, Coucals, Red and Black-winged Pratincole, African Skimmer and the Magnificent African Fish Eagle which inhabit this water wonderland. The region offers birders an incredible paradise with as many as 445 species to be seen while their resident Birding guide will assist in making your Island View Lodge birding experience a memorable one!
- Other attractions in close proximity to the Lodge – Day or overnight excursions can be arranged to the Chobe Game Reserve, Victoria Falls and Livingstone where guests can partake in any of the many activities on offer. Day or night game drives, sunset river cruises, visits to the famous Victoria Falls, Whitewater Rafting, Abseiling, elephant rides, visits to the Crocodile Farm, African Tribal Dancing, Bungi jumping, or scenic flights over the Falls. Camping trips to the Kwando can all be arranged, to experience this entirely different part of the Caprivi. Camping and game drives will be done in the Bwabwata National Park, and visiting Horseshoe is a unique experience not to be missed!
Contact details for Island View Lodge and Campsite –
Hosts: Riaan and Marisa van Niekerk
Tel: 00264 (0)66 252 801. Fax: 00264 (0)66 252 573. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org