Day 19 – Nambwa Camp to Samsitua Riverside Camp, Kavango, Rundu – Distance: around 417km
On leaving Nambwa in the morning, we were told at the reception that we needed to pay our park entrance fees at the Environment and Tourism Office in Susuwe. The office is on the opposite side of the B8 than where Nambwa Camp is.
On our way from Nambwa Camp and the B8, we came across some ruins from the South African Defence Force, Fort Doppies military base which I covered on my last page. We also came across a few elephants wandering alongside the sand road.
We crossed directly over the B8; expecting to reach the Environment and Tourism Office in Susuwe after only a few kilometres. We were almost about to turn around, only to arrive finally at the Susuwe Office where we made the necessary payments needed.
We made our way back to the B8 and continued our journey towards Rundu where we would be camping tonight. We hadn’t booked anywhere as we felt there would be quite a few options to choose from once we got there.
The gentleman above was on a mission, riding his bike with all his necessities he needed while being on the road. It didn’t look like a light load either! Slowly and steady, so the saying goes.
The signs below, showing all the lodge and camping places when turning left here: Ngepi Camp, Popa Falls Resort, Nunda River Lodge and Mahangu Safari Lodge. We had travelled this road earlier on in this trip when we stayed the night at Ngepi Camp.
A dust whirlwind was moving along the edge of the road, into the distance.
The locals call the fruit from the tree below monkey balls. We found some in a curio shop at the Hoba Meteorite site.
Shamvura Camp to the right and Khaudum North gate entrance to the left, off the B8. We stopped to browse around this intersection as this is where we had exited Khaudum National Park, earlier on in our trip.
The garage below, on the B8 just outside Rundu.
We turned right, off the B8 and into the heart of Rundu on the E Kakakuru road. We were pleasantly surprised as to how much Rundu had grown since we had last been here. The main street is full of well-known name brand chain stores.
At the end of E Kakakuru road where it meets Usivi Road, there is a huge FNB Bank on your left-hand side. We turned left here to make our way to a lodge we had seen a few years ago.
The Kavango River Lodge was fully booked, so we continued our search for a place to stay.
We had a look around the facilities of Ngandu Safari Lodge. They have a lovely restaurant, bar, banquette hall, rooms and their campsites have a lush lawn. There was an old, quaint, bright yellow bus alongside the children’s play area with a viewing deck on its roof where you would have a better view of the river. The lodge is on a slight hill and a little way back from the river. You can see the river in places but not extremely well from the campsite. We decided it wasn’t as private as we wanted, so we continued to see another campsite, just down the road and closer to the river.
We found this next place down Sarasungu Road.
Sarasungu River Lodge offers accommodation, camping, fishing, a bar and restaurant, boat trips and tube or skiing. The campsite had a few families camping there with lots of children playing volleyball and cricket games on the additional campsites. We decided it was a lot fuller and noisier than we’d like, so once again we moved on. The Angola side was also overflowing with kids and families washing their clothes and making use of the river. A gentleman along our path earlier had suggested another campsite, just a little drive out of the town where we’d find a place, peacefully nestled right alongside the river. We decided to try and find it. We still had enough sunlight if we wanted to come back here.
We drove out of the heart of Rundu, up E Kakakuru Road where it meets up with Independence Road, where we turned right, into Independence Road and followed it right to the end till it meets up with the B10. This road was a shortcut; otherwise, we would have had to drive back to the B8 and then turn right onto the B10, then all the way back down. We were already a quarter way down the B10, so the shortcut saved us some time. It took us through the heart of the outer skirts of town. The camp we were looking for was a 19km drive from Rundu.
We were grateful to see some signage for the Simsitu Riverside Camp in the Kanzoni, Owamboland area of Namibia.
The road was such a lovely one to travel on, even with its few natural speed bumps and fast pounding vibrations at times. The landscape around us was spectacular with its wild natural beauty and the sun low on the horizon, playing with the light and casting shadows.
The Mbunza Living Museum is something we would be coming back to see and experience, one day.
Another lovely place that one could stay at in the area is this place below.
We had decided to listen to the local man in the street and see if Samsitu Riverside Camp would meet up to our expectations. We arrived just in time to set up camp and pour ourselves a chilled sundowner drink to enjoy over sunset. It was what we were looking for and more in a campsite for the night.
The built braai place served its purpose well with a lamp post next to it and an electrical plug point. The campsites well cared for with lush lawns and clean ablutions. The lush vegetation around the campsite allows one to feel like you are the only ones there. We were so happy to have found this little gem of a place. A perfect place to unwind from the long road behind us and to reenergize for the long road ahead of us.
A breathless sunset with not a breath of wind.
We had a beautiful and peaceful evening alongside the Kavango/Cubango River with Angola on the other side. A few tourist sunset cruises were enjoying their time on the river. Everyone in high spirits and waving as they go by.
The next morning, the wind picked up a little bit when we were packing up camp. We had a lovely chat with the owner Andy where he shared a bit of his life and asked us where we were from and headed. We had a laugh over the fact that South Africans feel that Rundu is a far drive and will break it down into days but for them, a quick trip to South Africa for the weekend is no problem at all. They’ll drive long distances in a day. It was lovely that Andy and Karin walked around the campsite, coffee in hand, greeting their guests along the way and wishing them a fabulous day.
Saying goodbye to our river view, we made our way to the reception to pay for our camping and the wood we’d used. It cost us 120 per person per night camping and 40 Nam Dollars for the wood we’d used.
Julia helped us with a huge smile and wished us a safe journey further. We promised her that we would be back, one day for a few more nights than just one!
The bar and braai area is a great place for large groups to congregate for a drink or to have a meal together. There is a kitchen available for self-catering groups. There is also a swimming pool on the grounds for one to use.
The two pontoon boats (Halcyon River Cruisers) can easily accommodate up to 30 people. They offer breakfast, full day fishing and sunset cruise trips up or down the river.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish Samsitu all the best and thank them for their hospitality and wonderful stay we had there.
We can highly recommend this campsite.
Samsitu Riverside Camp offers so much to the group or individual visitor where they can tailor your visit or boat cruise to allow you the freedom to relax and enjoy. They have various services and facilities available for large groups to use (up to 30 people), a field kitchen with refrigeration facilities, crockery, cutlery and a spit braai.
Samsitu Riverside Camp Phone No: +264 66 25 5602
Samsitu Riverside Address: Sikondo, Kapako Constituency, Rundu, Kavango, Namibia
or P O Box 956, Sikondo, Rundu, Kavango, Republic of Namibia.