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I Dream Africa

I Dream Africa



Mamili is Namibia's version of the Okavango Delta - a paradisiacal area of watery channels, reed islands and beautiful wetlands. It is situated in the eastern part of the Caprivi Strip and is home to elephant, lion, buffalo, giraffe, rare sitatunga and red lechwe, crocodile and hippo, puku and otters.

Remote, beautiful and utterly wild (only visitors with 4x4 can use the roads), this reserve is also a great birding spot with over 430 bird species recorded here.

Namibia's wild and seldom visited Mamili National Park, a watery wonderland of wildlife rich islands, river channels and wetlands. Wild is the best word to describe this park, there's nothing fancy, no luxurious campsites, you're on your own. Mamili holds the distinction of being the largest wetland area with conservation status in Namibia. This protects flora and fauna living within its complex channel of reed beds, lakes and islands, that form the Linyanti swamps.

The focal points of the 320km² national park are Nkasa and Lupala, two large islands in the Kwando / Linyati river. During the dry season the islands can be reached by road but after the rains 80% of the area becomes flooded, cutting them off from the mainland. The good news is that it remains a sanctuary for birds, with more species of birds recorded here than anywhere else in Namibia. In those dry winter months, huge herds of elephant congregate on these islands.

Because the park is subject to frequent flooding in the rainy season, camping is inadvisable. Drivers must proceed with caution and negotiate deep pools slowly and avoid rivers where crocodiles, some up to 5m in length, lie in wait. Families of hippopotamus also venture onto the floodplains at night to feed. If you do get stuck, whoever loses the toss will have to dig you out, so listen carefully for nearby elephant and buffalo that may be crossing the river. Visitors should also be aware that they must be completely self-sufficient in terms of water, food and fuel.

It is however an extraordinary piece of wilderness, with lush marshes, dense savannah and high river reeds, that add to the high level of excitement when driving through by 4x4. In addition to large herds of elephants and buffalo, lion, leopard, spotted hyena, giraffe, impala, red lechwe, reedbuck and the elusive sitatunga can be seen. Noteworthy species of bird include wattled crane, rosy-throated longclaw, slaty egret, Meves' starling and the greater swamp warbler birding at its best!

You will seldom encounter other tourists in the park. Thunderstorms might be a companion though, and be aware that lightening from these meteorological phenomena can ignite the ground, sparking fires that temporarily burn above the ground and below the earth.

The park is located within high risk malaria area. Precautions are necessary. The size of the park is more than 100 000 ha of woodlands. The western boundary of the park is formed by Kwando River.


Presently there is only one access route into Mamili. From Kongola on the B8 tar road, turn onto the D3511 (MR125) gravel road, now being re-classified as the C49, and travel south for approximately 70 kms. Turn right and pass through Sangwali Village, taking the available left forks twice thereafter. This will lead you through the Wuparo Conservancy to a bridge constructed by local entrepreneur) Linus Mukwata. The track(s) wind on, avoiding any waterlogged areas to a second Mukwata built bridge close to the Park boundary and the MET Ranger Station at Shisinze that stands just a few hundred metres further on.

A real wilderness experience awaits those who travel to visit Mamili National Park. Visitors must drive a 4x4 vehicle, equipped with recovery equipment. Those choosing to stay overnight or longer must be totally self-sufficient, as there are no facilities whatsoever in the Park.

There are two areas designated for camping, one at Mparamura (known also as Nzalu), the other – if reachable, dependent on water levels in the channels that the access track crosses en route – at Lyadura. The latter is an extremely pretty, well shaded spot right on the banks of the Kwando.

Due to this being on the northern boundaries of Namibia (Caprivi Region) this adventure can easily be combined with Victoria Falls holiday.

It would be advisable to use one of our experienced guides for a safe and enjoyable adventure. Please contact us for full itinerary and price.

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