A quick tour of the Kavango West Region (Part II)

A sunset boat cruise is a great way to experience the river.

A quick tour of the Kavango West Region (Part II)

Where to stay and what to do

23 April 2018 | Tourism

Le Roux van Schalkwyk

Where to stay:

Taranga Safari Lodge

Taranga Safari Lodge is about 35 km east of Rundu and offers luxury tented chalets and campsites. Each chalet has its own wooden deck nestled among the trees overlooking the river which affords guests the opportunity to wake up with an extraordinary view each morning. Even though the campsites are not built on the banks of the river, the dense growth of bushes and lush trees create a great sense of privacy for each site as well as that bush-camping feel. The Kingfisher River Bar, a floating bar on the river reached by a walkway, is a great place for sundowners and definitely not to be missed when staying at Taranga.

Hakusembe River Lodge

Situated 16 km east of Rundu is Hakusembe River Lodge which forms part of the Gondwana Collection of popular accommodation establishments in Namibia. The lodge is made up of thatched chalets situated on opposite sides of a large wooden deck. Here the restaurant and bar are ideally situated with amazing views over the flowing waters of the Okavango. The campsites are a small distance away from the main area and each site has its own ablution and view of the river.

What to do:

Bird watching

The abundant water and thriving plant life provide an ideal environment that is home to hundreds of species of rare and beautiful birds, and therefore a birder’s paradise. Identify species by wandering through the bush or going on birding boat cruises offered by the lodges.

Boat cruises

Go on a sunset boat cruise to round off the day. There is nothing like watching the scenery along the river with a drink in hand while the sun setting over the water paints the sky in different hues of red.

Fishing

The Okavango River is ideal for fishing, especially when trying to catch the highly prized tigerfish. Try your luck from the riverbank or by going on a fishing trip with a professional guide.

Mbunza Living Museum

Visit a living museum that shows the pre-colonial ways of the Mbunza situated at the Samsitu Lake, 14 km west of Rundu. Gain insight of what a traditional village of the Kavango looked like and take a glimpse how its people lived. Dressed in outfits reconstructed from old photographs, the actors give a presentation that shows everyday life in a village, from traditional cuisine, basket and mat-weaving to specialised techniques like blacksmithing and pottery.

Rundu Open Market

Experience the town’s biggest market where you can find anything from local food and drinks, wood crafts and beans, to hair salons. The market is a great opportunity to interact with the local traders who are always open and friendly to tourists, or to just walk around and watch the skills of the local artisans repairing electronics and sewing dresses.

Mangetti National Park

Located in the eastern Kalahari woodlands north of the Mururani veterinary gate, the area was managed as a camp for breeding rare and endangered species by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, before being proclaimed as a national park in 2008. Approximately 420km² in size, Mangetti is home to, amongst others, Sable antelope, African wild dog, leopard, hyaena, blue wildebeest, oryx and kudu. Due to the dense vegetation spotting of game isn’t always easy and waiting at the abundant waterholes would be the best way to see the animals. Currently the park is only open for day visitors and staying at one of the lodges south of the veterinary fence and driving to the park is currently the best option if you would like to spend some time in the park. Note that some of the tracks in the park are quite sandy and having a 4x4 vehicle when entering the park is essential.

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