Nkasa Rupara National Park
Size: 35,700 ha / 357 km2
Species Numbers: *105 Mammals *467 Birds *71 Reptiles
Big Five: 4 of the big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo are present
* Expansive wetlands serve as a birding enthusiasts paradise
* Large herds of elephants congregate on the islands during the dry season
* This park seldom sees more than 200 visitors a year, so it is a true wilderness experience
Mamili National Park was officially proclaimed along with the nearby Mudumu National Park in 1990. In 2012, the Namibian Government renamed the area as Nkasa Rupara National Park which is a reference to two Kwando River islands within the reserve’s territory. The former name, Mamili, referred to a family of traditional leaders of the Mafwe tribe with that surname.
The Kwando River runs along the reserve’s western border and then changes course to become the Linyanti River, forming the south-eastern boundary. Nkasa Rupara forms a corridor for all large mammal species moving between Namibia and Botswana, particularly elephant and buffalo. There are about 1000 buffalo in Nkasa Rupara, the largest concentration in Namibia. This is Namibia’s largest wetland with conservation status and when the river is in flood, up to 80% of the reserve can be submerged. In many ways the network of waterways in the reserve mirrors Botswana's Okavango Delta - but is even more remote and less visited.
To access Nkasa Rupara National Park turn off the B8 Trans-Caprivi Highway, onto the D3511 after the Kongola Bridge. The only entrance track crosses a bridge over a back-channel of the Kwando/Linyanti River, near Sangwali village in Wuparo Conservancy. Rupara Island is reached via a dirt track; Nkasa Island in not reachable because the access is flooded.
* It is advisable to take the necessary precautions against Malaria and Bilharzia
* The splendid Nkasa Lupala Lodge borders the park to the north and also has exclusive rights to offer game drives in the park as well as game viewing from a boat on the Linyanti
* Totally self-contained camping is available at Rupara, Shivumu Pool and Mparemure (no facilities) – inadvisable in the rainy season due to flooding
* Entry permits for Mudumu are obtainable in the MET offices in Katima Mulilo and Windhoek or from field offices at Susuwe, Nakatwa and Shisinze or the northern gate of Nkasa Lupala National Park
* Because the park is subject to frequent flooding in the rainy season, it is accessible by 4x4 only where special caution must be taken to avoid becoming stuck