park and reserve infoNAMIBIA National Parks & Game Reserves
AI-AIS/RICHTERSVELD TRANSFRONTIER PARK
The Ai-Ais Richtersveld – Transfrontier Park spans some of the most spectacular scenery of the arid and desert environments in Southern Africa. Bisected by the Orange River, which forms the border between South Africa and Namibia, it comprises the Ai-Ais Hot Springs Park in Namibia and the Richtersveld National Park in South Africa.
Rugged kloofs (ravines), high mountains, dramatic landscapes and sandy planes form South Africa’s largest mountain desert park, covering 160 000 ha, The harsh Richtersveld nurtures 30% of all South Africa’s succulent species among which the famous “half man plant” and three quiver tree species. With less than 50mm of rain annually, the park is home to leopards, lizards, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, gemsbok, springbok, klipspringer, ground squirrel and suricate. It’s the land for adventurers and the indigenous Richtersveld people.
Some of the distinctive features on the Namibian side include the Ai-Ais Hot springs and the 2nd largest canyon in the world, the Fish River Canyon. Ai-Ais, which means, “burning water” in one of the local languages, refers to the sulphurous hot springs which are found in this area. The awe-inspiring Fish River Canyon measures 160 km in length, up to 27 km in width and reaches a depth of 550 m. Although the Park is not known as a game park, springbok, gemsbok, red hartebeest, Hartman’s zebra, kudu, klipspringer and ostrich survive in this harsh land. AI-AIS/RICHTERSVELD TRANSFRONTIER PARK is included in Tours 09, 21, 22, 24, 25, 31-33
BWABWATA NATIONAL PARK
The previously known Caprivi Game Park was proclaimed in 1968. Declared a military zone, conservation access was limited until 1990. Mahango Game Park was proclaimed in 1989 and managed separately. In 1999 both parks merge and Bwabwata was proclaimed in 2007. The park has benefitted from wildlife re-introduction. Today the park consists of the major wildlife areas Mahango Core, Buffalo Core and Kwando Core Areas with the Okavango River in the west and Kwando River in the east.
The riverine forests along these rivers attract large numbers of mammals and numerous species of aquatic birds. The park is home to large herds of buffalo and elephant, lion, leopard, wild dog, hippo, sitatunga, roan, sable and other antelopes. Mahango is known for its rich bird life BWABWATA NATIONAL PARK is included in Tours 29, 43, 50 & 55
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Etosha National Park, with its wealth of animal and plant life, lies in the north of Namibia and covers an area of 22,270 km². It is one of the largest game parks in Africa. The pans cover an area of 5140 km², of which the Etosha Pan, which is 120 km at its longest and 72 km at its widest, is the largest. Because of the diversity of soil types in the park, a large variety of vegetation occurs, which brings along a huge variety of animal life. The approximate number of larger animals is as follows: 1,500 elephant, 300 black rhino, 2,000 giraffe, 6,000 Burchell zebra, 700 mountain zebra, 2,600 blue wildebeest, 4,000 gemsbok, 250 eland, 2,000 kudu, 600 red hartebeest, 70 roan antelope, 20,000 springbok, 700 black faced impala, 1,500 ostrich, 300 lion and an unknown number of leopards and cheetahs.
Of the 340 bird species that have been identified in Etosha, approximately a third are migratory. Of the 35 raptor species, 10 are migratory. What makes Etosha different from many other parks is the excellent game viewing opportunities at the illuminated waterholes at the three camps Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni. Here you can sit and relax day and night and watch the behaviour and interactions of animals at the waterholes. ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK is included in Tours 47-50
MUDUMU NATIONAL PARK
The Kwando River runs through the Mudumu National Park which offers a true African wilderness experience. In contrast to the rest of Namibia, the area is lush with riverine forest, marches, dense savannah and mopane woodland.
An astonishing 430 species of birds have been recorded (nearly 70% of Namibia’s total) and much game including the rare sitatunga and red lechwe as well as buffalo, elephant, zebra, antelopes, hippo and crocodiles. MUDUMU NATIONAL PARK is included in Tours 49 & 55
NAMIB NAUKLUFT NATIONAL PARK
Covering an area of 49,768 km², the Namib Naukluft National Park is not the only one of the largest parks in Africa but also one of the largest parks in the world. This desert park, bordering the cold Atlantic Ocean in the West, includes the Namib Desert, which is the oldest desert on Earth. The main attraction is Sossusvlei.
This clay pan is surrounded by red sand dunes up to 380m high, which are among the highest in the world. Other very impressive areas are the Naukluft Mountains in the east and the barren Kuiseb valley in the north, which was made famous by Henno Martin’s book “The Sheltering Desert”. Although this is extremely barren country, gemsbok, springbok, ostrich and the rare Hartmann mountain zebra can be seen here. NAMIB NAUKLUFT NATIONAL PARK is included in Tours 22, 48 & 50
SKELETON COAST NATIONAL PARK
The Skeleton Coast National Park bordering on the cold Atlantic Ocean in the Namib Desert is undoubtedly one of the most hostile places on earth. Many a ship has stranded on the Skeleton Coast with the inevitable loss of human life. South of the Park is the National West Coast Tourist Recreation Area and the largest breeding colony of Cape fur seals in Namibia, numbering thousands at Cape Cross. At the site of the seal colony is the replica of the cross, planted in 1485 by the first European to set foot in Namibia, the Portuguese explorer Diego Cao. The bizarre desert plant, the Welwitchia mirabilis, which can live for more than a thousand years, grows on the barren gravel plains of the Namib Desert. Nomadic Gemsbok, Springbok, Brown Hyena and Black-backed jackal roam this vast and unforgiving landscape. SKELETON COAST NATIONAL PARK is included in Tours 48 & 50