Tuesday, 08 November 2011 15:00
National Reserves and Game Parks
Namibia's national reserves and game parks are owned by Government and managed on its behalf by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
1. Mahango Game Reserve:
- Found on the perennial Okavango river.
- Significant to it are the riverine forests, flood plain, baobabs, herds of elephants, red lechwe, over 400 bird species.
- Visitors should exercise caution as there are crocodiles and hippos in the river.
2. Caprivi Game Park:
- Found between Angola and Botswana, extends about 180km from the Okavango River in the west to the Kwando River in the east.
- Significant to it are the woodlands dominated by trees e.g. wild seringa, copalwood, Zambezi teak, wild teak, sanctuary to 35 small game species, elephant, roan, kudu, buffalo and 339 bird species.
- Visitors with small vehicles might not see many of these animals, as the terrain is extremely sandy, however there are 4X4 tourist tracks along the western bank of the Kwando River.
3. Mudumu National Park:
- Found in Eastern Caprivi, an expanse of dense savannah and mopane woodlands with the Kwando river as its western border.
- Significant to it are small populations of sitatunga and red lechwe, and spotted necked otter, hippo and crocodiles in the waterways.
- Other animals found here are elephant, buffalo, roas antelope, kudu, impala and Burchells zebra as well as 430 bird species.
4. Mamili National Park:
- The area has the largest wetland area with reed beds, oxbow lakes and tree-covered islands and two large islands in the Kwando/Linyanti River.
- Same bird and animal species occur as in Mudumu National Park.
- Visitors have to be completely self-sufficient in terms of water, food, fuel, etc no facilities are provide at the campsites.
5. Khaudum Game Park:
- Found in the north east of the country bordering on Botswana.
- Densely wooded wilderness that harbours several big game species e.g. elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard, hyena, jackal and African wild dogs and about 320 bird species
- 4x4 vehicles are available to visitors but fuel is only available at Bagani, Divundu, Mukwe and Rundu in the Kavango region.
6. Mangetti Game Reserve:
- Found in the Kavango Region
- Area is used for game breeding by the Ministry
- Excess Game is captured and translocated from other reserves like Daan Viljoen Game Park andHardap Game Reserve to Mangetti
7. Etosha National Park:
- One of the largest game reserves in Africa
- Significant to it is the Etosha Pan, the area that makes Etosha game viewing experience unique.
- 114 Mammals species are found, several are rare and endangered e.g. rhino, cheetah and black-faced impala.
- Etosha's elephants are the largest in Africa. The tallest measure up to 4m. Blue wildebeest, zebra, hyena, lions, cheetah, leopard, giraffe, antelope species and about 340 bird species are also found in the area.
- The area has about 30 springs and waterholes that provide excellent game viewing and photographic opportunities.
- Visitors should approach and depart from waterholes slowly and with little noise so as not to disturb the game.
8. Skeleton Coast Park:
- The long stretch of coast north of Swakopmund.
- Significant to it is the colour, changing moods and untouched profile of its landscape. The dense coastal fogs and cold sea breeze caused by the cold Benguela Currrent. Clay castles, the salt pans near the Agate Mountain and the seal colony at Cape Frio.
- Animals found are gemsbok, springbok, jackal, ostrich and hyena, while desert-adapted elephant, black rhino, lion and giraffe roam up and down the dry river courses.
9. Cape Cross Seal Reserve:
- Situated about 130 km north of Swakopmund.
- Significant to it is the Arctocephalus pusillus, the largest of the world's nine fur seals species. During November/December breeding season as many as 150 000 of these animals gather at Cape Cross.
- It was here that a Portuguese navigator, Diego Cao erected a stone cross in 1486.
10. National West Coast Recreation Area
- This is the 200km stretch of coastline between the Swakop and Ugab rivers.
- The lichen fields are found here extensively. They depend on coastal fog for survival, are extremely slow growing and are destroyed when vehicles drive over them.
- Visitors are cautioned that off road driving is not allowed in the National West Coast Recreation Area.
- Along the coast at Mile 14, 72, 108 and Jakkalsputz are campsites providing basic amenities for anglers.
11. Waterberg Plateau Park
- The park is situated 60km east of Otjiwarongo and 300km north east of Windhoek.
- The park is home for about 25 game and over 200 bird species.
- Vegetation changes dramatically from acacia savannah at the foot of the plateau to lush-green sub-tropical dry woodland with tall trees and grassy plains at the top.
12. Von Bach Game Reserve
- This reserve is situated 3.5 km south of Okahandja and extends over an area of 43 km.
- This has become a popular venue for aquatic sports e.g. water skiing, yachting, wind surfing and boating.
- Visitors can explore the surrounding nature reserve on foot however game viewing opportunities are limited.
13. Daan Viljoen Game Park
- Situated in the rolling hills of the Khomas Hochland.
- It is a small park (3,953ha) but home to a relative large population of game species such as kudu, springbok, gemsbok, eland, red hartebeest, hartmanns mountain zebra, blue wildebeest, baboon, klipspringer, steenbok and rock dassie. Ideal for viewing at sunset.
- Interresting species to look out for are Ruppell's parrot Monteiro's hornbill, Carp's tit, Rockrunner and Whitetailed shrike.
14. Hardap Game Park
- With the capacity of 323 million m3 and a surface area of 25km, Hardap is Namibia's largest dam.
- The reserve is divided by the dam into a norther andwouthern section and the largest game concentration is found in the southern section. The game to be seen in this area are kudu, gemsbok, springbok, Hartmann's mountain zebra, red hartebeest and steenbok.
- The dam is home to one of Namibia's three largest colonies of white pelicans. Pnback pelicans, greater flamingos, white breasted and reed cormorants, darters, African spoonbills, osprey and African fish eagles are also found in this ares.
15. Namib-Naukluft Park
- This is one of the Country's major tourist destinations. The vast wilderness of almost 50 000 km contain key features uch as Sossusvlei, Sesriem, the Welwitschia Trail, Sandwich Harbour, the Naukluft Mountains and the Kuiseb Canyon.
16. Naute Recreation Resort
- Situated 50 km south west of Keetmanshoop
- Namibia's third largest cam is found here. It is surrounded by flat-topped ridges and large rust-coloured boulders.
- Tarea harbours a variety of birds, including aquatic species, has a peace full atmosphere and appeals especially to fresh-water anglers and watersports enthusiasts, although as yet there are no facilities here other than rudimentary picnic sites.
17. Fish River Canyon Park
- The Fish River Canyon Park including the Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort and Huns Mountains are incorporated into one conservation area. The Huns Mountains section is not yet open to the public.
- This is the second largest natural gorge in Africa.
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