RUNDU –The Namibia Tourism Board (NTB) recently invited a local camera-toting journalists by their dozens, on a trip to the Kavango Region to familiarise themselves and report on domestic and international tourist attractions in the region.
The group went for 8 days around Rundu and Katima Mulilo.
Several hospitality establishments such as the Sarasungu River Lodge, Ngandu Lodge, Mashare Lodge, Kavango River Lodge, Hakusembe River Lodge and Mahangu River Lodge, as well as numerous bed-and-breakfast establishments, are scoring from the upsurge in tourism and the media was roped in to market the regions to attract more travellers. They were flown to Rundu Airport, a 45-minute trip from Windhoek and then whisked off in a 16-seater bus to Nkwazi Lodge some 20 kilometers east of Rundu town.
Under the slogan “Come and discover the wealth of wildlife in the Caprivi and Kavango Regions of Namibia”, whilst on a rather exclusive African getaway vacation, the group of media practitioners enjoyed a boat cruise with no life jackets on, on the pristine Kavango River to catch a glimpse of the wide variety of bird species and game and to enjoy a river ride.
The enthusiastic group already upon arrival had a baptism as rain poured down on them as they took the boat ride on the Kavango River.
The Ngepi Campsite in the Bagani area is also a favourite to foreign visitors.
Both regions are blessed with an abundance of water from the mighty Zambezi to the Okavango in Botswana, and because of this the area is alive with birds, rarely spotted animals as well as an abundance of other wild game.
The pen-wielding troupe experienced the lushness and luxury of bush camps in the region.
The Caprivi Strip shares its borders with four other countries, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe and is crisscrossed by four perennial rivers – the Chobe, Kwando, Linyati and the Zambezi.
Just to the west is the Kavango Region, home to forests of Namibian teak and Kiaat trees as well as three significant wildlife sanctuaries.
The waterfront areas are lush with sub-tropical vegetation and vast wetlands, opening up a treasure trove of activities to a discerning traveller. Namibians is invited to come and explore the rivers by ‘makoro’, watos or try their luck at catching tiger fish and spot four of the Big 5 – only the rhino does not frequent the region. Travellers to the region can choose to stay in luxury-tented camps or upmarket safari lodges to experience the African bush in a way you will never forget.
Travelling from Grootfontein on the B8 north-east, the scenery becomes more and more African after about 100km.
Small settlements of thatched houses like rondavels spring up close to the road and the bushveld becomes denser and greener.
More trees grow here than in the south. Between the settlements, one can even find vegetable patches and maize and millet fields. There are no fences and often goats, sheep or cattle cross the road.
The closer you get to Rundu, the more frequently you find woodcarvers’ huts along the side of the road. The Kavango are skilful woodcarvers.
They patiently wait at the roadside to offer their artwork to tourists.
The slow-flowing Kavango River makes its mark for more than 400 kilometres to border Namibia and Angola, before it takes a turn to the south into the Okavango Delta, where it trickles away in a thousand little armlets in the Kalahari Basin which has no outlet.