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Mahango Game Reserve and Popa Falls

Today we visited the Mahango Game Reserve which was our first experience doing a self drive safari. Mum and dad were excited to see what we could find but I was worried because my best laid plans to start early were aborted when I forgot our money for the entrance fee and had to return back to camp. We ended up entering the park around 10am which was really too late but at least allowed us to be in air conditioning as the temps outside rose rapidly. The game reserve is located in the western end of the Caprivi Strip and forms part of the large flood plains of the Okavango River basin and is considered an important bird area with over 300 species of birds. It has a very rich diversity of mammal species with over 99 species documented. We did come across elephants, giraffes and plains game and lots of antelopes as we drove around. It was a great opportunity to test out our skills looking for animals without a professional guide. It was also really lovely to see the different types of habitats and flora including the wetlands and baobabs. We drove around for nearly 4 hours and decided to call it quits and head back to camp for a late lunch.

In the afternoon we went on a sunset cruise and up to Popa Falls (mainly rapids). Unfortunately it was just too hot to enjoy this activity with the sun blazing down on us for over the first hour. This was a bit of a bummer because I was looking forward to the trip but it was just too much. We visited the falls and took some photos and then enjoyed a leisurely glide back along the Cabungo River to camp. Dad enjoyed a sleep and mum dozed on and off. This heat really is a killer.

Tonight the heat is enveloping me like a suffocating beanbag tonight, even with the fan on and wearing a sundress. I am laying on top of the bed and hoping the temperature will drop soon. It is 9pm and I have been awake since 6am all due to this never ending heat. The insects are attracted to the screen of my laptop as I sit up in bed writing this post. I hope that writing it will encourage me to fall asleep quicker. The frogs are singing in unison outside trying to compete with each different species as to who is more superior. They too must be feeling the heat tonight thinking where are the rains.

All of the local people at each of the camps we have stayed at have complained that they have had very little rain this season. Many are predicting a “dry” wet season with the rains coming down from Angola not reaching the normal February levels. I am thinking selfishly that this will help our game viewing in Etosha, which is our next stop. A few travellers doing the clockwise route of Namibia and ending in Caprivi/Kasane said that the waterholes in Etosha were amazing due to the lack of rains and many didn’t leave the camp waterholes due to all of the game coming down to drink. I can only hope that we also have the same sightings.

Where We Stayed: Nunda Camp, Namibia

Nunda Lodge is a lovely property offering large, clean rooms with great views and excellent facilities. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay except for the behaviour of management with their staff who all seemed very timid and scared of their employers and who spoke to them in a way that I believe is disrespectful and reflective of times a past. I understand running a business is difficult but respect is paramount.

Room Tip: Waterfront chalets were lovely but all accommodation options looked great

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