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Namibia’s Caprivi Strip lies in the north-easternmost slice of the Southern African country. Ngepi Camp’s situated in the Okavango Delta panhandle. That means the environment’s rather different from the much-advertised desert dunes of the south-western region. The fascinating history of the area’s enough reason to visit. However, many people opt to access Botswana’s Chobe Game Reserve via this route. Plus, it’s en route to Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls. And, ideally situated for a stopover, lies Ngepi Camp. It’s a place for those fun at heart travelers who appreciate nature.
Namibia’s roads are long – Rundu to Katimo Mulilo – 479 kilometers (298 miles)
Apart from access to Botswana, the road from Rundu to Katima Mlilo also proves an opportunity to cross into Zambia. Not far from Katimo Mulilo in the Caprivi Strip, you cross the border into Botswana. So, many tourists enjoy accessing this remote part of Namibia. Visitors can fly into Rundu and hire a car, or take the long road trip from Windhoek to Rundu. (715,6 km – 444.3 miles). Air Namibia flies into Rundu three times a week. From Rundu by road to Katima Mlilo, the distance is 513,7, or 318 miles. That’s why Ngepi Camp near Divundu, slightly less than half the distance, is an ideal stopover.
On your route to Ngepi Camp, you’ll drive on a metalled road that’s virtually dead straight, level, and lined by large trees. Here and there, small villages crowd up to the road where people keep some livestock and till small fields. But, interestingly, many stretches of the occupied land are now being reconverted to wilderness areas. You can see nature coming back very well. In fact, it’s advisable to keep a close watch for elephants on the road. Other parks in the area make for huge opportunity to make your trip a combination of fun and nature.
Ngepi Camp’s situated near Mahango and Bwabwata National Parks, Caprivi Strip
Ngepi Camp’s situated on a river and across the water is Bwabwata, one of Namibia’s National Parks. That means that sometimes you hear and see elephants. The river’s teeming with hippos and birds abound. For cooling off, a swimming cage floats in the river, but feint-hearted guests should take note of the crocodile warning signs. The island of green trees and the proximity to the water also help to keep you cool. With the camp so close to the water and the national parks, activities include sunset and sunrise boat cruises. Plus there’s fishing, mokoro (wooden canoe) trips, river rafting, and guided driving or walking trips.
Accommodation at Ngepi Camp includes camping sites, treehouses, and bush huts. Green lawns, gardens, and plants line walkways that meander around camp. Most of them end up at the reception/ bar area. There’s food service available in the bar or down at the dining area. Uniquely, breakfast’s available on order all day long. There’s also a small gift shop at reception where you can pick up mementos of your Caprivi Strip trip. Tee-shirts, caps, and locally carved artifacts are favorite items.
Fun for the fun at hearted traveler to Namibia at Ngepi
Admittedly, there’s not much provision made for small kids when it comes to fun and entertainment. In fact, they limit admission for children to 12-years-old. But for the fun-at-heart adult traveler, the fun begins as you drive into the camp. There’s a carefree sense of humor about the whole place. This starts when you cross shallow stream beds and get to choose the 4×4 or 2×4 routes. Both routes will get you there but you can feel good about the expensive 4×4 you bought, anyway.
The signs in the bar remind you to keep your sense of humor. And, that funny side manifests in the toilets. Ngepi Camp must be one of the only places in the world where toilets of all shapes and sizes exist. From a towering three-story long-drop to a throne in the garden of Eden, they’ve got them all. Then, there are the unisex toilets, where the women’s seat’s chained down and men’s seat is padlocked up. The fun activities and information board tell a tale of the fun side of life. And, as it’s not a five-star luxury lodge, it’s best to maintain a sense of humor. Actually, their theme is all about “getting a life.”
Tips for travel to the Caprivi Strip
Travel in-between big towns involve long distances in Namibia. Particularly in the Caprivi Strip, you need to consider the distance to major hospitals. Plus, breakdown services don’t hang out around every corner. After all, you’re in one of Southern Africa’s biggest countries, with the world’s second-smallest population in it. So, you need a car in good condition, though it need not be a 4×4. Gas stations are limited, so keeping a watch on your fuel is important as well. Fill up at every opportunity, or carry spare fuel with you. Make sure you carry a comprehensive first aid kit in the car.
Medical travel insurance is important, and you can check with your insurer before leaving for Africa. If you require prescription medication, it’s best to make sure you have a letter confirming why you need it for cross border travel. Usually, a doctors note will cover that. If you carry excess medication with you, a letter’s a handy explanation for any customs officials. When you visit remote Africa, it’s important to let someone, anyone, know where you’re going and when you expect to return. Oh, and here’s a tip. Expect to need a yellow fever certificate if you cross the border into Zambia. Once you have all of that, pack your sense of humor and enjoy Africa.
Namibia’s one of the best destinations in Southern Africa and the Caprivi Strip’s a wonderful experience. So, take care, have fun, and don’t forget to stop in at Ngepi Camp, to keep your fun-at-heart side to life fully recharged. Remember to check back with The Destination Seeker often for more destinations you can explore in Namibia.