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National Parks Bushdrums.com - Striving To Protect Wildlife and Encourage Responsible Tourism Practices http://bushdrums.com Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:47:35 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Mudumu National Park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/357-mudumu-national-park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/357-mudumu-national-park

Mudumu National Park

The western boundary of this nature reserve is the Kwando, while in the east it gradually blends into the communal area. Mudumu has barely been made accessible. The sandy paths in the eastern parts can only be negotiated by 4x4 and only during the dry season. The riverine vegetation is of a subtropical green. The exuberance is matched by an unbelievable diversity of bird life: more than 400 species are found in this magnificent corner of the world. The many waterways of the Kwando are best explored by boat, but for a close encounter with nature you can also go on a hiking tour. Depending on the season, Elephant, Buffalo and predators, including the very rare African Wild Dog, move through this area. Crocodiles and Hippos are, of course, permanent inhabitants of the rivers and floodplains.

The Mudumu National Park was proclaimed in 1990 and is a vast 1 010-km2 expanse of dense savannah and mopane woodlands, with the Kwando River as its western border. South of Lianshulu the river breaks up into a labyrinth of channels to form the Linyanti Swamp. Proclaimed in 1990, the park is home to small populations of sitatunga and red lechwe, while spotted-necked otter, hippo and crocodile inhabit the waterways. During a game drive, animals likely to be encountered are elephant, buffalo, roan antelope, kudu, impala and Burchell's zebra.

The entire Eastern Caprivi is a bird-watcher's paradise. Some 430 species, nearly 70% of Namibia's total number of species, have been recorded here. Of particular interest are slaty egrets, white-rumped babblers, greater swamp warblers (papyrus swamps), chirping cisticolas and swamp boubous. Other noteworthy species include black coucals (an intra-African migrant), coppery-tailed and Senegal coucals, wattled cranes (flood plains) and pinkthroated longclaws. In the backwaters and swamps, Pygmy geese and knobbilled duck (between September and April), Lesser gallinules (between December and April), and African and lesser jacanas are found.

Accommodation in Mudumu is restricted to the privately managed Lianshulu Lodge, but there are several other lodges in the surroundings, such as Namushasha Lodge.

 

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National Parks Sat, 27 Jan 2007 15:39:00 +0000
Mamili National Park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/356-mamili-national-park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/356-mamili-national-park

Mamili National Park

The secluded wilderness of this vast swamp area is unique in Namibia. The park is criss-crossed by waterways, some of which make it all the way to the Linyanti River. Densely wooded islands as well as patches of tall reeds or wide grass plains are typical for this park. During the rainy season large parts of Mamili are flooded and cannot be accessed. Even in the dry season you should attempt this area only in a convoy of at least two vehicles. Right at the start, when you enter the park, you have to cross a rivulet which will give you a faint idea of the difficulties ahead. Nights are spent at rudimentary camping sites in the middle of the bush.

Mamili is particularly known for its birds. With a little luck you will also encounter Buffalo, Tsessebe, Lechwe and Sitatunga as well as Hyena, Lion or even Leopard.

The 320km² Mamili National Park is the the largest wetland area with conservation status in Namibia.

Mamili is centered on the Nkasa and Lupala islands on the Kwando and Linyanti rivers in the south-western corner of East Caprivi. During the dry season the islands can be reached by road, but after rains 80% of the area becomes flooded, cutting them off from the mainland.

Vegetation is dominated by species accociated with floodplains and termitaria. Floodplains provide ideal protection for swamp and floodplainmammals such as the sitatunga and red lechwe, buffalo, wild dog and it is the last stronghold of the remnant population of Puka. Wattled cranes have been recorded breeding here.

For campers who like to rough it, Mamili offers basic camp sites at Nzalu and Lyadura in the east and south east of the reserve. Please keep in mind, however, that there are no facilities whatsoever at these camp sites, so visitors have to be completely self-sufficient in terms of water, food, fuel, and so on. Entry permits for the park are obtainable at the MET office in Katima Mulilo.

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National Parks Sat, 27 Jan 2007 14:26:26 +0000
Waterberg National Park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/355-waterberg-national-park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/355-waterberg-national-park

Waterberg National Park

Waterberg National Park is a national park in central Namibia on the Waterberg Plateau, 68 km east of Otjiwarongo.

It was the site of one of the major turning points in Namibia's History. It was at Waterberg, in the foothills, that the Herero people lost their last and greatest battle against German Colonial forces at the beginning of the 20th century. The Herero were forced to retreat from the Waterberg and headed eastward to British Bechuanaland (now Botswana). Thousands were killed by the pursuing Germans and many lost their lives in the Kalahari Desert due to lack of food and water. Estimates are that nearly two thirds of the Herero population lost their lives during this period. The graves of German soldiers who lost their lives at Waterberg can still be viewed near the Bernabe De La Bat rest camp at the base of the park.

The Waterburg Plateau is a particularly prominent location, elevating high above the plains of the Kalahari of Eastern Namibia. Waterburg Park and some 405 km² of surrounding land were declared a Nature Reserve in 1972. The plateau is largely inaccessible so in the early 1970s several of Namibia's endangered species were soon translocated there to protect them from predators and poaching to extinction. The programme was very successful and Waterberg now supplies other Namibian parks with rare animals. In 1989, black rhinoceros was reintroduced to the area from Damaraland.

The Waterberg Plateau National Park is ecologically diverse and rich and has over 200 different species of bird with some rare species of small antelope on the lower hills of the mountain.

Geologically, the oldest rock stratum is over 850 million years old and dinosaurs tracks were left there some 200 million years ago. The first human inhabitants were the San people, who left rock engravings believed to be several thousand years old. A small tribe of the San were still living their traditional lifestyle on the plateau until the late 1960's.

 

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National Parks Sat, 27 Jan 2007 14:17:43 +0000
Namib-Naukluft National Park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/354-namib-naukluft-national-park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/354-namib-naukluft-national-park

Namib-Naukluft National Park

Namib-Naukluft National Park is an ecological preserve in the Namib Desert in southwest Africa, thought to be Earth’s oldest desert. The park is the largest game park in Africa, and a surprising collection of creatures manages to survive in the hyper-arid region, including snakes, geckos, unusual insects, hyenas, and jackals. More moisture comes in as a fog off the Atlantic Ocean than falls as rain, with the average 106 millimeters of rainfall per year concentrated in the months of February and April.

The winds that bring in the fog are also responsible for creating the park’s towering sand dunes, whose burnt orange color is a sign of their age. The orange color develops over time as iron in the sand is oxidized (like rusty metal); the older the dune, the brighter the color. These dunes are the tallest in the world, in places rising above the desert floor more than 300 meters (almost 1000 feet). The dunes taper off near the coast, and lagoons, wetlands, and mudflats located along the shore attract hundreds of thousands of birds.

‘Namib’ means open space and the Namib Desert gave its name to form Namibia – “land of open spaces”. The park was established in 1907 when the German Colonial Administration proclaimed the area between the Swakop River and the Kuiseb River a game reserve. The park has some of the most unusual wildlife and nature reserves in the world, and covers an area of 19,215 sq. miles or 49,768 km² (an area approximately the size of Switzerland). The region is characterised by high isolated inselbergs/ kopjes (the Afrikaans for “isolated desert mountains”) which are made up of dramatic blood red granites, rich in feldspars and sandstone. The easternmost part of the park covers the Naukluft Mountains.

Sand and stones, sun and mirages, blue sky – or stars as far as you can see. Tiny beetles like the Tok Tokkie which collects its supply of moisture by fog-basking. Antelope like the Oryx whose body can heat up to temperatures which no other living being would be able to survive. Plants like the Welwitschia, some of which are already several hundred years old and still growing. The desert – so vast, so isolated, so inhospitable but nevertheless so diverse, so colourful and so much alive.

Namib Naukluft Park is the largest nature conservation area in Africa, extending between the tarred road Aus-Lüderitz in the south and the Swakop River in the north, and from the Atlantic coast in the west to the highland in the east.
  
Due to low rainfall the park basically consists of desert – whatever shape it may ultimately take. Visitors have access to four sections of the park: the dunes of Sossusvlei in the so-called Dune Namib, the Naukluft Mountains, the gravel plains of the Namib between the seasonal Swakop and Kuiseb Rivers, as well as the dune area on the Atlantic coast around the lagoon at Sandwich Harbour. Furthermore, some parts of the park – the dune belt of the Koichab River north of Aus for example – can be accessed through tour operators who hold a concession.

 

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National Parks Sat, 27 Jan 2007 14:11:22 +0000
Khaudom National Park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/353-khaudom-national-park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/353-khaudom-national-park

Khaudom National Park

Khaudom National Park is an isolated Nature Reserve situated in the Kalahari Desert at the 'root' of the Caprivi Strip in north east of Namibia bordering on Botswana.

It is a very remote and inaccessible reserve but is home to some magnificent animals such as the lion and the hyena.

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.

The park has a campsite for its few curious visitors.

 

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National Parks Sat, 27 Jan 2007 14:04:10 +0000
Etosha National Park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/352-etosha-national-park http://bushdrums.com/index.php/tanzania/tanzania-national-parks/item/352-etosha-national-park

Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park in Namibia was first established in 1907, when Namibia was a German colony known as South West Africa. At the time, the park’s original 100,000 km² (38,500 mile²) made it the largest game reserve in the world. Due to political changes since its original establishment, the park is somewhat less than a quarter of its original size, but still remains a very large and significant area in which wildlife is protected.

The Etosha Pan dominates the park. The salt pan desert is roughly 130 km long and as wide as 50 km in places. The salt pan is usually dry, but fills with water briefly in the summer months, when it attracts pelicans and flamingos in particular. Periannual springs attract a variety of game and birds throughout the year, including the endangered Black Rhinoceros and the endemic Black Face Impala.

In the dry season, winds blowing across the salt pan pick up saline dust and carry it across the country and out over the southern Atlantic. This salt enrichment provides minerals to the soil downwind of the pan on which some wildlife depends, though the salinity also creates challenges to farming and agriculture.

The Etosha Pan was one of several sites throughout southern Africa in the Southern African Regional Science Initiative (SAFARI 2000). Using satellites, aircraft, and ground-based data from sites such as Etosha, partners in this program collected a wide variety of data on aerosol, land cover, and other characteristics of the land and atmosphere to study and understand the interactions between people and the natural environment.

Etosha National Park is 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.

 

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National Parks Sat, 27 Jan 2007 13:47:36 +0000