This park used to be known as the Mamili National Park and represents Namibia’s wettest park, and is therefore the least accessible due to its floodplains.
It encloses the largest wetland area in Namibia that enjoys conservation status and is well known for its gigantic herds of buffalo.
A network of channels, reed-beds, ox-bow lakes and a vast diversity of wildlife characterise the park and form the most northern part of the Okavango Delta’s Kwando area.
Nkasa Rupara is found in the broadleaved tree and wood savannah biome; vegetation type is Caprivi floodplains. Woody vegetation is found on higher islands that are rarely flooded.
Examples of common woodland species are knob thorn (Acacia nigrescens), paper-bark acacia (Acacia sieberiana), large-leaved albizia (Albizia versicolor), monkey bread (Piliostigma thonningii), Leadwood (Combretum imberbe), sausage tree (Kigelia Africana) and silver cluster-leaf (Terminalia sericea).
Nkasa Rupara forms a corridor for all large mammal species moving between Namibia and Botswana, particularly African elephant and buffalo. There are about 1 000 buffalo in Nkasa Rupara, the largest concentration in Namibia.
Around 560 hippopotami and 500 crocodile occur in the park’s rivers and channels. Rare antelope species include Sitatungas, pukus, red lechwe, reedbucks and oribis.
Mammals of this park as well as reptiles feature elephants, lions, Namibian cheetahs, leopards, spotted hyenas, Cape wild dogs, roan antelopes, impala, kudus, warthogs, baboons, spotted-necked otters, rock monitor lizards and water monitor lizards.
About 450 bird species have been counted. Several rare, vulnerable and endangered species are found here, such as wattled crane, Pel’s fishing-owl, black-cheeked lovebird and yellow-billed oxpecker.
Other birds are Stanley’s bustard, rosy-throated long claw, Dickinson’s kestrel, Allen’s gallinule, lesser jacana, black-winged and red-winged pratincole, long-toed lapwing, Luapula cisticola, coppery-tailed coucal and black coucal.
Where to stay
There is a community camp-site on the park’s northern border. The Nkasa Lupala tented lodge was built recently as part of a tourism concession granted by the Namibian Government.
It is a partnership with the Wuparo Conservancy. Wuparo Conservancy also runs a community campsite outside the park