Kavango - Namibia
Situated proudly at the confluence of the Cuito and Okavango Rivers is Shamvura Camp. Located roughly halfway between the northern Namibian towns of Rundu and Divundu, the seclusion and privacy offered by a riverside setting make it the ideal stopover on your northern Namibian safari. Individual travellers and families who would like to stay for a number of days and self-cater, would find this camp particularly appealing.
Spectacular views of the immediate Angolan floodplains are infinite, guarded by the mysteries of a meandering Okavango River. It is the same river that provides life for the surrounding riverine forest and woodland. The extensive fauna-rich ecosystem enables a large diversity of wildlife to thrive. Shamvura Camp respect and appreciate these gifts and have made it a paradise for keen nature lovers, with birding a speciality.
Owner/managers Mike and Charlie Paxton pride themselves on personalized and friendly service. Mike is a well-known naturist with over 40 years experience and Charlie has been actively involved in community-based craft developments in both the Kavango and Caprivi Regions for many years. Guests and staff mingle freely and share the lodge space with a variety of pets ranging from dogs, mongeese, guineafowl and our personal favourite, Bokkie, the large, enegmatic, cigarette chewing, television watching goat (yup! he has his own chair in the lounge for the purpose of watching TV)
The main complex has a private bar, a lounge with DSTV and a viewing deck. Home-cooked meals are served in the kitchen. Other facilities include a swimming pool, laundry service, internet connection and secure parking. Visitors to Shamvura interested in crafts and basketry have the opportunity to meet crafters on site or on an excursion. A wide selection of handcrafts and basketry are available.
The accommodation is modest but private and suitable for small self-catering parties. Features include mosquito nets, daily servicing, linen and firewood. Separate all-weather entrance roads with spacious turning and safe parking are standard. There is:
Tree Top Cottage:
This cottage sleeps 4 and is supplied with electricity. It is elevated on a wooden platform in the forest with great views from a private verandah. It has:
- 1 x large main bedroom with a double and single bed, a ceiling fan and en-suite bathroom.
- An open-plan dining/kitchen/living area with space for 2 x extra beds.
The kitchen is equipped with:
- A fridge/freezer, stove, crockery and cutlery for 6 people.
- A private braai area.
This tent sleeps 2. There is no electricity but battery lamps are provided. Elevated on a wooden platform there are excellent river views from a private verandah. It has:
- En-suite shower/toilet facilities.
- A private braai area and washing area.
A shady cabin tent that can sleep 4. There is no electricity but battery lamps are provided. It lies on a raised cement base with a covered veranda. It has:
- Nearby shower/toilet facility (not en-suite).
- A private braai and washing area.
A cabin tent that can sleep 3. There is no electricity but battery lamps are provided. It is raised on a wooden platform with a private veranda offering a good view of the floodplains. It has:
- En-suite shower facilities.
- A private braai and washing area.
A shady cabin tent that sleeps 4. There is electricity, lights and a plug point. It is near the main complex but a reed-fence ensures total privacy. Unfortunately there is no view. It has:
Double ablution facilities within the enclosed area.
The kitchen is equipped with:
- A fridge/freezer, stove, crockery and cutlery for up to 8 people.
- A private braai area with outside lighting.
Activities at Shamvura include a number of organized trips by road, on foot or by boat.
Birding is a speciality here. The extensive floodplains of the Okavango River systems afford the best there is. Their current tick list numbers 412 species. Grey-headed and Meyer’s parrots regularly fly overhead. Knobthorn forest provides an excellent raptor habitat. Lookout for wood owl, barred owlet, white-faced scops-owl, western banded snake eagle, African goshawk, black sparrowhawk, Peregrine falcon, African hobby and Bat hawk to name but a lot! Chats, boubou, tchagra, barbets, bulbuls,flycatchers, woodpeckers and sunbirds abound. Wood hoopoes. Shelley’s sunbird is also often seen here.
Smaller seedeaters such as firefinches, waxbills, warblers, cisticolas, larks and pipits are plentiful. Rosy-throated longclaw, yellow wagtail, dwarf bittern, snipes, cuckoo-finch and other waders are attracted when seasonal rain waters fill up local pans. A registered bird-ranging station has qualified staff available to bird-watchers.
- Specialized guided walks can be arranged. The uninhabited floodplains afford some excellent walking opportunities in the drier months. There are no large game species in the area anymore but some interesting plains bird species, smaller mammals, insects and reptiles have survived.
- Boat trips:
- The extensive floodplains attract breeding and feeding birds. A boat trip on the river reveals many species such as lapwing, snipe, kingfishers, bee-eaters, rails, crakes, lesser jacana, ducks, geese, heron, egrets and many other waders and waterbirds.
- An unusual activity at Shamvura, and one that highlights the intensity and love for birding is bird-ringing. Strategically placed ringing stations, complete with qualified and registered ringers, are on site. There are 2 choices of a daily ringing programme available with hands-on capture and ringing procedures covered. Prior notification will be required.
- The immediate stretch of Okavango River offers excellent opportunities to catch tiger fish, catfish, bream, thin-face and hump-back largemouth and ‘Three-spot’. Light spinning rods and a variety of lures, spinners, live-bait or drift-bait can be used.
- Mokoro 'Wato' Trips:
- A peaceful option of being 'poled' through the waterways and channels of the floodplains is a great experience. A variety of interesting plant, fish and bird life are best observed from January to May, when the water levels of the river are highest.
- Game Parks:
- There are 2 distinctly different locations within 1hr's drive.
- Mahango Game Park: The riverine routes in Mahango are suitable for 2x4 vehicles but the majority of the park is not. Most of the game and birds are within reach of the riverine areas. As it is a relatively small park, guided day trips can be quite rewarding.
- Kaudom Game Park: Closer than Mahango NP, but some prior planning must be taken. It is a large, remote destination, dotted with unmarked routes. Rules and regulations stipulate that at least 2 x vehicles at a time enter for safety reasons.
- Micro light flights:
- View the stunning scenery of the Angolan floodplains and meandering Kavango River from the air
- Traditional dance and music sessions
- Local cultural dancing group from the Gciriku regularly entertain guests.
An upmarket lodge and spa on the banks of the Kavango River. The only traditional luxury lodge on this stretch of river
A well run lodge offering good facilities situated close to the town of Rundu
A few kilometers east of Rundu a nice functional lodge that more than adequately serves as an overnight stop while travelling through the Kavango and Zambezi region. The rooms, bar and restaurant area offer lovely views of the Kavango River.
Situated on the banks of the river (hence the name) in Rundu
Situated close to the Mahangu Park in west Caprivi - this is an excellent stop-over between Namibia, Maun (in Botswana) and the Victoria Falls
A rustic river side campsite and lodge offering excellent value for money. A lively bar and restaurant ensures this appeals to the younger or more socially inclined traveller
Close to Popa Falls and the Mahango Reserve this lodge offers stunning river views
Refreshingly, and surprisingly for the area, this lodge does not have the word 'River' as part of its name. Do not be misled it is situated on the banks of the river opposite the Caprivi Game Park (Bwabwata National Park)
Close to the Popa Falls (a series of rapids on the Kavango River), this rest camp was renovated in 2013
on the Kavango River banks this lodge offers plenty of water based activities
Near the village of Divundu, this small but wonderfully managed lodge is a perennial favourite of ours. Lovely wooden chalets, with large decks overlook the river. Those wanting to experience the river can choose from fishing and sunset river cruises
On a beautiful plot of indigenous plants and trees overlooking the river
One of the best lodges for birders visiting Namibia - but also great for fishing, chilling or generally becoming part of the family (the family consists of a host of creatures including goats, otters and guinefowls all lovingly adopted by the owners)
A small lodge a short distance west of Rundu. The rooms have river views and guests can choose from a range of activities
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