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Caprivi Strip info needed

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Hi all

can anyone write some personal experience at
1. N'kwasi (or Nkwazi) Lake Lodge - near Rundu
notes on activities, birding...
2. Mazambala Lodge

3, Mahango Reserve / NP
Have you seen Sable Roan ?
(& i dare to say Sitatunga?? - one of my favourites which i miss now forlong)

thanks in advance

aby

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    We stayed at N'Kwazi and Mazambala in March 2010 (1 night and 3 nights respectively) and highly recommend both. The bungalow at N'Kwazi and homey and comfortable and the food was very good (as was Mazambala). N'Kwazi is doing some great work with a local school if you would like to visit that and we had a lovely trip down the river (stopping on the Angola side for a photo op!).

    At Mazambala we had several lovely boat trip (in the pouring rain, but no matter) and the birding was excellent. Also lot of hippos!

    Happy to answer any questions....

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    Elizabeth - thanks for your answers

    How long is the drive between the two properties?
    Have you gone by chance from Mazambala to Maun (if so how was the way and how long?)

    Good food - any selection of vegtables/fruits for vegetarians?

    have you recorded specific birds?

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    Hi aby
    We didn't stay in the places you mentioned but we did visit Mahango - copied here from my report Affordable Botswana - trip report Aug-Sept 08 http://www.fodors.com/community/africa-the-middle-east/affordable-botswana---trip-report-aug-sept-08.cfm

    We did see sable and we think sitatunga (unconfirmed!)- I didn't make a note of roan and I honestly can't remember, we saw them somewhere but don't remember if it was Mahango.

    this bit of the report covers travelling north from Bots into Namibia:


    Drotsky’s to Namibian border only about 26 km, nipped into Shakawe on the way – another place which seems to be developing at a pace, new supermarket (Choppies I think) just opened on the main road and the village itself was bustling. Crossed the Mohembo border with no problem, very quick and helpful staff on both sides of the border.

    After the border crossing you are immediately in Mahango NP, if you are driving straight through you don’t have to pay, otherwise there’s a small fee. Mahango is a small national park, cut in 2 by the road. We had plenty of time so called at the office to pay and get a map and some advice from the ranger where to go and where not to go. She suggested a loop on the eastern side, which passes beside the river and floodplain and is said to be the better one for game (about 20km long). You can do this loop in a sedan car. As soon as we turned off the road we met a small herd of elephants – they were very relaxed and browsed all around us. I can’t get enough of elephants, so it was a bonus to see some, we thought we’d said goodbye to them in Moremi. There are extensive floodplain areas, where we spotted many antelope including the usual suspects – sable, waterbuck, impala as well as red lechwe and possibly sitatunga (not confirmed – no photographic evidence!) There are a couple of lovely places for a picnic, one beside a large baobab and next to the river, where we saw buffalo, crocs and hippos – one hippo was out of the water in the sun and we realized he was badly scratched with open bloody wounds all over his body – but was still alive . We think the wounds were caused by another hippo because we’d seen similar healed marks on other hippos, and we couldn’t imagine that another predator would leave it’s prey alone. Excellent bird life – they say (again only hearsay because we’re not bird experts) that more species can be found here than in any other park in Namibia, and we did see many we couldn’t identify. It’s a perfect spot to set up your chairs and enjoy the scenery and birdlife. They say that there are all the big cats in the area so keep a lookout, but we didn’t see any. The road loops round to meet the main road after about 20km, we turned back and did the same loop back instead of using the ‘main’ road, about 40km total. The ranger advised against the western loop, which is only suitable for 4x4s, saying it’s mainly mopane woodland and difficult to see game, but instead suggested a straight return drive to a waterhole on the western side (20km there & back) . We saw little game on that side, just a few wildebeest, and ostriches. Actually the ostriches were interesting because the male and female had chicks, so when they saw us the male shepherded off the chicks and the female did her ‘oh dear, look at me I’m injured’ routine, limping, flapping and trailing her wing , so that we’d follow her and not the chicks. I said before that to us it’s often just as interesting to see something like that as the ‘big’ game. As for Mahango I wouldn’t say that it’s a destination in itself, especially if you are used to the bigger reserves in Botswana, but certainly a nice place to stop on the way between Botswana and Namibia. I have to add that we did a game drive there another evening (as opposed to midday when we did the first one) and we saw nothing apart from a couple of antelope - it seemed deserted – and that’s supposed to be the better time of day for game-viewing! But we did enjoy a sundowner in splendid isolation overlooking the river with lots of birds to try and identify.

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    Re distance - it was about a 4 hour drive from N'Kwai to Mazambala (where you park in a secure parking lot and are transported by boat to the lodge). Re vegetarian selections - both properties had a good selection and I think a willingness to work with you - I would be sure to let them know in advance so they can be sure to have choices.

    We went to Chobe, not Maun after Mazamabala. We dropped our Namibian rental car off at Katima and were picked up by our Kasane Lodge - it was too expensive to take the car across the border.

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