Namibia Travel Destination: Khaudum Park
Out in the Kalahari Desert, a four-hour drive from a trace of civilization and you’re standing in the heat of the day looking at the puncture in the tire of your hefty 4×4. You’ve been on this track for two hours and haven’t made much progress. In this timeless environment you aren’t really bothered but you watch the sun and hope that you make it to the camp before dark. You remember the pack of African wild dogs you drove past earlier and you can hear lions roaring in the distance. Grateful to have someone that can change a tire, you are happy to have the company of other people with a vehicle and a spare. Your stomach growls and you’re glad to have made provisions for a meal to barbecue this evening at the campsite. You move over to the tank in your vehicle to refill your water bottle. This is not fiction, this a probable experience you could have in the Khaudum Park, the most pristine nature conservation in Namibia.
Protecting the Northern Kalahari Sandveld biome, the Khaudum Park is isolated and untouched by the outside world. It receives more elephants than tourists every year due to its open-park system which gives the wildlife freedom to migrate to the Okavango Delta and back as per their hereditary migration patterns. This makes for great game viewing all over the park especially at the different artificial waterholes which have hides for game viewers. It is also home to two Omarumbas which is an ancient riverbed which provides fertile clay soils and seasonal waterholes. Majestic giraffe, Oryx, kudu and gentle antelope can be seen in the think forests and the park is home to more than three hundred species of birds. The park is also home to rare predators such as lions and hyenas and is known for its leopard population. This is also the only nature park in Namibia that you can see the African wild dog.
True 4×4 African Safari
The Khaudum Park can only be entered by vehicles with four-wheel-drive and provides an original African safari for the true adventurer. The Park has only two very basic bush campsites which need to be booked in advance. There is the Khaudum campsite in the north which is closest to the Popa Falls and the Sikereti campsite in the south which is closest to the town of Tsumkwe. The campsites have no fences and ablution blocks with only cold water so you will need to plan immaculately before embarking in order to be completely self-sufficient and ready for any situation. The regulations of the park prove the authenticity and will assist your adventure. You need to enter the park with at least two four-wheel-drive vehicles in convoy with high ground clearance and extra fuel as fuel consumption doubles staying in 4×4 mode on the difficult sandy terrain. In the wet months the roads become almost unusable. Every party should also have provision of three days of food for every person as well as one hundred liters of water per vehicle as dehydration is a real threat in the desert. Every vehicle also needs two spare tires and a net of sorts to protect the radiator from grass seeds. A practical or handy person is always a benefit to any team!
San Bushmen tribe
This park also provides the opportunity to meet the local San Bushmen people, of whom the park was originally established to protect the lifestyle of. The aim was to conserve the natural raw lifestyle of these people and the beautiful park in which they live. Converse with these indigenous people of Namibia over a fire and hear their fascinating tales of a world which has hardly changed over centuries. The Khaudum Park is not for the faint of heart and provides a raw adventure for those willing to brave it.