Bwabwata National Park is a gem that is filled with other small national parks within it and it is located at the border of Namibia and Angola. The National Park also acts as a habitat for human beings which means that part of the park is inhabited by humans while the other part is inhabited with wild life and these live in the same place. The park is run by the government which has allowed the locals who amount to about 5000 people to live within the Park boundaries for as long as they do not hunt down the animals that live within the National Park.
The Park experiences two seasons that is the dry and wet season and all these determine the activities that you can carry out while in Bwabwata and when to visit the Park. The flood plains that are located within the park are always full of water which attracts a lot of birds both local and migratory whereas during the dry season, it’s the animals that can easily be spotted. In simple terms there are roughly two major activities that you can carry out while in Bwabwata National park and these are bird watching during the wet season and game viewing during the dry season.
When to visit the Bwabwata National Park
Bwabwata National Park is an all year round but this is highly determined by the activities that you would want to carry out. The dry season in Bwabwata is experienced in the months of June to September and this is the best time for animal viewing because during the dry season, there are droughts that are experienced and animals have to move around in search of water.
The rainy season is experienced is experienced in the months of November to April and it is considered as the low season as many of the roads in the National park are always flooded and hard to access during this time. But it is the perfect time for one to go for birding although you will need to extremely ready for the changes in weather.
A brief look at the weather changes that are experienced within the Bwabwata National park have been listed below so that you get to know the perfect time for you to visit the National park.
- The hottest weather in the Park is experienced from the month of September to December and it sometimes becomes so unbearable and therefore you should be ready to face the extremely hot temperatures although it is much better to avoid these months.
- The best time for one to visit the Park is from the month of June to September and this is when the animals can be seen moving freely around the Park.
- The best weather that is not so cold and not so hot is experienced from the month of May to August and one of the best times for tourists to visit the Park.
- The peak season in the Park is experienced in the months of October to March although it will not be as crowded as other National Parks in the country.
Birding in the Bwabwata National Park
Birding in the Bwabwata is normally done during the wet season and it is done at the different bird breeding places that are located within the Park and some of these include the Mahango area and the Kavango River. Some of the bird species that you will get to see include the rarely seen African skimmer, the salty egret, rufous bellied heron, collared palm thrush, owls, the African pygmy goose, the Dickinson’s kestrel, white backed night heron, Allen’s gallinule, bennet’s wood pecker and the swamp boubou.
Game viewing in the Bwabwata National Park
The Bwabwata National Park is a home to numerous wild animals which can be seen in the different parts of the park and these can easily be seen during the dry season. The dry season brings out many of the animals from their natural habitats into the parts of the park that have water in them due to the droughts experienced during this period. Some of the wild life that you will see in Bwabwata National park include crocodiles, the African buffalos, zebras, Tssessebe, wild dogs, the red Lechwe, elephants, the roan antelope, cheetahs, lions, leopards, hippos, reedbucks, sitatunga, white rhinos and many more others.
The plants in Bwabwata National Park
The Park has a wide range of flora that can give you or anyone interested in plants a field trip as they all belong to different classes. The vegetation that will is majorly found in the Bwabwata National park includes the Kalahari woodland, the caprivi mopane woodland, Riverine woodlands and some of the tree species include the Makalani Palm, the Zambezi teak, the African teak, the false mopane and many more other species.
The Mbunza living museum
Even though the Mbunza museum is not located within the Bwabwata National Park, it is close by and you can drive to the museum and get a class of history and also get you some souvenirs from the locals. The museum provides tourists with a chance to learn more about the culture that is practiced around the Okavango River and some souvenirs that you can get yourself include pottery, woven materials and also marvel at the houses that were all constructed using natural materials and it is also said that the village has been around for more than one century. You will also be offered guided bush walks by the locals that live around the museum and enjoy some of the stories that are always told by the elders.
As earlier on noted, the Bwabwata National Park has other smaller National parks that are located within it and these can be explored while on a safari to the Park and these parks and the activities that you can carry out while here include:
The Mahango National Park
This is located near the Okavango River and it is not separate from the Bwabwata National park. The Mahango Park is divide into two parts that is the water side where birding takes place and the bushland side where most of the animals can be spotted. Animal viewing is mostly done in the mornings and afternoons when the heat is still bearable and these are mostly seen on the Bushland side of the Mahango National Park.
- Trekking through the Mahango, this is done to the different parts of the Park that cannot be easily accessed by a car but you will need to be extremely careful while trekking and you should also follow all the rules that are set up by the tour guide to avoid accidents with some wild animals. This is one of the many ways that you can get to see the different animals that live within the Park.
- Game viewing in the Park, as earlier on noted, the Mahango national Park is located within the Bwabwata National park and some of the animals that you get to see while on a drive through the Park include the common reedbuck, hyenas, the sable antelope, zebras, kudus, elephants, giraffes, waterbucks, leopards, crocodiles, lions, impalas and many more other species.
- The bird species that breed within the Park can be found at the flood plains that are located within the Park and the most common bird species you will see is the pink lesser flamingo and other migratory birds that fly into the country and join the local species especially during the wet season.
The Buffalo Park
The Buffalo Park is also part of the Bwabwata National Park and although it is not explored by many tourists, it is still a gem and one should visit in order to get an experience that is worthwhile. It is extremely hard to find the park on your own and that is why you will need a tour guide to drive you there so that you do not get lost. Even though it is referred to as the buffalo Park, it is still a home to numerous wild life and some of these include the red Lechwe which has just of recent been introduced to the Park, buffalos, roan antelopes, Impalas, elephants, warthogs, kudus, sable antelopes, lions and many more other species.
The Park is also filled with large termites and if you are brave enough, you can get out of your car and climb up the ant hills in order to get a good look at the different animals that also roam around the Park but you should be extremely careful and make sure that there are no animals close by as you climb up the hills.
How to get to Bwabwata National Park
The Bwabwata National Park can be accessed from two entry points that is the Eastern side and the Western side. All the roads from both ends are not all that good but you will need a permit if you are to use the off-beat roads before getting to the National park. This is one of the many reasons as to why you should always have a tour guide with you especially one who knows the routes well or you can also get yourself a map to take you around although self-drives are not all that common in the National Park.