Mangetti National Park is located in the Kavango region and it was set up in the year 2008 to protect the wild life and vegetation that can be found in the region. It covers about 420 square kilometers and is a home to a wide number of animals and birds. The parks also has different types of vegetation that are found within and some of them include the Mangetti trees, savannah vegetation and the Kalahari woodland. The dense vegetation that covers most parts of the Mangetti National Park make it hard to spot the wild life and therefore you will need a good tour guide who knows how to track so that you can get to see some of the animals that habitate within the National Park.
The Mangetti National Park is referred to as one of the many new generation Parks that have been set up in the different parts of the country to help improve on the tourism in Namibia which will in return help in reducing the poverty that is experienced in most parts of the rural Namibia. The reasons as to why the Mangetti National park was set up was to:
- Protect the wild life and vegetation around Grootfontein.
- Provide jobs to the locals hence improving on their standards of living.
- Attract tourists and the money got is used to help the surrounding communities through development.
Game viewing in the Mangetti
Mangetti National park is a small Park as compared to other Parks in the country but it is a home to several wild animals that can be seen while wither driving through the Park or taking a bush walk through the Park. The animals that can easily be seen when one goes for a game drive in the Mangetti include hyenas, the blue wildebeest, the common eland, African wild dogs, leopards, giraffes, the common impalas, Kudus, the Burchell’s zebra, gemsbok, the sable antelopes, African wild cats, elephants although these are occasionally seen, caracal, duikers and many more other species.
Birding in the Mangetti
The dense vegetation that is found in the Mangetti national park acts as a habitat for some of the bird species that can be seen in the National Park. There are several bird species that are breed and habitate within the Mangetti National Park and these include the Tawny eagle, the stripped king fisher, the lapped faced vulture, the Bateleur, Meyer’s parrot and many more other species. These are best seen during the dry season because then the migratory birds also fly into the park and add on the number of bird species that can be seen in the Park.
Hiking through the Mangetti national Park
Hiking through the Mangetti Park will give you a chance to see all the small animals that you might have missed while driving through and it also gives you a chance to get in touch with nature. The walks through the national Park are always guided as you cannot be allowed to gain access to the hike routes if you do not have an experienced tour guide with you. You will have the chance of getting to know the uses of some of the trees that are found in the Park as some locals use the trees for medicinal purposes. Before you go for a hike, it is good if you put on long sleeved clothes to avoid scratches from tree branches and you need to follow the directions that are given to you by the tour guide.
While on a safari to the Mangetti national park, there are surrounding places that you should definitely check out because they are worth visiting and these include the following:
The Kavango west concessions
The concessions is filled with sand dunes that were formed millions of years ago from the Namib Desert and are covered with bushes and trees and this because of the presence of good soil which allows for the growth of the trees around the sand dunes. The dunes are a good habitat for many wild animals that habitate within the Park and the most commonly seen animals in the concessions is the Antelope.
The Hoba Meteorite
The Hoba Meteorite is located in Grootfontein and is one of the many tourist attractions that can be visited after one has seen and explored the Mangetti National Park. The Hoba Meteorite is a tone that fell from the sky in the many years ago and was discovered in 1920 and on testing it, it was discovered that it has more iron content than any other component on earth. It was a great big rock and weighed tones but due to the vandalism from the locals and erosion over the years it has reduced quite a bit although it still big and cannot easily be moved to any other part of the country.
The Das Alte Fort museum
The Das Alte Fort museum is easy to spot as it is located at a hill in Grootfontein and it was built in the year1896 by the German colonialists and at the time that it was constructed it was used as a form of barracks by the German colonialists. Its position on top of a hill made it more advantageous for them as they could easily spot the enemy troops from a distance. The museum was opened up in 1983 officially and when you get inside with the help of a tour guide you will find many historical artefacts that were used by the Germans and others that show the history of Grootfontein as a town and the people who live within it.
The Tsumeb cultural Center
The Tsumeb cultural center brings to life the saying that when you visit the Mangetti National park it is both for game viewing and cultural experiences all put in one package. The museum was opened up to give tourists a glimpse of the different cultures that are located within Namibia and it is one place that you will be able to understand the meaning and cultures of all the tribes that are found within the country. It gives tourists a glimpse of the past life of Namibians through telling the wonderful history of the country and at the same time the present life of Namibians after independence.
It is also a place where art craft is put on display and you will be able to get yourself some souvenirs at an incredibly cheap price and you will also get to taste a local drink known as Oshikundu that is made from millet that is Mahangu in the local language.
How to get to Mangetti National Park
You can fly from Windhoek the capital city of Namibia, then land in Rundu airport before taking an hour’s drive to the camp that is near the Mangetti National Park. The drive from Windhoek to Mangetti will take you about seven hours and since there is practically nothing interesting to see on your way to the Park, it is better to opt for flying in and this will also help you get to the park early. When you get to the Park, you will need a 4×4 car to get you around and this is due to the presence of sandy roads within the National Park.
When to visit the Mangetti National park
The National Park can be visited all year round but it is better if you try to find out if the activities that you want to carry out while on a safari to the national park and this means that the activities that you plan on carrying out both within and outside the Mangetti national park will highly determine the best time for you to visit the Mangetti national Park.
A trip to the Mangetti National Park will be worth your time in Namibia and the more you visit the Park, the more you help the surrounding community as the locals get jobs to up lift their life style and also improve on their standards of living. It is like a new way of giving back to the community around Grootfontein and after your exploration of the Mangetti Park, you can always stay around and visit other tourist attractions that are found within the Grootfontein town. Therefore pack up a bag and head down to Mangetti Park and save a community that is trying to financially develop.