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Waterberg National Park

This Namibia Game park was gazetted as a national park in 1972 first as only a wildlife sanctuary to protect some of the Namibia wildlife endemic species and also act as a breeding ground for the threatened species such as the eland, black rhino, sable and roan antelopes.

The park is located at the foot slopes of the mountain which was named after the springs flowing below on a plateau rising to roughly 1700m above sea level. This part of the country is a truly fascinating destination and an important geological site in Namibia. Some features such as dinosaur tracks and petrified dunes make it almost a must stop for travellers on the way further north.

The plateau region is actually the largest part of the park growing a diversity of 500 different species of flora not seen any where in Namibia. The park’s vegetation is mainly comprised of shrubs, dense broad leafed tree forests with verdant undergrowth, riverine forests and other unique species. The broad-leaf woodlands of the sandy plateau are typical of the sandveld of eastern and north-eastern parts of Namibia. There are also striking silver cluster-leaf with its silver grey foliage, wild syringa and Kalahari apple leaf.

The best time to visit Waterberg for its plants and trees is during the months of September to December when the plants are at full bloom.

Wildlife

Regular sights in the park include rhino, buffalo, rock dassie, klipspringer, giraffe, tsessebe, roan, sable antelopes, wild dog, lesser bush babies, impala, klipspringer, steenbok, gemsbok and impala. The only Cape vulture colony in Namibia lives in the Karakuwisa Mountain on the western edge of the Waterberg plateau.

The park is home to several nocturnal predators such as leopard, cheetah, lion, spotted hyena, caracal and black-backed jackal. Small mammals are also part of the fauna in the park-Damara dik-dik is found near the Bat rest camp as well as the mongoose and the lesser bush babies.

Accommodation

This Namibia national park is located 280 km north of Windhoek and is thus easily accessible from the capital. Accommodation is available at the former Rhenish mission rest camp housing more than 200 people in dormitory accommodation with a fuel station and a canteen for supplies. Camping is also allowed at this rest camp. Attractions near the camp include tombs of German fighters in the Nama Herero uprising of 1904.

Bernabe de la Bat Rest Camp is another option for safari accommodation in the park. This eco-friendly rest camp was named after the first director of Namibia's Department of Nature Conservation. Accommodation ranges from four and three bed bungalows to deluxe rooms sleeping two people. Bungalows are equipped with a hotplate, refrigerator and kettle, but no crockery, cutlery or cooking utensils. There are also shaded camp sites with communal ablutions and field kitchens.

Other amenities include a swimming pool with a superb view of the cliffs, a restaurant, shop which stocks frozen meat, tinned goods and curios, and a filling station where only petrol is sold.

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