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Wild romantic and unique wilderness in Zambezi
The Zambezi region (former Caprivi Strip) is one of the most fascinating places in Namibia. The tropical and wild Africa! Here it can happen that an elephant comes across the way! Unfortunately we have not met any but instead we have seen cattles and zebras.
The lodge is situated at about 480 km from Rundu, 75 km from Kongola and 130 km from Katima Mulilo. From Kongola you drive about 75 km on C46 in the direction of Sangwali. Up to this point the tarred roads are well constructed. Sangwali is still a very authentic African village with thatched round houses.
From the village you drive another 10 km to the lodge. This route is the pure adventure! 4×4 is a prerequisite! But please believe us, if you do not have a 4×4 car, it is better to have someone pick you up in Sangwali.
The Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge has a remote location on the isle Lupala on the riverside of one of the four channels of the Kwando Linyanti River System and is the only lodge that is situated in the very middle of the Linyanti Swamps and less than 300 m from the Nkasa Lupala National Park (former Mamili National Park). The islands Lupala and Nkasa have also lent their names to the lodge.
This unique Namibian marshland paradise is in the eastern part of the Zambezi region. You partly feel like being in the Okavango Delta.
For adventure seekers and people looking for a unique experience in the wilderness this lodge is an absolute Must.
The Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge is a joint venture between the managers of the lodge, the Italian family Micheletti and the Wuparo Conservancy. This joint venture is part of the successful and award-winning „Namibian Conservancy Program”.
The Wuparo Conservancy was founded under an ecotourism project by the Namibian environmental programme by the Mayeyi Traditional Authority with private participation of the family Micheletti. Together they aim at protecting the nature and fostering the well-being of the people in that region. A part of the revenues of the lodge are being transferred to the Wuparo Conservancy.
95 % of the employees of the lodge come from the community. Once 9 employees have now become 23. By this for sure the life in the villages is also improving. Within the frame of the non-governmental organization IRDNC (Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation) the inhabitants of the region ensure the wildlife protection. They intend to prevent poaching and illegal hunts.
The managers of the lodge, the brothers Simone, Alessandro and Ruggero Micheletti want to offer their guests since July 2011 a special wilderness adventure and unique experiences and at the same time to ensure also a reasonable and ecofriendly tourism management. The three of them are real visionaries with passion, sensitivity and love for nature, animals and humans. Absolutely impressive! Further information >>
Interview mit manager Alessandro Micheletti
We talked to manager Alessandro. In this video he tells us about his vision and the wonderful lodge. A great man with great opinions!
The whole lodge was built according to the ecologic perspective and is fully energy autonomous. The energy is being generated by solar radiation and also the water is being heated by the sun. Warm water is only available in the evening and light comes from solar or LED lamps. Also the paths betweens tents and the main building stayed natural.
The main area of the lodge was built in an ecofriendly and sustainable way (no concrete) on wood platforms. This main area consists of a dining area, a lounge and a bar. Here you can finish out the day with a sundowner. There is also a little pool here for freshing up.
From the wonderful wood terraces with fireplace and viewing deck you have a breath-taking view on the laguna where there are often elephants. In September and October you can see here over 200 elephants! We were there in May and to that time all of them had already migrated to Botswana. But nevertheless it is just wonderful here, especially the pure wilderness!
In the evening you can enjoy here the slightly Italian inspired food at the family table. Who wants to, can sit here with all other guests (including the manager and his son) and review the high points of the day. A really great thing which made our visit here even more interesting and personal. Especially beautiful is the fire that is burning in the evenings.
The main area and the tents fit in perfectly with the natural surroundings. By this the lodge is a prime example for sustainable building and sensible sustainable tourism, not only in that region, but for whole Namibia.
The 10 simple but though luxurious tents are built with steel, canvas and wood on stilts. There are 8 luxury tents, a honeymooner’s tent and a family tent. They all have glass doors, a little deck for fantastic animal viewing and an own bathroom. Glamping (Glamourous Camping) in the wilderness!
The tent for the honeymooners has a wonderful open air bath tub.
Be a guest of the wild animals
For the animals there are no limitations or fences. They can walk freely from the national park to the lodge. And also to Botswana, Namibia, Angola and Sambia of course. So there are numerous exciting encounters with the wild animals. Therefore a guide has to bring you to your tent after dinner.
You can observe here elephants, hippos, a huge buffalo cattle, two lion prides, hyenas, antelopes, kudus, … and up to 400 bird species.
Game Drives and more
Depending to the season there are different activities, for example game drives in the Nkasa Lupala National Park, hikes, boat tours and village tours. Then you can see with a little luck lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, antelopes, duikers, gnus, hippos and warthogs. Night game drives are being made during the dry winter months.
A combination of game drive and boats tour is also great. The drive through the swamps, savannah and grass landscapes and the huge Kwando Linyanti river system takes including lunch about 5 hours. The drive with our guide Gini was super interesting!
We love Nkasa Lupala!
For adventurers, romantics, animal and nature lovers this lodge is just perfect. The nature is breath-takingly beautiful and here is a very special atmosphere. The remote position of the lodge gives the feeling of being in the wilderness. And if you are there at the right time of the year (September/October) you can see the elephants from the decks. Also for the honeymoon or for a romantic bush wedding this is a very special place! We enjoyed here a lot the atmosphere, the people, the nature and the animals! This place will always stay in our memories an in our hearts!
Air temperature: -1 – 40 degrees
Best travel period: May – September (rainy period January to March), end of April and May is the best weather. Best time for safaris and elephant watching: September-October (end of the dry period)
Price: from 136 EUR per night incl. dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Total ranking: ******
Specialties: Sustainable tourism with a heart and passion for animals, nature and humans, breath-taking landscape, animals can walk around through the lodge, very personal and warm-hearted atmosphere, great tents, great food
Our tip: We recommend you malaria prophylaxis and enough mosquito repellents because the lodge is situated in malaria high risk area.
Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge
Nkasa Lupala NP
11km South of Sangwali
GPS: S18 19.766 E23 40.324
East Caprivi – Namibia
Eco Awards Namibia – 5 of 5 Eco Flowers
Award of Excellence 2014
Conservancy Tourism Award 2011
Note: During our stay we have been partly supported by the Nkasa Lupala Lodge. The views expressed in this article are, as always – our own! To 100%!