Khaudum National Park
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Very near the North-Western corner of Namibia lies Khaudum National Park, one of the most remote parks of all. Everyone has warned me of deep sand and a severe lack of facilities, so I’m more than excited to load up and head into the unknown.
The entire park has only a few visitors and is extremely barren and remote. It has not rained for a long time, so the animals cluster around the few watering holes that actually have water available to drink.
One Afternoon Em and I sit less than a eighty yards from an enormous group of more than a hundred elephants as they greedily drink and wade into the precious water. It’s fascinating watching the bigger ones stand guard while the small ones and females drink, and we also see a tiny baby get stuck in the waterhole and struggle for over an hour to get out. More than a few times we’re worried for his safety in the deep mud and water, though after an enormous amount of effort he is finally able to scramble up the steep and slippery mud bank.
We cruise the entire park hoping to spot large cats, though we only encounter elephants and yet more elephants. The landscape is extremely barren and it’s sweltering hot day after day.
The Northern edge of the park is extremely deep sand, and the Jeep works overtime in low range 4×4 for hour after hour, though we never once get stuck or anything remotely close.
This is a spectacular park well worth a visit for those looking to get away from the crowds of Etosha.
P.S. some websites say you won’t be allowed into the park as a long vehicle – this is outdated info and it’s entirely possible to go it solo. There is one campground near the South (Sekerreti) that has zero infrastructure, and then a very fancy (and expensive) lodge type place in the North.
If you want to avoid paying the big bucks, leave the park to the North then camp off the side of the track, there are hundreds of good places.
Hey Dan, this must be an exciting trip for you. As a youth here in Africa who is excited and filled up with love for adventures I am excited to learn more from you through following up in the social media and through your website. Your plan shows that you will pass through Tanzania. Please notify me when you reach our borders. I live in Tanzania and my name is Ken
Thanks for the note and invitation! It would be a pleasure to meet up with you in Tanzania. I will visit your country for sure, though I don’t know my exact timeline. I will reach out when I’m closer!
I know what you mean about watching elephants, my wife and I have sat and watched for hours. Each one has a personality, the little are playful and inquisitive. The adults can be grumpy and trumpet or charge, or can be curious. Last year a large male came to our campsite to visit he rubbed his trunk on the hood of our truck and the snorkel, we were inches away. Ann experience that will be with us always. We have made a few trips to Botswana and Namibia with out seeing one lion. This year we got to see several lion up close. Including a male roaring only 5 feet away in the Kalahari, and wild cheetah up close too, but we saw not single elephant.
Keep looking lion leopard and cheetah are probably close just out of sight.
Thanks for sharing those experiences, it really is a magical feeling to be so close to such large and powerful animals!
I will never, ever forget my time here as long as I live!
Hi Dan, you are doing an amazing trip. I have been to some of the places you have been recently … East and Southern Africa and am getting ready for West Africa. In Namibia, no problem with the mobile phone … but elsewhere, the mobile is often patchy … how was it at Khaudum? As lone female traveler, I like the security that my mobile represent to me …. how did you deal with internet connectivity all over West Africa?
Absolutely, connectivity is something to think about. It remote regions like Khaudum there is often no signal or very limited signal, but on the West Coast as a whole I was extrmely impressed how often there was signal – often very fast 3G.
I bought a cheap pre-paid SIM card in virtually every country as was able to talk to family and upload photos and videos no problems.
There are more details in my new West Africa eBook – it’s on Amazon here – Overland Travel Essentials – West Africa
Good luck and have fun!