The Mahango National Park is also known as the Mahango Game Reserve. This Namibia National Park is a protected area within Bwabwata National Park.
It is situated at the country's eastern border with Botswana in the flood plains of the Okavango River basin, close to the Popa Falls on the river. The Caprivi Strip encloses the western part of the park.
The Mahango National Park was established in 1986 and covers an area of 24,462 hectares (60,450 acres). With over 300 species of birds, it has been designated an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
About two thirds of the bird species found in Namibia are located here as it includes both wetland and tropical terrestrial species of birds.
What is Mahango National Park Popular for?
Mahango National Park, renowned for its baobab trees, is situated south of Divundu on the Botswana border. Mahango covers an area of about 250 km2 and is separated from Bwabwata National Park by the Okavango River.
Two game viewing roads provide the opportunity to view the diverse wildlife along the waterways. Guided tours can be arranged through the local establishments in the area.
The dry season from June to October is best for game viewing as an abundance of wildlife come to drink from the river, while bird watching is better between November and March. Mahango National Park is open throughout the year and is open to day visitors only.
Being a small reserve with good species diversity the visitor can usually have a satisfying day’s excursion. Mahango National Park and the Buff also Core Area of Bwabwata National Park cover 46,964 ha of wetland area that forms part of Namibia’s fifth Ramsar Site.
The site covers the lower Okavango River, which forms part of the Okavango Delta Panhandle. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded; one of the largest concentrations of bird species in Namibia, and it supports vulnerable species of elephant, hippo and lion.
Baobabs and Okavango world
During a round trip through Namibia the Mahango Park is often used as a stopover between the Namibian inland and the Caprivi. Thus the park is visited by a number of tourists. The park consists mainly of two parts:
The bushland which is located west of the C48 and which is important as a refugium for most of the wildlife population of the Mahango Park, and the "water front" road, which is located east of the C48 along the Okavango river.
Coming from Divundu it is advisable to use this road to Kwetchi in the south of the park and drive back the same route.
Along this road visitors will find many nice viewing spots and sightings of wild animals are likely, especially in the morning and afternoon hours.
Some spots are suitable for leaving the car and explore smaller areas by foot. Please be careful when walking around! Remarkable are the numerous, very large Baobab trees in the park.
The Mahango park is home to numerous game. Large herds of elephants and buffalos can be observed, as well as hippos and very large crocodiles.
Almost all the antelope species living in North-Eastern Namibia can be seen in the park, among them rare species like roan and sable antelope, common reedbuck, bushbuck, waterbuck and tssessebe.
There are also giraffes, zebras, impalas, kudus living in the park. Main predators are lion, leopard and hyena. The large floodplains, reet islands and wetland areas make the Mahango park a birder’s paradise as well.
Opposite on the other side of the Okavango river lies the less popular Buffalo Game Park, a real insider tip.
Flora and Fauna in Mahango National Park
It has very rich diversity of mammal species; 99 species are reported, including elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hippopotami.
Some of the key species which are under the threatened list are Lycaon pictus pictus (EN), Loxodonta africana (VU), Kobus leche, and Lutra maculicollis (VU) found mostly in aquatic environment; Loxodonta africana and Kobus leche also migrate to neighboring countries.
There are 71 aqua faunal species and five species of amphibians such as Phrynomantis affinis.
The avifaunal species consists of wetland birds such as Egretta vinaceigula, Bugeranus carunculatus, Ardeola rufiventris, Pelecanus rufescens, Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis, Microparra capensis, Vanellus albiceps, Vanellus crassirostris, Glareola pratincola, Macronyx ameliae and Circus pygargus.
In the riverine habitat, the bird species of importance are Glareola nuchalis and Rynchops flavirostris, and in the fringing riparian vegetation Scotopelia peli and Gorsachius leuconotus species have been recorded.
Vegetation consists of 38% shrubland and 62 % grass land. Riparian forests are an important form of dense vegetation against the dry woodlands in the higher reaches of the river valley and reed beds, swamps, and open flooded grasslands of the flood plains.
In view of this varying vegetational pattern, the park is rich in flora; with a reported 869 species from 88 families. The important riparian woodland species are Garcinia, Sclerocarya, Diospyros, Acacia and Grewia.
The species reported from the desert areas are Pterocarpus, Ricinodendron, Ziziphus, Baikiaea and shrubs of Baphia. The flood plains have Phoenix and baobab (Adansonia); the baobab trees in the park are very large. One of the more commonly found trees in the park is the baobab.
|Currency used||Namibian Dollar (NAD)|
|Area (km2)||250 SQ. KM.|