Ndhovu Lodge on the Okavango River

About 20 km southeast of the Divundu Bridge along road D3403 (C48), just behind the Popa Falls, is the turnoff to Ndhovu Safari Lodge, a peaceful, old fashioned, in the nicest sense of the word, lodge on the western banks of the Okavango River, overlooking the Caprivi Game Park (Bwabwata National Park).

Ndhovu Safari Lodge offers tented accommodation. The thatched lapa is the main public area, with dining space, bar and somewhere to sit. It overlooks the banks of the river, where elephants and hippo sometimes congregate, providing residents game and bird-viewing opportunities whilst enjoying sundowners at the bar. We had both their "sundowner cruise" and a game drive in Mahango Park which is a few 2 km away, where we saw, among others, elephant, buffalo, red lechwe and sable antelope

The Mahango Game Park is a protected area within Bwabwata National Park. It is right on 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. It was established in 1986 and covers an area of 24,462 hectares (60,450 acres). About two thirds of the bird species found in Namibia are located here as it includes both wetland and tropical terrestrial species of birds.

We arrived at one of the periods when the lodge is cut off by the flood waters of the river. We had not expected this and were unnerved to round a corner and see the track disappear into the river. The "car minder" appeared and poled us the 500 metres to the island that the lodge then occupied. The pontoon on which you are poled is fairly basic!. We were greeted by the manager at the other side and taken by Land Rover to the lodge.

The lodge is much more "traditional" than "modern" and we enjoyed the change from the modern safari lodges in which we had stayed elsewhere. The individual tents are adequate, but not spacious and the adobe bathroom, tacked onto the back, gives you the feeling of stepping back in time

Dining is at one table for all and was very jolly. The manager and his wife worked hard to integrate all the nationalities. The food, though not gourmet, was good

You can sit on their deck and spot game the other side of the river. Also a hippo regularly visits the place at night, eating the grass and taking a drink from the pool.

We really enjoyed the experience of staying here, and would commend it to anyone wanting to get more the "feel" of being on safari in Africa.

Click on any of the thumbnails below to get a larger photo

We went through a thicket and saw just sand and a river. Eventually the "car minder" appeared and ferried us over to Ndhovu Lodge on the flooded track.
The lodge is now on an island on the Okavango River. Communal meals, hippos and, quite oddly, free wifi - we could read the Times before breakfast or phone home.
The sundowner cruise was along the Okavango with plentiful animal life, particularly hippos, plus a spectacular sunset over the river and a sundowner to wash it down.
The next morning for our game drive it was back on the punt to the mainland and on into the Park with a rich variety of game from the small to the big...
... happily there were enough elephants to keep the boys amused, as well as monkeys, buffalo and apparently the oldest baobab tree this side of the Sahara

On to Lianshulu

Namibia Holiday