Mudumu National Park

Water is what makes the Mudumu National Park special, and, unlike most of the other Namibian national parks, which present arid, desert faces to visitors, Mudumu is a lush water wonder-world that attracts hundreds of species of animals and birds.

Mudumu National Park lies in north-east Namibia's Caprivi Region and has the captivatingly green Kwando - or Cuando - River as its western border. The fact that it relies o­n the Kwando for its watery life-blood is, of course, the park's secret as it is the presence of the water that draws the region's myriad of birds, amphibians and mammals to the park.

Invitingly wet and marshy swamplands vie with peaceful lagoons, verdant forests and mopane jungles to attract the attention of both park visitors and wildlife alike, and the park's most common denizens range from the majestically predatory lions and leopards to the gracefully delicate sitatunga and lechwe antelopes. It is, however, the sheer diversity of the park's birdlife that attracts the majority of visitors, and they are treated to glimpses of avians with such exotic sounding names as the southern carmine bee-eater, the broad-tailed paradise whydah and the comb-crested jacana lily-trotter. Crocodiles, hippo, elephants and speckled-throated otters, which are endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, also make the park their home, and visitors can also gape at the stately mopane trees, with their beautifully symmetrical leaves, as well as the lovely water lilies that serve as the lily-trotter's launching pads.

Visitors to the park can choose between the park's own campsite, which operates o­n a bring-your-own-water basis, and the opulent private game lodges that are dotted around the park and that often sport their own private airstrips. Wherever they stay, however, the guests of Mudumu will remember their sojourn in this watery African paradise for a long time to come.