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The Khaudum National Park (also spelled Kaudom) is situated north of Tsumkwe at the border to Botswana. It is the most pristine nature conservation area in Namibia. The park lies in the Kalahari Sandveld and is 3842 sqkm in area. The landscape is characterised by dry forests, mainly Leadwood, Manketti, Seringa, Camelthorn and Wild Teak trees. The park is interveined with a couple of Omiramba, broad sandy riverbeds that only run after heavy rainfalls for a short time.
Khaudum National Park is very rich in game. During the winter months, one can view all sorts of wildlife at the waterholes, large herds of elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, many antelope species, hyaena, lion, leopard and more than 300 different species of birds. The reserve is not fenced and game can follow its natural migration routes between Namibia and Botswana and through the Caprivi.
Khaudum, formerly known as Bushmanland, was proclaimed a game reserve in 1989 and a national park in 2007, which now encompasses an area of 3 842 km2. The mostly unfenced surroundings allow wildlife to roam freely beyond the park borders and into and through surrounding conservancies. Khaudum also forms part of the Kavango Zambezi (KaZa) Transfrontier Conservation Area, which links Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana in one of the largest conservation initiatives in the world.
The park consists mainly of sandveld, with some bedrock in areas towards the south-western parts, and is mostly dry year-round. But there are the occasional years with heavy rainfall when the two ephemeral rivers (or omuramba), the Nhoma in the south and Khaudum in the north, carry water and leave the park lush and green. Pans throughout the park also collect surface water during rainy seasons and provide bounteous drinking water for wildlife herds, which often lasts well into the dry winter months.
Home to extraordinary numbers of wildlife, Khaudum’s wilderness is the ideal place for avid nature enthusiasts and adventurers to admire large herds of roan antelope, tsessebe, elephant, giraffe, eland, wildebeest and many more. The discerning birder may find southern ground hornbill in the northern woodlands of the park.
The Ju/ Hoansi-San of the village //Xa/oba (between Tsumkwe and the Khaudom National Park) run this Living Museum independently by their own and show visitors their old historic, traditional culture including real hunting (the only area where Bushmen are still allowed to hunt!), the use of various bush food, tracking, snaring and other hunting methods, making crafts, singing, healing dances and much more. A local English speaking Ju/ Hoansi guide will accompany you through all activities. The dress worn is reconstructed historically correct and all activities shown are original of their old culture.
A wild bushcamp, the Elephant Song Campsite campsite, is provided close to the Living Museum. There are no water, toilets or shower facilities but there is lots of space and many shady trees in the middle of the African Bush very close to the Khaudom National Park.
The Living Museum is an authentic open-air museum where guests can learn a lot about the traditional culture and the original way of living of the Ju/Hoansi-San (Bushmen). The Living Museum works as a traditional school for the Bushmen and a communal business for everyone in the whole village. Almost as successful as the Museum itself is the nearby craftshop where visitors can buy ostrich jewellery and other traditional souvenirs at reasonable prices.
The unspoiled nature of the reserve encourages a rich and varied wildlife in the dry forest. The ideal time for seeing wildlife is from June to October. From November to March more than 320 species of birds inhabit the area, including parrots and more than 50 birds of prey.
Big game can be found in the park occasionally, more than 500 African bush elephants, many Angolan giraffes and many antelope, including roan antelope, kudu, lyre antelope, eland and reedbuck. Even the stock of prey animals is high. Besides the smaller cats, there is a larger population of Southwest African lions, but also African leopards, spotted hyenas, jackals, occasionally Namibian cheetahs and even Cape wild dogs.
The Khaudum National Park is located in Kalahari Desert. The three largest dry rivers, the Omiramba, Nhoma, Cwiba and Khaudom run through the wildlife park. They play an important ecological role, with rainfall during the wet season.