Conservation Areas


Bwabwata National Park (Kwando Core Area)

The Kwando Core Area of Bwabwata National Park falls within the Mudumu Landscape. 

Bwabwata National Park is unusual in that it is home to both people and wildlife in an approach described as 'a new generation of parks' with a pioneering 'live and let live' conservation ethic which brings substantial benefits to both conservation and community development. The three Core Areas - Kwando, Mahango and Buffalo - are zoned exclusively for conservation but the rest of the park is designated a Multiple Use Area, allowing people to continue living there.



Mudumu National Park

Proclaimed in 1990, Mudumu National Park is one of Namibia’s least-known parks. At its western edge is the riverine habitat of the Kwando River which supports a range of water-loving wildlife: elephants, hippos, spotted-necked otters, crocodiles, bushbuck and the rare red lechwe and sitatunga. After rain in the Angolan highlands, the Kwando River can rise by two metres or more, flooding the plains of Mudumu. This stimulates new grass, nourishes the reeds and marshes and sustains the wetland habitats.



Nkasa Rupara National Park

Officially proclaimed on 1 March 1990 (as Mamili National Park), just days before Namibia gained independence, Nkasa Rupara National Park (also previously known as Nkasa Lupala National Park) is Namibia's largest protected wetland, covering 318 km2. The park is dominated by wetlands and is flooded by water from the Kwando River for much of the year. At these times the park becomes like a mini Okavango Delta and up to 80% of it can become inaccessible to vehicles. A recently constructed bridge has improved access to this park.



Balyerwa Conservancy

Balyerwa Conservancy was gazetted in 2006, covers an area of 223 km2 and supports approximately 1,030 people. The conservancy borders Nkasa Rupara National Park to the south and Mudumu National Park to the north. The vegetation here is a mosaic of woodland and grassland and the average annual rainfall is 600 mm.

The lead NGO working with Balyerwa Conservancy is Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).



Dzoti Conservancy

Gazetted in 2009, Dzoti Conservancy covers an area of 287 km2 and supports approximately 1,580 people. It includes the Linyanti River with associated flood plain areas. Away from the river the vegetation is broad-leafed tree and shrub savanna. It borders Nkasa Rupara National Park and small part of Mudumu National Park. Average annual rainfall is 550-600mm.

The lead NGO working with Dzoti Conservancy is Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).



Kwandu Conservancy

One of Namibia's oldest communal area conservancies, Kwandu was gazetted in 1999. It covers 190 km2 and incorporates the Kwando River and its floodplains. Grassland and swamp vegetation dominate the floodplain, while much of the woodland on higher ground to the east has been cleared or damaged by frequent fires. Around 3,600 people live here. Average annual rainfall is about 600 mm.

The lead NGO working with Kwandu Conservancy is Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).



Mashi Conservancy

About 2,260 people live in Mashi Conservancy which was gazetted in 2003. It covers 297 km2 and incorporates the Kwando River and its floodplains, with Kalahari woodlands to the east. Rainfall averages about 600 mm per year.

The lead NGO working with Mashi Conservancy is Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).



Mayuni Conservancy

Mayuni Conservancy was gazetted in 1999. It covers 151 km2 and has a population of around 2,282 people. Average annual rainfall is about 600 millimetres. The Kwando River floodplain is dominated by grasslands and swamp vegetation, while much of the woodland on higher ground to the east has been cleared or damaged by frequent fires.

The lead NGO working with Mayuni Conservancy is Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).



Sobbe Conservancy

Gazetted in 2006, Sobbe Conservancy has an area of 404 km2 and a population of 1,027 people. It is located on border of Mudumu National Park and comprises woodland and grassland. Average annual rainfall is around 600 mm.

The lead NGO working with Sobbe Conservancy is Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).



Wuparo Conservancy

Gazetted in 1999, Wuparo Conservancy covers an area of 148 km2 and has a population of approximately 1,108 people. Originally a floodplain the vegetation is now a mosaic of woodland and grassland. It borders Nkasa Rupara National Park. Average annual rainfall is around 600 mm.

The lead NGO working with Wuparo Conservancy is Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC).



Kwandu Community Forest

Kwandu Community Forest was gazetted in 2006. It covers an area of 212 km2 and overlaps substantially with Kwandu Conservancy.



Lubuta Community Forest

Lubuta Community Forest was gazetted in 2006. It covers an area of approximately 171 km2. It adjoins Mudumu National Park and overlaps portions of Mashi and Sobbe Conservancies.



Masida Community Forest

Gazetted in 2006, Masida Community Forest covers an area of almost 200 km2 and overlaps with Sobbe Conservancy.



Sachona Community Forest

One of Namibia's newest community forests, gazetted in 2013, Sachona Community Forest covers approximately 122 km2 and overlaps with Mashi Conservancy.



Relevant literature

  • Bwabwata National Park - People and wildlife - a shared history

    Bwabwata National Park - People and wildlife - a shared history

    Bwabwata has been inhabited for millennia, but it is the more recent history that has shaped the Bwabwata National Park of today. Proclaimed in the 1960s as the Caprivi Nature Reserve, then as the Caprivi Game Park, no initial wildlife management took place because the area was a restricted security zone, occupied first by the South African police and subsequently by the South African Defence Force (SADF).
  • Bwabwata National Park - Profile

    Ministry of Environment and Tourism.  Bwabwata National Park - Profile

    The Park was first proclaimed as the Caprivi Game Reserve in 1966 and upgraded to the Caprivi Game Park in 1968. It was gazetted as the Bwabwata National Park in 2007 and incorporated the former Mahango Game Reserve. The Park has had a chequered history as it was declared a military area by the South African Defence Force during Namibia's war of liberation. It was not until after Independence in 1990 that the Park could be properly run as a conservation area.
  • Bwabwata National Park: Kwando Core Area

    Bwabwata National Park: Kwando Core Area

    4 page leaflet describing the Kwando Core Area of Bwabwata National Park, including maps
  • Economic impacts of Transfrontier Conservation Areas: Baseline of tourism in the Kavango-Zambesi TFCA

    Suich, H., Busch, J. and Barbancho, N. 2005. Economic impacts of Transfrontier Conservation Areas: Baseline of tourism in the Kavango-Zambesi TFCA. Conservation International South Africa, Paper No. 4

    The Kavango–Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) is a multi-objective initiative involving parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The concept of major tourism destination based on the extensive network of protected areas and wildlife populations has been discussed and developed over the last decade. Recently, the idea has been revitalised by the ministers of those five countries, who seek to establish a world-class transfrontier conservation area and tourism destination in the Okavango and Zambezi river basin regions of those countries, within the context of sustainable development.
  • Government Gazette. Declaration of an area as a Community Forest: Kwandu Community Forest

    Government Gazette. Declaration of an area as a Community Forest: Kwandu Community Forest

  • Government Gazette. Declaration of an area as a Community Forest: Lubuta Community Forest

    Government Gazette. Declaration of an area as a Community Forest: Lubuta Community Forest

  • Government Gazette. Declaration of an area as a Community Forest: Masida Community Forest

    Government Gazette. Declaration of an area as a Community Forest: Masida Community Forest

  • Government Gazette. Declaration of an area as a Community Forest: Sachona

    Government Gazette. Declaration of an area as a Community Forest: Cuma, Gcwatjinga, George Mukoya, Kahenge, Katope, Likwaterera, Marienfluss, Muduva Nyangana, Nyae Nyae, Okondjombo, Ohepi, Omufituwekuta, Orupembe, Oshaampula, Otjiu-West, Puros, Sachona, Sanitatas, Zilitene

  • Information on Balyerwa Conservancy

    Information on Balyerwa Conservancy from NACSO website

    Fact sheets, notice-board posters etc on Balyerwa Conservancy
  • Information on Dzoti Conservancy

    Information on Dzoti Conservancy from NACSO website

    Fact sheets, notice-board posters etc on Dzoti Conservancy
  • Information on Kwandu Conservancy

    Information on Kwandu Conservancy from NACSO website

    Fact sheets, notice-board posters etc on Kwandu Conservancy
  • Information on Mashi Conservancy

    Information on Mashi Conservancy from NACSO website

    Fact sheets, notice-board posters etc on Mashi Conservancy
  • Information on Mayuni Conservancy

    Information on Mayuni Conservancy from NACSO website

    Fact sheets, notice-board posters etc on Mayuni Conservancy
  • Information on Sobbe Conservancy

    Information on Sobbe Conservancy from NACSO website

    Fact sheets, notice-board posters etc on Sobbe Conservancy
  • Information on Wuparo Conservancy

    Information on Wuparo Conservancy from NACSO website

    Fact sheets, notice-board posters etc on Wuparo Conservancy
  • Legislation and Policies relating to Protected Areas, Wildlife Conservation, and Community Rights to Natural Resources in countries being partner in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

    Jones, B.T.B. 2008. Legislation and Policies relating to Protected Areas, Wildlife Conservation, and Community Rights to Natural Resources in countries being partner in the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area. Final Report

    This report has been commissioned in order to provide a foundation for the Kavango-Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area (TFCA) countries to consider policy and legal harmonisation regarding the management of natural resources. The KAZA participating countries are Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
  • Mamili National Park - Profile

    Ministry of Environment and Tourism.  Mamili National Park - Profile

    Mamili was officially proclaimed on 1 March 1990, just days before Namibia gained Independence. The name of the park refers to the seven chiefs of that name who, since 1864, have ruled over the Mafwe people living in this eastern section of the Zambezi Region. Some refer to the area as Nkasa Rupara Park, in reference to the two dominant islands in the park. This is the largest wetland area with conservation status in Namibia, and is a haven for wetland species. When the flood waters from the Kwando River are high, Mamili becomes like a mini Okavango Delta.
  • Mashi Conservancy map

    Map of Mashi Conservancy showing community enterprises, lodges, management zones, community forests and more. By Sylvia Thomson and Roxanne Godenschweig

    » Download
  • Mayuni Conservancy map

    Map of Mayuni Conservancy showing community enterprises, lodges, infrastructure, and more. By Sylvia Thomson and Roxanne Godenschweig

    » Download
  • Mudumu National Park

    Mudumu National Park - Zambezi Region. Namibia Parks and Wildlife

    4 page leaflet describing Mudumu National Park, including maps
  • Mudumu North Complex

    Mudumu North Complex. NACSO. 1 pp.

    Poster providing information on Mudumu North Complex
  • Mudumu North Complex: Wildlife Co-Management in the Kwando Area of the Caprivi

    Martin, R.B. 2006. The Mudumu North Complex: Wildlife Co-Management in the Kwando Area of the Caprivi. A Study for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Management Committee of the Mudumu North Complex

  • The ecological, social & economic implications of private game parks & private nature reserves in Namibia

    The ecological, social & economic implications of private game parks & private nature reserves in Namibia

    The Ministry of Environment & Tourism commissioned this study into the ecological, social, and economic implications of private game parks and nature reserves in Namibia. The Ministry engaged the services of an independent team of researchers consisting of an ecologist, an economist and a lawyer.
    » Download
  • Tourism in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

    Suich, H. 2005. Tourism in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area

    The Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) is a multi-objective initiative involving parts of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The concept of a major tourism destination based on the extensive network of protected areas and wildlife populations has been discussed and developed over the last decade
  • Woody Resources Report of Kwando Community Forest

    Kamwi, J.M. 2003. Woody Resources Report of Kwando Community Forest. Ministry of Environment and Tourism, Directorate of Forestry. Namibia-Finland Forestry Programme