Nambwa Lagoon Camp: Our full report
Opened in August 2016, Nambwa Lagoon Camp is a new addition to Nambwa Tented Lodge.It is located on the lagoon side of Nambwa Island in Namibia's Bwabwata National Park, where large numbers of elephant can congregate in the dry season. With only five tented rooms on elevated wooden platforms, it is a small and intimate sub-camp accommodating up to twelve guests. NB In March 2020 we received notification that Nambwa Lagoon Camp will be closed to afford its sister property, Nambwa Tented Camp, more privacy. As an alternative option travellers might consider the newly expanded Kazile Island Lodge.
Lagoon Camp is situated in the Bwabwata National Park and is within a short walk Nambwa Tented Lodge, which is effectively the host camp. Although the two are technically separate, guests at Nambwa Lagoon Camp are hosted for all of their meals and activities at the Tented Lodge, which is why there is no central area at Lagoon Camp. In our opinion these two camps should be amalgamated into one camp, with just as two different room types, to make it clear to all staying at both camps that the other one is, for all intents and purposes, part of it. It also has another sister property, Kazile Island Lodge, further down river, which although simpler in style like Lagoon, is self-contained and has an air of exclusivity that Lagoon lacks.
Each of the five tented rooms at Nambwa Lagoon Camp is positioned on an elevated wooden platform, with its own small deck set with a couple of wicker chairs overlooking the backwaters of the Kwando River and the floodplains beyond. It's a great spot to sit and watch the birds and game coming to the river to drink. We understand that Nambwa Lagoon Camp was initialled envisaged as a destination for small groups. Although using the whole camp for a single group would work well, the tents would also perfectly suit couples or friends travelling together. It is a lower priced, less lavish alternative to Nambwa Tented Lodge, but benefits from using its lovely dining facilities and swimming pool, plus all activities on offer there too.
Although considerably smaller than the rooms at the main Tented Lodge, these have the same tasteful décor and attention to detail: wooden floors, twin beds in front of a wooden headboard, an easy chair and a table with a few books and a carafe of complimentary sherry. Behind a wooden screen is an area for storing luggage and clothing, along with a small bathroom kitted out with a single basin, glass shower cubicle and flush toilet. Toiletries are provided.
Activities from Lagoon Camp are the same as those offered at the lodge, including boat trips on the Kwando River, game drives in the Bwabwata National Park, guided bush walks and visits to the Mashi Traditional Village and craft market.
For guest looking for a small, simple, compact camp, yet with a good range of activities and fantastic views from the tented rooms then Nambwa Lagoon Camp would be a good choice.
- Caprivi Strip, Namibia
- Ideal length of stay
- Two to three nights
- Self-drivers will be met at an arranged time in the reception area at the park's main entrance. Here they will leave their car, then be transferred by road and boat to the lodge – a trip of about 45 minutes. If you have a 4WD and know how to drive it in deep sand (plus some sort of SatNav), you could alternatively drive through the national park to the lodge, though we generally do not recommend this.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- All meals are taken at Nambwa Tented Lodge and we were very impressed by the food and service during our last visit in June 2018.
- Attitude towards children
- Children 6 years and over are welcome.
- Property’s age restrictions
- Families with children aged between six and 12 years will have to pay for a private vehicle. Children under six years may be accepted at the discretion of the lodge.
- Special activities & services
- Generally recommended for children
- We don’t recommend this camp for children under the age of 12 as it is completely open and situated right on the river bank.
- Parents need to supervise children at all times as the rooms are at ground level with game wandering through camp day and night.
- Power supply notes
- The generator is on for most of the day, starting at around 6am and being switched off around 11pm, or about one hour after the last guest has gone to bed. They will sometimes turn the generator of as well when all guests are out on activities.
- WiFi is available in the main area.
- TV & radio
- There are no TV’s
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Water is pumped from the river and filtered. The bathrooms have hot and cold running water and flush toilets.
The Sijwa Project
The Sijwa Project began as a vision of Chief Mayuni’s, from the local conservancy, to try and fight Namibia’s plastic waste, and was brought into fruition in conjunction with the owners of African Monarch Lodges. This joint venture has many facets, all with the aim of enabling people and wildlife to live sustainably together.
One aspect of the projects work is to take all recyclable waste from the African Monarch lodges (Nambwa Tented Lodge / Lagoon Camp and Kazile Island Lodge), and from the local community, and reform it into beautiful, resalable arts and crafts.
It also supplies food for the local people and lodge guests from its organic permaculture garden. The sandy soil is enriched with composted food waste, worm juice, and even elephant dung.
There is also a cultural village, artisanal skills training centre, a beehive project, a free-range egg scheme and a junior ranger training venue, as well as an indigenous tree nursery for visitors to buy and plant a tree to offset their carbon footprint.
As a guest of African Monarch Lodges, you will have a chance to visit the Sijwa Project if you like, where you’ll get to experience local culture, interact with the community as they make pretty, recycled objects, buy gifts, plant a tree and thus support for this community-driven initiative.
African Monarch Lodges have also been closely involved with local communities on a number of other projects over the years and this involvement still continues.
See more great sustainability projects in Namibia
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- The nearest doctor is at Kongola about 20km from the camp
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Fire safety
- Each tent has a fire extinguisher
Guided walking safari
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Complimentary laundry service included
- Each room has an electronic safe
- Accepted payment on location
- Payment is accepted by Visa and Mastercard as well as in Namibian dollars and South African rand cash.
Other lodges in Caprivi Strip
Alternative places to stay in this same area.