Without any fences, Mudumu forms a crucial transboundary link for wildlife migration and seasonal dispersal between Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia and for seasonal migrations to and from the rivers. One of Mudumu’s main purposes is to serve as a core wildlife area, supplying wildlife to neighbouring conservancies that can then sell trophy hunting rights to professional hunting outfits and develop tourism on their own land.

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Mudumu National Park was proclaimed in 1990, shortly before Namibia’s Independence. Prior to its proclamation, Mudumu was settled and used by the Mafwe and Mayeyi people. In 1945, following tsetse fly infestation, local residents moved away from low lying areas and much of the Park was designated as traditional hunting grounds. The area remained a traditional hunting area up to 1987 when an agreement was signed between the Mafwe Traditional Authority and the Department of Agriculture and Nature Conservation to officially proclaim Mudumu as a State protected area.

In 1989, the Administrator General of South West Africa approved the declaration of Mudumu as a National Park. In his declaration, the Administrator General imposed a condition that the park boundaries be better planned and consolidated prior to the development of cut lines. Due to the presence of numerous villages within the proposed park boundary, major changes had to be made and the current de facto park boundary differs dramatically from that in the official gazette.

Following independence, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) immediately started a socio-ecological survey that included Mudumu National Park and surrounding areas. One outcome of the survey led to the introduction of legislation in 1996 to enable residents on communal land to form conservancies, thus granting them the same rights over wildlife and tourism as private landowners. To date, five conservancies have been registered around Mudumu – Wuparo (1999), Mashi (2003), Sobbe (2006), Balyerwa (2006) and Dzoti (2009), meaning that the Park’s entire boundary is now adjacent to proclaimed conservation areas.

In 1998, also following recommendations of the socio-ecological survey, a vision for the North-East Parks was developed. This paper documented the vision shared by stakeholders for conservation, tourism development, equity and the creation of partnerships in the parks. Cabinet approved this vision in 1999. Under this Cabinet Decision, MET was instructed to provide conditional tourism rights inside Mudumu to the neighbouring communities. In 2009 this instruction became the basis for preparation of a tourism development for the Park, which was subsequently approved and is currently being implemented.

Park  size: 1 010 km²

Proclamation: 1990

Kwando River floodplain and associated grasslands, and riparian woodlands. The area is completely flat.

Tree and Shrub Savannah Biome. Vegetation type: North-eastern Kalahari Woodlands, Riverine Woodlands and Islands, Caprivi Mopane Woodland and Caprivi Floodplains. Mopane (Colophospermum mopane), leadwood (Combretum imberbe) and mangosteen (Garcinia livingstonii) trees.

Wildlife: Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Spotted Hyaena, Cheetah, African Wild dog, Hippo, Crocodile, Spotted-necked otter, Sitatunga, Red lechwe, Common Impala, Burchell’s Zebra, Sable Antelope, Eland, Wildebeest and Giraffe. Tiger fish and Tilapia are Common fish species. The 430 bird species recorded in Mudumu include African Fish-Eagle, African Skimmer and Western-banded Snake-Eagle.

Walking, bird-watching, game viewing. Camping  at Nakatwa Camp. Two privately managed lodges within the park with luxurious accommodation. Visitors must provide their own water, food and fuel. Located within a high-risk malaria area. Precautions necessary. Note signs are indicating 4×4 vehicles. At least two 4×4 vehicles are recommended during  rainy season.