Cycle Africa for rhinos: Popa Rapids Rest Camp to Katima Mulilo

Posted on 12 October 2011

Rest Day

We spent our rest day at the Popa Rapids Rest Camp close to Divundu and on the banks of the beautiful Kavango River. We camped right on its banks and bathed in crystal clear water,  its constant sound of rushing water  allows you to relax and absorb the scenery.


Back on the road

The next day we left early to cycle through Bwabwata National Park. For the first time in many days the wind was from behind. It was an overcast day, cool and fresh … next moment we saw an elephant in the road … Hendrik was very excited but Ricky felt quite the opposite! We waited a long time for the bull to move away, but in vain. Thankfully, a friendly tourist van escorted us passed the elephant.

Later the day we stopped at Chetto, a small village about half way through Bwabwata National Park. We camped at the clinic for the night.

Our next stop was Bumi Hills close to Kongola. It was a long, hot day facing head on winds. A roan antelope crossed the road in front of us. We saw several kudu bulls with trophee sized horns. Bum Hill is an amazing camp site. We slept on an elevated wooden platform of about 4 m high, with a fantastic view over the Kwando River. We could hear hippos, hyena, elephant and owls at night. The stars felt close by. Dawn was greeted with the call of fish eagles and the songs of many other birds. Just after sun rise five elephant bulls played in the river in front of us before crossing over to our side. We moved a bit closer …

At Kongola we were approached by Len Wart who invited us to stay with him for the night. We were blown away by the beauty of the swamps around Len’s little paradise. We did not even know that such swamps existed in Namibia!

The Kwando River is right on the door step of Len’s house. You can see Zambia and Angola from his veranda. Elephants and hippos visit his beautiful garden on a regular basis and he has lost more than one dog to crocodiles over the years. Lenis living a simple life but taught us that money can’t buy serenity. If you are satisfied with what you have you are richer than a millionaire.

From there we left for Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Valley. It was an extremely hot day. Ricolette suffered from heat stroke combined with a spider bite. Caprivi River Lodge was a haven to stay over and recover. We ate like kings. We will stay in Katima Mulilo until Ricky feels fit again.

This pretty much brings us to the end of the Namibian leg of the tour. Just one more day of cycling and we will enter Botswana.

Summary of Namibia

Total distance covered: 1708 km

Game spotted

Elephant, roan antelope, Damara dik-dik, Red Letchwe, Sitatunga, kudu, red hartbeest, oryx, steenbuck, grey duiker, springbock, black wildebeest, water buck, blue wildebeest, ground squirrel, yellow mongoose, lesser bush baby, vervet monkeys, baboons, black-backed jackal, porcupine, Burchelle’s zebra, Hartmann’s zebra, giraffe, hippo, brown hyena (dead).


Saddle sores (not a joke), spider bite, bursted tyre, loss of one pair of sun glasses, loss of one pepper spray.

My Gozen Rudi Project sunglasses are by far the best sunglasses I’ve ever had. But a moment o lack of concentration caused me to loose it in the Kavango River. I was very angry with myself because I really made a point of taking good care of it. With the help of Leonie Du Plessis of Ndurukoro camp we made contact with Rosa Marais from Tobich Optics in Windhoek. She sponsored me a pair of sunglasses and sent it to Katima Mulilo at her own cost. Rosa never even met us face to face. Thank you so much for your kindness, Rosa!

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