Experiences

by African Monarch Lodges

As the rains fall softly over the dark highland forests of southern Angola, the precious waters erode away at the landscape to form streams. Meandering down the slopes joining into powerful cascades over boulders, it finds its way down the escarpment on a journey southwards, beyond the borders of its origins.

Arriving at the vast floodplains of the Kwando River in Namibia and in the heart of KAZA, the World’d Largest Conservation Area for Wildlife, it spreads out, flowing through natural landscapes and claiming back its rightful purpose as a life-giving source. It is here where you will find the unobtrusive Nambwa Tented Lodge, nestled high amongst majestic Jackalberry, Sausage and Knobthorn trees.

On a private island in the middle of the Kwando River, a little further south and adjacent to the Horseshoe Bend lies Kazile Island Lodge, a unique lodge only reachable by boat.

Our unquenchable desire to create memorable African experiences takes you on foot, by boat or vehicle, up close and personal with some of the biggest herds of elephants that traverse the largest conservation area in Africa.

"At every touchpoint we have an opportunity to thrill and to ensure each moment with us becomes a moment to be remembered. We engage from our souls. We make an impact and we do so calmly!”

We are in the heart of the Kavango Zambezi Trans Frontier Conservation Area (KAZA) and part of the large Peace Park initiative.

Guided Game Drive

Guided Game Drive

As dawn breaks or the afternoon shadows lengthen our game drives depart to discover the unknown behind every bend within the Bwabwata National Park. Observing every branch for a rare endemic bird, to be rewarded instead by an elusive leopard. The silence broken by the deep low rumble vibrating through the bush, which could only belong to a large herd of elephants. Out of nowhere they appear with a focused determination towards the life-giving water up ahead. Knuckles white, as I grip the seat of the game viewer, relishing the moment as a highlight of my journey through this unique Conservation area in Africa.
Duration: 3 hours

Boat Cruise

Boat Cruise

The early morning suns rays reflect off the waters edge. The soothing sound of the water is therapeutic as it is gently broken by the bow of the boat cutting through the waters surface. Our guides steer the boats past varied landscapes of papyrus islands and reed floodplains and get within respectful distances of hippos, crocodiles, other mammals and the varied bird species this area is known for. An informative, yet soulful experience on waterways similar to that of the Okavango Delta.
Duration: 2.5-3 hours

Guided Bush Walk

Guided Bush Walk

Walking Safaris are an incredible way to experience the bush in a more personal and energetic way. Our local guides take great delight in sharing their ancestral repertoire of medicinal uses of the flora along the way and their tales of the wild and their upbringing in this area. It is an experience, which connects and grounds any participant to our Earth, as we are in a truly natural environment with lion, buffalo, elephants, leopard and other wildlife roaming these plains freely.
Duration: 2-3 hours

Bush Dining

Bush Dining

Dining in the natural bush together with a sundowner on the cusp of the evening is a must when you visit Africa. We take you to the most romantic and memorable spots. There is nothing quite like sitting in the silence of a remote area, with the splendid array of bird song, while breathing in the earth and the sweet scents of the surrounding trees. A delectable and authentic experience that will make you fall in love with the Zambezi region.
Duration: 2.5-3 hours

The Sijwa Project Tour

The Sijwa Project Tour

A boat cruise from the lodge to Sijwa Island, where the the Sijwa host will meet you and guide you through the project which was established by African Monarch Lodges as part of its endeavour to be sustainable and give back to the community and conservation by protecting the natural resources and developing the local community through a biodiverse economy. It is here where you will be entertained and be enriched with local culture as you partake in a visit to the cultural village. A walk through the permaculture plants, sewing workshops, recycling workshops where waste such as plastics, glass and cans are turned into beautiful artefacts for sale. You can create your own jewellery piece under the guidance of the local artisans using recycled glass beads. You are able to buy and plant trees from our indigenous tree nursery to offset your carbon emissions at the project. Duration: 2-3 hours

Romantic Picnic

Romantic Picnic

Nothing tops a secluded personalised picnic under the canopy of majestic trees in the wild. A bottle of sparkling wine and a freshly prepared organic spread from our kitchen will set the scene for a truly spectacular vintage picnic safari.

Dining under the African Sky

Dining under the African Sky

Dining is deemed to be the highlight of a bespoke travel experience. At Nambwa we take immense pleasure turning every meal into a memorable experience. Our locally trained Chefs illustrate their artistic flair of local and traditional influences. They delicately incorporate fresh ingredients sourced from our very own permaculture greenhouse and add spice to these culinary delights to evoke a spark of the art and elegance of fine dining.

Weddings

Weddings

When you choose to celebrate your wedding at African Monarch Lodges in the heart of the Zambezi, you and your guests will experience the ultimate full-service retreat centered completely around your big day. The Bwabwata National Park is truly a unique backdrop for creating life’s most cherished memories.

Healing Retreats & Yoga Safaris

Healing Retreats & Yoga Safaris

We invite you to immerse yourself into a sphere of healing energy at Nambwa Tented Lodge nestled high amongst majestic trees, honouring the elephants' right of way below. Dusty and Tinolla, your hosts, together with their experienced team and carefully selected facilitators offer enchanting retreats that merges you with the grandeur of the natural environment. You will practice Qi gong or yoga in pristine wilderness locations, be led into deep emotional freedom work, embark on a healing journey beside hippo pools and create memorable moments as you explore the area on foot, by boat or vehicle. You will be carried and embraced by your nurturing facilitators during optional private treatments of your choosing from an extensive treatment menu. The Sijwa Project will set your creativity free and the grand finale evening in true Nambwa style will be set on a private island in the bush. Our trained Chefs will carefully prepare nourishing meals, tailored to fortify your healing journey with natural ingredients.

To Quench a Thirst

The elephant hesitates, one forefoot in the air swinging slowly back and forth. It has our scent, its trunk held upward to the wind. We sit still. I talk to it softly so that there is no pretense that we are inanimate. I imitate the low rumbling, which elephants use to reassure each other in times of distress. It is a poor mimicry, but the elephant listens, its ears forward. Its forefoot comes down. It shakes its head. I rumble again. Again it listens but this time it relaxes and turning, walks to the water with a heavy nodding of its head. And like the breach of a dyke the elephants flow out of the bush from behind us. At first in a single file trickle, that grows slowly wider, until finally the dust hangs thick from the rush of hundreds of huge round feet clamouring to quench their thirst.

I am endlessly fascinated by the hierarchy of elephants, who drinks first, who waits, who declares the coast clear, who turns and stands defiant in defense. The bulls may dominate with their size, but elephants are a matriarchal society and it is the experienced cows that lead. It was a cow that declared us safe and advanced past us to the water. I look for her, with her singular shaped tusks, amongst the crowd of great grey bodies. She is across the channel, wet with mud. She has drunk her fill and is now luxuriating in a mud bath. The mud is black, but in the afternoon light her skin is fragmented into a myriad reflections of gold and blue. The bulge of her belly is like the mosaicked dome of a mosque.

I take my eye from the lens. There are more than a hundred elephants now. Some drink, others spray mud along their flanks. A few sink their tusks into the soft soil, their haunches high in the air. The young roll and jostle in the wet clay. Two tall trees frame the savannah behind, its corn yellow grass running to a hazy horizon. In the pause I become aware of the breath in my chest. It is something more than air, than the taste of dust. It is not liquid but it satisfies something in me like cool water to a thirst.

Peter Pickford, Nambwa, July 2015

Rates & Information

Viewing elephants on game drive

Activity Rates
April 2021 to March 2022

“I believe there is no sickness of the heart too great it cannot be cured by a dose of Africa.
Families must go there to learn why they belong together on this earth,
adolescents to discover humility,
lovers to plumb old but untried wells of passion,
honeymooners to seal marriages with a shared sense of bafflement,
those shopworn with life to find a tonic for futility,
the aged to recognize a symmetry to twilight.
I know this all sounds a bit much,
but if I have ever seen magic,
it has been in Africa.”

John Hemingway

Pack the Essentials

Anyone who’s been on safari knows that no two game activities are ever the same! At African Monarch Lodges we offer morning and afternoon game drives, boat cruises, morning walks as well as an extraordinary visit to our Sijwa Project. Activity times will vary depending on the season. Guests traverse within the Bwabwata National Park, inside Africa’s largest conservation area where it is known that around 3,000 elephants roam these plains. It is a birders paradise with 450 bird species to identify.

What to Pack