Khaudum was proclaimed as a nature reserve in 1989 and elevated to national park status in 2007. The landscape is crisscrossed by omiramba (plural for omuramba). These are ancient and mostly dry rivers that make ideal routes for game and allow the growth of ephemeral riverine woodlands.
The northern section of the park is deep Kalahari sandveldt with forests and the south-east is dominated by large fossil dunes. The south-western side alternates with shallow sand and loam, with areas of quartzite/phyllite
Khaudum National Park has a healthy game population with good elephant numbers particularly during the dry season. Other mammals include giraffe, roan, eland, kudu, tsessebe, gemsbok, reedbuck, red hartebeest, blue wildebeest and warthog. Carnivores include lion, leopard, wild dog, spotted hyaena and side-striped jackal.
The bird species count stands at over 320 with Racket-tailed Roller, Sharp-tailed Starling, Ground and Bradfield’s Hornbill, coppery-tailed and Senegal Coucal, Rufous-bellied Tit, Black-faced Babbler, African Hobby Falcon, Tawny and Bateleur Eagle, White-backed and Lappet-faced Vulture as well as wet season extras such as Steppe and Lesser Spotted Eagle.
Most of the park is unfenced, allowing game to wander ancient migratory routes between Angola, Namibia and Botswana. The Okavango River is only 150km from the park boundary and plays a vital role in the ecology. The 12 artificial water holes and 2 natural fountains are accessible to tourists and most have hides for safe game viewing.
The Khaudum area was once home to the Bushman/San people whose stone-age way of life was interrupted by the arrival of iron-age peoples. There is still are Bushman communities living in conservancies around Khaudum, although hunting is forbidden within the park. There are two Conservancies as well as the Gciriku Traditional Authority that participate with the private sector in the 2 tourist camps in the park: Khaudum Camp in the north and Sikeretti Camp in the south.
Khaudum is one of the last truly wild frontiers left in Africa and it is highly recommended that a minimum of 2 vehicles per party (full-time 4x4 engaged) undertake trips to this park. There are two entry points: from the north turn off at Katere to reach Khaudum Camp, from the south via Tsumkwe to reach Sikeretti Camp. Both these campsites have basic facilities but all provisions and fuel must be taken with. It is advisable to take drinking water.
Weather facts: Around 436mm annual rainfall November to March/April. Average summer temperatures can reach 45ºC, average winter temperatures 7ºC (night min) to 38ºC (day max).
Places to stay: The turn-off to Shamvura Camp is opposite the road to Khaudum from the B8.