By Marita van Rooyen
Manned by king and queen conservationists, Mark and Charlie Paxton,Shamvura camp was built amid the turmoil of the 2000s by Mark and his crew with their own hands from a desolate plot of ploughed land formerly used for agricultural purposes.
Mark’s history is that of game ranger, agricultural community developer and thatch-market initiator, while Charlie is a qualified nurse who spends her daylight hours training local women in basket and natural-resource development as a means of poverty reduction. She is also involved in a project on water and livelihoods. In addition, the two of them head the KOAR movement, conduct wetland water-bird counts, monitor flagship species and ring birds, all the while promoting the region as an additional passion.
Shamvura Camp, ‘the place from where rain can be seen’, with its access to more than 20 kilometres of a largely pristine riverine system, is big on birding and fishing activities, while crafts, basketry and boat trips are also on the list. Shamvura is off the B8, approximately 110 kilometres east of Rundu.
Activities on offer:
Situated on a unique highpoint overlooking some extensive floodplains on the Okavango River system, affords some excellent birding opportunities at Shamvura.
Visitors can watch out for a number of bird species. The total found here amount to 412 species, of which 21 are endemic/near-endemic, with 85 ‘Hotties’ or sought-after species.
Although they are situated within a rural area the local population is relatively sparse in this area. They are also surrounded by hundreds of hectares of uninhabited floodplains which, during drier months, afford some excellent walking opportunities.
Great birding opportunities, and other wildlife species, await those who take part in boat trips.
Shamvura is a recognised ringing station with qualified and registered ringers, and permanently placed mist-nets in strategic places on the property. For those guests specifically interested, daily ringing programme allows for participation.
This stretch of the Okavango River still offers some excellent opportunities for big Tiger fish, Barbel (Catfish) and the predatory Bream species like Nembwe, Thin-face and Hump-back Largemouth and ‘Three-spot’ which can be caught using light spinning rods and a variety of lures, spinners, live-bait or drift-bait.
The more sedate fishing with worms and bait afford some good opportunities for Red-breasted and Green-headed Bream. Shamvura offers fly-fishing.
‘Wato’ (Makoro) trips:
Shamvura Camp also offers guests the peaceful option of being ‘poled’ through the floodplains on a traditional ‘wato’/’makoro’. They arrange ‘wato’ (dug-out canoe) trips with a local guide, giving you more access into the flooded wetlands unavailable to motorboats;
Game Park visits:
Two distinctly different Game Parks are within easy reach from our location. These are Mahango Game Park (on the river) and Kaudom Game Reserve (in the interior “Sandveld” area).
Swimming pool and recreational deck
Private bar and lounge:
Crafts and basketry:
This is the perfect opportunity to meet crafters on site or on a craft excursion. View and buy a wide selection of handcrafts and basketry;
Micro light flights:
Stunning scenery of the Angolan floodplains and meandering river system can be viewed from the air
Traditional dance and music sessions:
Local cultural dancing group from the Gciriku are performs for the resident guests.
The journey to Shamvura … Read more