Mangetti is part of a new generation of parks aimed at reducing rural poverty through tourism development, joint management and benefit sharing with local communities. One of Namibia’s latest national parks, it has the potential to become a new tourism highlight in the north, while protecting wildlife and vegetation and providing tangible socioeconomic benefits to local communities through careful tourism development.
Situated in the eastern Kalahari woodlands about 100 km south-west of Rundu, the area was previously managed as a game camp for breeding rare and endangered species. The land was originally set aside for conservation by the Ukwangali Traditional Authority.
Proclamation: Mangetti National Park 2008
Park size 420 km2
Natural features: North-west/south-east aligned ancient dunes are a major topographical feature.
Vegetation: Tree and Shrub Savannah Biome.
Vegetation types: North-Eastern Kalahari Woodlands. Vegetation on dune crests markedly different to that in dune valleys. Kalahari woodland vegetation dominates Mangetti’s dune crests, whereas mixed acacia savannah vegetation characterizes the dune valleys. Mangetti tree (Schinziophytonrautanenii), silver terminalia (Terminalia sericea), variable combretum (Combretum collinum), Commiphora species, camel-thorn (Acacia erioloba) and black-thorn acacia (Acacia mellifera).
Wildlife: Sable antelope, African wild dog, leopard, hyaena, blue wildebeest, gemsbok, kudu, duiker, steenbok, caracal, African wild cat. Occasional elephant and African wild dog. Lapped-faced Vulture, Bateleur, Tawny Eagle, Meyer’s Parrot, Striped Kingfisher.
Tourism: Currently not open to tourists but overnight facilities are being developed.
Key management issues: Much work lies ahead to develop the new park. This includes developing park infrastructures such as fencing, water points, park entrance and tourist accommodation.
A Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the MET, Ukwangali Traditional Authority and Kavango Regional Council. Representatives of all three formed the Mangetti Management Committee (MMC), which advises the MET on managing the natural resources sustainably and sharing the income from the park. Training workshops will be held to develop the management capacity of the MMC members and staff.
Future plans: Participatory development of new park management and business plans and the development of a tourism concession for the benefit of local communities are priorities for this park. Once the new infrastructure is completed, the park will be open to the public.