Download GPX file for this article
-17.870023.0300Map mag.png

Caprivi

From Wikivoyage
Jump to: navigation, search
Driving on the B8 from Grootfontein to Katima Mulilo

The Caprivi, also known as Caprivi Strip is a long, skinny panhandle extending north-east from Namibia, separating Angola (to the north), Botswana (to the south), and ending near the south-western corner of Zambia.

It is a tropical, wet stretch of land, known for its typical round huts along the street.

Cities[edit]

Other destinations[edit]

  • Bwabwata National Park (ex West Caprivi Game Reserve) - Is the largest covering the whole of the Caprivi strip and has a somewhat unique landscape. It is situated on an old dune system which means that there are a number of drainage lines running north west-south east across the whole length of the park.
In the rainy season the drainage lines fill with rain which sits in natural pans providing drinking water for game long into the dry months. Once the water evaporates totally the game moves to the Kwando and Kavango rivers so if you are staying on the riverfront the best time of year for seeing game is July-November. When there is water in the pans there is an almost unexplored road network (most of which is old routes created by the South African military) in the park interior.
The vegetation is a mixture of, riverine forest, teak forest, acacia fringe woodland on the edge of the drainage lines and open grassland.
Expect to see buffalo, hordes of elephant, lion (which are making a big comeback in the area), leopard, African wild dog, sable, roan, giraffe, and the usual impala, kudu, and zebra.
Bwabwata has a national route running the length of the park (the B8) with 120 km/h speed limits. The road is unfenced so please watch your speed and avoid driving at night time if possible. Many animals are killed each year by vehicles including endangered species such as wild dogs which are very inquisitive of vehicles.
  • Mudumu National Park - Mudumu NP is situated around 30 km south of the main B8 tar road running through the strip and has its western boundary on the Kwando river. To the east of the transit route through the park there is a huge area of beautiful mopane forest which the game moves into during the rainy season and to the east of the road, mixed mopane scrub/riverine forest which is the place to be in the dry season.
Mudumu is a very under-rated park with easy access and beautiful scenery. Expect to see huge numbers of elephant in the dry season, buffalo, zebra, leopard, hyaena and plenty of roan antelope.
  • Nkasa Lupala National Park (ex Mamili) - Located around an hour south of Mudumu with the southern boundary of the park formed by the Linyanti river, the opposite bank of which is Botswana.
Mamili is a stunning swampland which due to its often inaccessible nature has remained cut off from the human population of the area for many years. As a wilderness experience it has few equals and although it does not hold the diversity of game that Bwabwata holds if you get it right (usually end of the dry season) it can be fantastic.
There is a stable population of lions in the park which prey mainly on the huge buffalo herds which inhabit the two islands (Nkasa and Rupara). They are generally quite easy to track down if they are not moving between the islands.
Due to the diversity of habitat in the Caprivi birdlife in all of the three parks is stunning with over 400 recorded species including specials such as slaty egret, racket-tailed roller and black coucal.

Understand[edit]

The Caprivi Strip was negotiated from Great Britain in 1890 for the German colony of German South-west Africa (Namibia) in order to have a river connection to the German colony of Tanganyka. The connection proved unsuccessful, due to Victoria Falls.

There was a conflict in Caprivi in 1999, but it lasted only a few days, and the strip has been peaceful since then.

Talk[edit]

You will mostly hear the locals speaking their local language. English is almost the only foreign language spoken. Other local Namibian languages such as German and Afrikaans are not spoken or understood by the locals.

Get in[edit]

By Air[edit]

There are some small landing strips in the far part of the strip, but otherwise the best way in is by road.

By Road[edit]

The main way in would be via the B8 through the Bwabwata National Park (composed by ex "Caprivi Game Park" and ex "Mahango Game Reserve"). The B8 can be accessed from Rundu, the D3400, or the D3309.

By Boat[edit]

There are a few river crossings into Angola, Zambia, and Botswana, but be aware that these can close at any given time.

Get around[edit]

There are minibuses which go from Katima Mulilo to Windhoek, 1227 kms; there is also a Intercape Mainliner bus.

See[edit]

Chobe River

Do[edit]

The Caprivi is a game-rich area and includes three wonderful national parks which are still somewhat under-utilized in comparison to the parks in neighboring Botswana.

Take a game drive, camping trip or boat cruise in any of the parks.

For additional on the parks and downloadable brochures go here: [1]

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Mashi River Safaris, Kwando river [2]

Stay safe[edit]

Getting around in the Caprivi is an experience not to be missed. However, don't regard any warnings as a joke. Be extra cautious and careful for the black mamba and other deadly snakes, elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Many die by snake bites, crocodiles and hippos, but mostly by snake bites. Specially, the black mamba and the Mozambique spitting cobra are more common in this region than you may think. They strike rapidly and death is almost instant. Be extra careful, even when in the premises of a lodge, or even in your room or dining area.

Go next[edit]

This region travel guide to Caprivi is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!