The Caprivi Region borders on Angola and Zambia in the north, on Botswana in the south, and with its eastern tip even on Zimbabwe There are 13 regions in Namibia, but of these only the Caprivi boasts 6 ethnic tribes; Subia, Yeyi, Mafwe, San, Tortela and Mbukushu. Incredibly, they have adapted a Zambian language, Lozi as a common medium of communication. Another huge draw card is that the Caprivi is surrounded by 4 perennial rivers; Chobe, Kwando, Linyanti and the mighty Zambezi. For years, this area was the domain of the South African Army – wildlife suffered as a result- but with soldiers long gone, wildlife populations have recovered. These waterfront areas combine riverine forests with vast wetlands, attracting over 600 species of bird, 4 of the big 5 (less rhino) as well as boasting 4 National Parks; Bwabwata, Mamili, Mudumu and Mahango. Nearly 200 kinds of flora, shrubs, trees and fruits, complement the wildlife and amazing geography.
The majestic bird with its striking cry represents this part of Africa where water is plentiful, vegetation diverse and the animal world abound. Part of the Caprivi consists of huge areas which have been under protection for decades. Since - depending on water levels - they are not always accessible, their wonderful fauna and flora has been well preserved. The Caprivi in the north-east of Namibia is a narrow strip of land, 450 km long and up to about 100 km wide, which was added to Namibia’s main body like an artificial limb. It was conceived on the drawing board in 1890 as a result of a swap agreement between Imperial Germany and Great Britain: Germany got the appendage with the desired access to the Zambezi River (and on top of it the island of Helgoland); in return Britain received the island of Zanzibar off the coast of German East Africa (today’s Tanzania). The name of the newly acquired strip of land was chosen in honour of the German chancellor of the time, Count Leo von Caprivi.
Then, only higher-lying islands rise from the water here and there. During the dry season the floodwaters slowly recede to reveal fertile pastures and arable land. The riverbanks are permanently lined by subtropical vegetation. The contrast to the arid main body of Namibia could hardly be more pronounced. Lush vegetation in the finest nuances of greens and yellows spreads out exuberantly, birds contribute dots of blue, red and yellow and the deep blue sky is mirrored in the water. The colorful Bee-Eater, the rare Angola Swallow or the mighty African Fish Eagle fills the air with their chirping and calling. Herds of Buffalo and Elephant move across the borders of parks and countries; occasionally you spot the rare Sitatunga. And ever so often you come across a small village and the people who inhabit this region.
Caprivi Game Reserve
The 32km-wide Caprivi Game Park of 5 715km² extends for about 180 km from the Okavango River to the Kwando River. Open throughout the year, the park covers an area of 600,000 hectares, dominated by broad-leafed woodland. This area is Namibia's equivalent of the Okavango Delta, with clear flowing streams and Lush Islands. The fingerlike portion of land extending along Botswana’s northern border is known as The Caprivi Strip. This area is crossed by two major rivers, the Okavango and Kwando Rivers, while the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers form the north-east and south-east boundaries. This area is remote and quite unlike any other region in Namiba. The riverine forests along these rivers attract large numbers of mammals and numerous species of aquatic birds. Wildlife you can expect to see when visiting the Caprivi Game Reserve includes buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard, hippo, and roan and other antelopes.
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