The Caprivi is the 400-kilometre-long, narrow corridor of land in northeast Namibia, that runs between Angola to the north and Botswana to the south, linking it to Zambia. As Namibia’s wettest region, it sustains a wide variety of birds and animals – elephants are particularly numerous.
Germany exchanged this area in 1890 with the United Kingdom in return for Zanzibar, and it was named after the German chancellor of the time, Graf von Caprivi.
The Caprivi has a tropical climate zone so, unlike the rest of the country, has high rainfall during the rainy season (December to March). It has a number of major rivers such as the Okavango, Kwando and Zambezi, as well as smaller rivers like the Linyanti and the Chobe. Various reserves – Bwabwata, Mudumu, Lizauli, and Mamili – protect the region’s wildlife, and Chobe National Park in Botswana, which borders the Caprivi in the south, is excellent for game viewing.
Some 200 kilometres east of Rundu, in the western part of the Caprivi, lies one of Namibia’s scenic highlights: Popa Falls, the Okavango River breaks through a four-metre-high rocky intrusion in its course, surrounded by beautiful nature.
The tarmac Caprivi Highway was built to replace the old dirt road, which was barely passable during the rainy season, with the result that both Chobe National Park in Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe are now readily accessible.
The service centre of the Caprivi region is the small town of Katima Mulilo, which lies at its eastern tip on the banks of the Zambezi River. There are some attractive lodges along the river. Another road leads southeast to enter the northern tip of Botswana at Ngoma Bridge, continuing to the border with Zimbabwe.
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