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The Zambezi Region – A Nature Lover’s Paradise!


One of thirteen regions in Namibia, the Zambezi Region (formerly known as Caprivi) remains one of the most popular regions in the country to visit for nature lovers both young and old. The Zambezi Region is situated in the northeast of Namibia and is a narrow strip of land approximately 400km long that protrudes out from the rest of the country like a little finger. It shares borders with four other countries, namely Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

This little piece of paradise is a tropical area, with high temperatures and a December-March rainfall area which records enough rain to list it as the wettest area within the country. Its terrain is mainly made up of swamps, floodplains, wetlands and woodland areas, ensuring that it is the perfect home for more than 450 animal species.

Due to this, the Zambezi Region is a popular game viewing and bird watching heaven, with more than 70% of the bird species found in Namibia, being recorded here!

In 2007, the former Caprivi Game Park, proclaimed in 1966, was gazetted and proclaimed as the 6100 square km Bwabwata National Park, to include the Kwando or ‘Golden Triangle’, and the Buffalo and Mahango (the former Mahango Game Park) core areas. This heralds a new generation of parks in terms of an integrated approach towards the environment. The park was designed not only to protect the environment, but also to generate income for the country. The park is sanctuary to 35 large – including elephant, buffalo, impala, reedbuck, red lechwe, sitatunga, hippo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, Chobe bushbuck, tsessebe, and sable and roan antelope – and numerous small-game species. Bwabwata, which takes its name from a village in the park and refers to the sound of bubbling water, forms part of the 278 132 square km KavangoZambezi (KaZa) Transfrontier Conservation Area, the world’s largest conservation area, straddling Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Mudumu National Park covers an expanse of 1010km² and is home to more than 400 species of birds, with the slaty egrets, Hartlaub’s babblers, greater swamp warblers, chirping cisticolas and swamp boubous being of particular interest. Animals found in the park include among others, elephant, the spotted-necked otter, hippo, crocodile, buffalo, roan antelope, kudu, impala and Burchell’s zebra.

The smaller Nkasa Lupala National Park (formerly Mamili National Park) occupies an area of 320km², and is the largest wetland area with conservation status within Namibia and many of the same species found in Mudumu National Park are also prevalent in this park.

Little known facts about the Zambezi Region include that it is more than just a nature lover’s paradise, but is also home to some very talented individuals, such as the Caprivian women who keep old cultural traditions alive with their beautiful woven baskets. A visit to the local Mashi Craft Market is a must, to see first hand the wide range of arts and crafts on sale including beadwork, baskets and wood carvings.

Another must visit is the Caprivi Art Centre situated in the main town in the region, Katima Mulio. It is a marketing outlet for various crafters, potters and artists throughout the region. Exquisite wood carvings and pots bearing intriguing patterns as well as various sculptures are some of the work available to view and for sale.

The Zambezi Region offers a wide range of accommodation, from luxurious lodges to community campsites and everything in between, to suit your pocket and holiday style. For a holiday with a variety of culture, nature, wildlife and adventure, the place to visit is definitely the Zambezi Region!