A region located in the far north-east of the country and where Namibia meets Botswana, and Zambia. This area receives more rainfall than much of the country and is reputed for birding and tiger fishing, along with water dependent game including hippos and crocs; many visitors explore the national parks before continuing to Victoria Falls.
This narrow strip of land that runs from Rundu east to Katima Mulilo (the largest town in the area) and from here you can cross to Zambia or onwards into Botswana and Chobe. Just north lies the border of Namibia and Angola with the Okavango River separating these countries, and further east Kwando and Zambezi Rivers flowing towards Victoria Falls and onwards. There are five small national parks with a surprising amount of wildlife including water dependent species not found in Etosha and numerous species of waterbirds including endemics. Plenty of villages line the road and are full of rondavel style huts, cattle & donkeys along with sellers lining the road – this area is far more like Zambia or Zimbabwe than many other areas of Namibia.
Rundu: A busy little town that acts mainly as a crossing point between Angola and Namibia, often used as a quick stopover for fuel or an overnight stop – it’s best to stay outside of town on the banks of the river.
West Caprivi: As the Okavango River starts it’s southward flow into Botswana there are two small national parks – along the river are a number of lodges nestled amongst the majestic trees and are bases to explore the parks before continuing onward.
Mahango National Park: Now part of Bwabwata National Park, this little gem borders Botswana and the Okavango River forms part of it’s border to the east. Along with the river, there are floodplains, dry woodland of acacias and the odd baobab tree. With so much permanent water, game such as buffalo, sable, reedbuck and bushbuck, hippos and crocs can be spotted along with elephant, and more unusual species including red lechwe and sitatunga.
Birdlife is prolific with more species here than in any other Namibian park so a must for birders! Buffalo Park is on the opposite side of the Okavango River.
Popa Falls Reserve: Popa Falls is the name of a point where the river drops just a few metres (don’t get excited) but if you want a break from driving it’s worth popping in to visit – there are several tiny islands with footbridges to cross and where you can watch out for birdlife in the tall riverine trees, along with water monitors and frogs.
Caprivi Strip (Zambezi): Bwabwata National Park
The main B8 road bisects this underdeveloped section of the park so as tourists travelling you cross the park – watch out for elephants crossing the road along with raptors but there are no real facilities or roads to explore further (currently).
East Caprivi: Mudumu National Park & Nkasa Rupara (Mamili) National Park
Mudumu National Park: a riverine forest area and a park generally visited by the lodges in the immediate area, where the Kwando River borders it , you can expect to see buffalo, large herds of elephant as well as sitatunga and lechwe
Nkasa Rupara (Mamili) National Park: A 350 sq km area of mainly marshland and swamp, it is notable for two islands Nkasa & Lupala (Rupara), the area borders the Linyanti River and region in Botswana and the park can easily flood after rains. 4x4 access only and a chance to see puku, sitatunga, red lechwe amongst other species and some of the 430 species of birds!