Zambezi Region (Caprivi Strip)
The Zambezi Region, formerly known as the Caprivi Strip, is a slice of land in north-eastern Namibia. The wetlands, savannah, woodlands and river networks of this region are more commonly associated with the landscapes of Botswana, so make a great contrast with the other areas of Namibia. Wildlife is abundant in the four main national parks here, and there is a variety of ionic big game to discover.
About the Zambezi Region
There are four main wildlife areas in the Zambezi Region/Caprivi Strip – Mahango, Mudumu, Nkasa Rupara and Bwabata. Within them, lion, elephants, huge herds of buffalo and a wide variety of plains game are all found. The region receives fewer visitors in comparison to Namibia’s main tourist routes but tailor-made safaris in the Zambezi Region are an exciting holiday experience in their own right.
Where to go in the Zambezi Region?
See below for an insight into the region's best national parks.
Best Places to Visit in the Zambezi Region/Caprivi Strip
Bwabwata National Park Safaris
Bwabwata National Park Safaris In 2007 Bwabwata was gazetted as a national park having previously been declared a military zone. With Namibia’s independence in 1990, conservation work in the area began and has had continued success since. The park consists of different zones including the Mahango Game Reserve, Kwando Core Area, Popa Falls, and the Divindu area.
The majority of the wildlife in Bwabata National Park can be found in the Mahango Game Reserve, which covers 254 km² of savannah, woodland, wetland and rivers. For decades the region’s wildlife suffered at the hands of hunters and poachers, yet today the animal populations are growing again. Elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog and rare antelope species such as roan and sable can all be found on a Zambezi Region/Caprivi Strip safari in this area.
Located in the east of the Bwabata National Park is the Kwando Core Area, comprising wetlands, the Kwando River and sand dunes covered in a variety of tree species. Without a doubt, this is what you would describe as an ‘off-the-beaten-track’ safari experience, and winding sand roads mean only 4×4’s are able to traverse the area. Large concentrations of buffalo and elephant can be found here, with lions being the dominant predator ahead of leopard, cheetah, hyena and wild dog.
Nkasa Rupara National Park
Birding specials include the narina trogon, racket-tailed rollers, coppery sunbird, emerald cuckoo, wattled cranes, long-toed lapwing, African crakes and the African hobby. Nkasa Rupara National Park Safaris Formerly known as Mamili National Park, the Nkasa Rupara National Park is a wetland haven for a variety of water birds and antelope. Elephant and buffalo sightings are common but there is not an abundance of wildlife in the park.
Nkasa Rupara National Park really comes into its own with its birding, and there are over 400 different species recorded within the park. Bearded scrub robins, Bradfield’s hornbills, three-banded coursers and the Western banded snake eagle are amongst some of the highlights of the Nkasa Rupara National Park.
Birding is best between November and April, however during this period travel within the park can be difficult due to the amount of groundwater following the rains.
Mudumu National Park Safaris
Mudumu National Park is located in the north of the Caprivi Strip/Zambezi region. It covers an area of approximately 1,000 km² with a riverine ecosystem that is ideal for elephants which can be found in healthy numbers as they migrate through the area between Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola.
Other wildlife species in the Mudumu National Park include buffalo, hippo, crocodile, spotted-necked otter, sitatunga, red lechwe and sable antelope, as well as predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, and spotted hyena.
There are 430 recorded bird species in Mudumu, among them are the African fish-eagle, African skimmer and the Western-banded snake-eagle.
Best Time to Visit the Zambezi Region
The best time of year for a luxury Zambezi Region/Caprivi Strip safari is between June and October, when water becomes scarce and animals tend to congregate near permanent sources making them easier to find.
Birding in the Zambezi Region/Caprivi Strip is best during the wetter months from November to May. However, during these months travel around this area can be made tricky due to worsening road conditions.