African Safari Habitats

Caprivi Wildlife Safari

The Caprivi is an odd strip of land whose borders extend unnaturally towards the east, at the top right-hand corner of Namibia. This exciting safari destination in Africa is famous for mesmerizing experiences of bird-watching and game-viewing.

Hemmed in by Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana, it was a strategic South African military zone for a long time, and the tourists use it as a gateway to Victoria Falls. Today, it is back in the hands of independent Namibia and contains several National Parks and considerable safari opportunities. It is the only area of Namibia that is lush and green and well-watered by rivers.

This strip in Namibia encompasses many game reserves and parks that offer amazing experiences of birding by boat and on land by vehicles. This area in the African continent is blessed with one of the most striking coincidences of nature – five mighty rivers flow through the Caprivi Strip, making it one of the most densely irrigated areas in the country.

The main entry or gateway into this amazing wilderness is Rundu in the Western region of the strip. From here, you can follow the main road that leads you to the KatimaMulilo district that falls near the Zambian border. On the other hand, the far eastern corner of this wildlife strip is Impalila Island. It is a popular holiday spot that offers a unique location of Zambezi and Chobe Rivers merging into each other. Due to the absence of a marked border, the wildlife moves freely from Caprivi in Namibia to Botswana, depending on the season.

Caprivi Strip is famous for offering lodges and camps that accentuate the highlights of this wildlife strip. Thousands of visitors enjoy game drives and canoeing in the rivers while witnessing elephants, lions, hippos, leopards, and even wild dogs and antelopes along with flocks of rare birds.

The unmatched beauty of the rivers meeting together and flowing into the Caprivi Strip and going out into the Okavango Delta is home to about 100 different exotic species of fish. This is the reason why the Caprivi Strip is famous for sporting world’s best fish out there. Tigerfish can be caught in the Zambezi River. A record of catching Bream fish of about 10 kg has been famous for this place.

This strip is heaven for all the wildlife that you can find on earth and also for the aquatic life. Moreover, the Caprivi Strip also offers fishing safari in Namibia.

Natural History

Caprivi Game Park

Wedged between Angola and Botswana, the Caprivi Game Park extends along the Okavango River for about 112 miles (180km) until it meets the Kwando River in the east. Although it was proclaimed a park in 1968, it was controlled by the South African Defense Force and not managed as a conservation area.

As a result, there are few tourist facilities as the terrain is extremely sandy. Therefore, a 4X4 vehicle is a pre-requisite for enjoying this game park to the fullest. The terrain is generally flat with deciduous woodlands, except for some 97-195 feet high (30-60m) dunes covered in vegetation. The Caprivi Safari Adventure also offers bush walks and sundowners while floating on the pontoons. The Caprivi Strip is well-known for inhabiting over 400 species of birds – the highest number of recorded bird species in Namibia.

Mudumu National Park

The Kwando River runs through this National Park, which offers a true African wilderness experience. In contrast to the rest of Namibia, the area is lush with marches, riverine forests, dense savannah, and mopane woodland. Unusually for a National Park, there is a private lodge within its boundaries – Lianshulu Lodge – which offers guided walks, nature drives, boating, and bird watching. South of Lianshulu, the river breaks up into a labyrinth of channels to form the Linyanti Swamp.

Mamili National Park

NkasaRupara National Park, formerly known as Mamili National Park, has the distinction of being the largest wetland area of conservation status in Namibia. It is characterized by a complex network of channels, reed beds, ox-bow lakes, and tree-covered islands. The focal points are the two large islands of Nkasa and Lupala in the Kwando/Linyanti River. These islands can be reached by road but only in the dry season. After rains, the area becomes flooded, cutting them off from the mainland.

An astonishing 430 species of birds have been recorded, which is nearly 70% of Namibia’s total, and much game including the rare sitatunga and red lechwe as well as buffaloelephantzebra, antelopes, hippo, and crocodiles. This national park is set apart from the rest of the wildlife strip and is thus considered as a secluded part. However, it has to be visited for viewing vast wetlands with swamps.

Impalila Island

This island is located at the far eastern side of the Caprivi Strip, encompassing Zambezi and Chobe Rivers. It offers an exotic view of the floodplains with animals grazing and going about their business at the Chobe National Park. This island also offers cruises and canoeing for witnessing the surreal natural beauty of the river set across the vast wilderness.

Seasons

1. Rainy Season

  • Rain falls during the hot months of November to March, and temperatures and humidity are high.
  • Mosquitoes breed well in these conditions, and a visit in the heart of the rainy season should be best avoided.

2. Dry Season

  • May to October is dry, and animals tend to congregate along the river.
  • Game is at its most dense and easily visible in the middle and end of the dry season.
  • October becomes very hot with the anticipation of rain making the air heavy.

OTHER PARKS & RESERVES

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