The Caprivi Strip (nicknamed after German Chancellor, General Count Georg Leo von Caprivi di Caprara di Montecuccoli...phew) is a slightly random appendage to Namibia’s north-eastern tip which serves to extend the country’s borders towards the middle of the continent, between Angola and Botswana. It came about as a result of a strategic trade between Britain, who conceded a northern swatch of Botswana, and Germany, which relinquished its interest in Zanzibar in the late 1800s. Since then, the Caprivi has seen more than its fair share of military activity during the various regional conflicts that decimated the wildlife and impoverished the people. Fortunately, these days the area is peaceful and the environment is recovering remarkably well, providing a valuable corridor and sanctuary to some quite unusual bird and animal species.
The Caprivi’s riverine forests, mopane woodland and general lushness seem at odds with the rest of Namibia. Most of the central strip comprises a national park which is largely inaccessible and undeveloped for tourism. However, there are a couple of discreet little parks and reserves at the far west and eastern ends which are definitely worth visiting if you are looking to stray from the standard fare. There are good populations of elephant, sable and roan in certain areas in addition to an important remnant of endangered African wild dog as well as some excellent birding to be had. The parks can be great to walk in, and a real bonus is that the eastern area in particular, is quite accessible from Botswana, Zimbabwe or Zambia.
There are just a handful of quality camps in the Caprivi, but it is also possible to incorporate it in a mobile camping safari too.