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The Caprivi - Namibia

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The Caprivi Strip is a long panhandle enclosed by permanent water and stretching eastwards from the Kavango River to and along the Zambezi ending at the border junction of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

This lush savannah area is bounded by the Kwando, Linyanti and Chobe River system on the southern border with Botswana and with the Zambezi River forming part of its northern boundary with Zambia.

Wildlife in the Caprivi has not yet recovered from years of poaching and the destructive bushwar of the 70's and 80's but its superb conservation areas may in the future rival Etosha. Almost 70% of the bird species found in Namibia have been recorded in the Caprivi.

As the best of the Caprivi habitat is captured in the area shared with Botswana, it's usually more productive to look at the Selinda Reserve as a safari option.

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Mahango Game Reserve: Enriched by the Kavango River, this is a small reserve with an ecologically diverse combination of grassland, woodland, floodplain, riverine forests and reed beds supporting over 60 mammal and nearly 350 bird species. This is an excellent reserve for elephants during the dry season. This is the only Namibian Park in which visitors are allowed to walk unaccompanied by a guide or scout.

West Caprivi Game Park: Similar in habitats to Mahango, this reserve covers most of the "strip" from the Kavango to Kwando Rivers and is transversed by the infamous "Golden Highway" (a gravel and sand road responsible for many bogged down vehicles during the rainy season). Heavily poached out in the past, this area shows signs of recovery.

Mudumu National Park: Flanking the Kwando River and benefiting much by the wetlands of the Kwando-Mashi-Linyanti-Chobe river system Mudumu is an excellent birding area and is also well known for its fishing. Water-loving mammals including the Cape clawless otter are abundant.

Mamili National Park: Proclaimed in 1989, this almost inaccessible wetland is particularly well known for its birdlife. Mamili is only suitable for the hardiest guests and should only be tackled between September and April in 4x4 convoy fashion. This is a good area for lechwe, sitatunga, puku and spotted-necked otters. Probably the best way to experience this habitat is on the Botswana side in the Selinda Reserve.

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PO Box 158 Kariba, Zimbabwe

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