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Caprivi

Caprivi

Often known as the Caprivi Strip, the Caprivi region of Namibia is a slender finger of land extending eastward almost 300 miles from the mainland. With Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the south, and Zimbabwe at its easternmost tip, the area is predictably diverse. It is home to six major ethnic tribes that claim ancestors from all of the surrounding nations.

Three perennial rivers bound and bisect the region. Flowing from the Angola highlands, the Okavango briefly forms the northern border of Namibia before turning south through Caprivi and into Botswana, ultimately emptying into the incredible Okavango Delta. Further east, the Kwando (Cuando) forms the border between Angola and Zambia before bisecting Caprivi and turning eastward to become its southern border. As it runs along the Botswana-Caprivi (Namibia) border, the river becomes known as the Linyanti and, further downstream, the Chobe. The Zambezi River is Africa’s fourth longest and forms the extreme northeastern border of Caprivi, eventually crashing over Victoria Falls.

Because of its location, Caprivi has a tumultuous and colorful history. Britain incorporated the region into their Botswana protectorate in the late 1800s, but ceded it to Germany soon after as part of treaty centered around the island of Zanzibar. During World War II the strip came into British possession again but was largely ignored and justifiably gained a reputation as a lawless frontier. Today Caprivi is a burgeoning frontier of ecotourism due to the impressive diversity of its people, geography, and wildlife.

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