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Forming the border between Namibia and Angola for more than 400km is the Okavango River, lifeline of the Kavango people, who make a living from fishing, cattle farming and cultivating sorghum, millet and maize on the wide fertile plains on either side. Closely related to the Owambo, the Kavango also originate from the large lakes ofEast Africa. They first settled near theKwandoRiverinAngola, moving south of theOkavangoRiverbetween 1750 and 1800.
Today the Kavango consist of five individual tribes. Each tribe is ruled by a traditional chief or chieftainess, assisted by headmen. The chief has the overall ruling power over his tribe and custodial power over the land that falls within the jurisdiction of that tribe. The traditional economy in Kavango is based on a combination of horticulture and animal husbandry.
A complex network of rivers, a fertile wilderness area of riverine forests, flood plains, deltas and open woodlands.
An undiscovered area of Namibia and a contrast to the rest of the country. The largest town Katima Mulilo beats with the pulse ofAfrica where traditional villages border the town and open markets resonate with more modern conveniences.
The region is home to 450 animal species, including elephants, making Caprivi a popular game-watching spot. The wildlife is protected by several nature reserves, such as Bwabwata, Mudumu, Lizauli, West Caprivi Game Park, Mahango Game Reserve, and Mamili National Park; animals travel freely across the unmarked border with Botswana, where the Chobe National Park lies. The strip is also a prime bird-watching area, with almost 70 percent of bird species found in Namibia being recorded here. Katima Mulilo is the largest city, with other notable towns including Kongola, Chinchimane, Bukalo, Sibinda, and Impalila.
There are three game parks in the Caprivi region. The Caprivi Game Park is 5,715 square kilometers and extends for about 180 km from the Kavango River in the west to the Kwando River in the east. Deciduous woodlands are dominated by trees such as wild seringa, copalwood and Zambezi teak. While the park is sanctuary to 35 large and numerous small game species, visitors are not likely to see many of these animals as vehicles are restricted to the road between Kavango and Eastern Caprivi. Animals likely to be seen are elephant, roan and kudu, buffalo occur towards the west. As many as 339 bird species have been recorded in west Caprivi.
Discover the Big 5 across 4 national parks
( Etosha, Kavango, Mahango and Chobe river front )
■ explore the wildlife and culture along 3 rivers of the Zambez
The main town in the Kavango Region is Rundu, situated on the banks of the Okavango River. This is the home of Namibia’s well-known Kavango woodcarvers. Their ancient craft, handed down over generations, is a flourishing industry today. Wooden carvings are made ad offered for sale at the Mbungura Woodcraft Cooperative, which has its main workshop and office in the town. Rundu is much more than a refueling stop. Situated in the north-eastern corner of Namibia this rapidly growing town is the main administrative center of the Kavango region. As frontier town, Rundu is set to become the hub of trade and development in the north, especially with rebuilding efforts in Angola and the Trans-caprivi highway that links the country and its main port in Walvis Bay to the rest of Africa. With its diverse cultures and people, comes the skills and talents to develop Rundu into a dynamic commercial centre.