Overview – Zambezi Region (Caprivi Strip)

Anthony Ham
Expert
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the 'Botswana & Namibia' guide.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

Anthony is the author of the 'Botswana & Namibia' Lonely Planet guide.

The Zambezi Region (formerly Caprivi Strip) is a narrow strip of land in northeastern Namibia bordering northern Botswana. The area is wetter and lusher than the rest of the country. There are three off-the-beaten-track national parks here: Bwabwata, Nkasa Rupara and Mudumu. Animals cross freely from Botswana and there is wildlife not common in the rest of Namibia, including buffalo, hippo and crocodiles. This is mainly a 4x4 self-drive destination for the adventurous traveler. It is advisable for parties to travel with two cars.

Best Time to Go June to September (Animals easier to spot)
High Season July to November (The area never gets crowded)
Size 11,000km² / 4,247mi² (approx.)
Altitude 900-1,100m / 2,953-3,609ft

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent wilderness experience
  • Good variety of animals not common in Namibia including buffalo, hippo and crocodile
  • Little visited off-the-beaten-track destination
  • Regular flooding and bad roads
  • Mainly for serious 4x4 enthusiasts only as facilities are very limited

Zambezi Region Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

There is plenty of wildlife in the Zambezi Region, including several species not found elsewhere in Namibia. There are many water-adapted animals in the region, which becomes flooded in the Wet season. Crocodiles and hippos are common and water-loving antelopes such as red lechwe, sitatunga and reedbuck are present in healthy numbers. No less than 60% of the country’s buffalo and elephant inhabit this small area.

Scenery

The Zambezi Region is flat and lacks prominent physical features. Several wide, tropical rivers, such as the Kwando and the Zambezi, form the main landmarks. Thirty percent of the eastern Zambezi Region can be flooded during rains, making it resemble the more famous neighboring Okavango delta. The vegetation is lush and tropical with many magnificent tree species.

Weather & Climate

Summer in the Zambezi Region, which is also the area’s Wet season (November to April), is punctuated by thunderstorms most afternoons, though they rarely stick around for long. It stays relatively hot over this six-month period, but nothing approaching the average afternoon temperature (34°C/93°F) during the final month of the region’s otherwise mild winter (May to October).

Best Time to Visit

You might be tempted to visit the Zambezi Region during its Wet season (November to April), but note that the stifling heat and general scarcity of animals can make it hard to appreciate the lush scenery. The Dry season (May to October) is a better bet, with its less-harsh temperatures and better wildlife-viewing opportunities.

Want to Visit Zambezi Region?

Zambezi Region Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Emma Gregg  –  
United Kingdom UK

Emma is an award-winning travel writer for Rough Guides, National Geographic Traveller, Travel Africa magazine and The Independent.

Calm, riverside scenery, dotted with tranquil lodges
4/5

The odd-looking stretch of territory sticking out like a panhandle at the top right corner of the map is a place unlike any other in Namibia. Instead of dunes and plains, here you’ll find smallholdings, rivers, floodlands, lush woods and...

Full Review

Latest User Review
DSNam  –  
Namibia NA
Reviewed: Jun 5, 2017
5/5

A great wildlife and birding destination. Accommodation and communications could be basic at places but the bush experience more than makes up for it.

Full Review