The Kavango River
Rivers of Namibia
The Kavango River (also ofter called the Okavango River) flows for some 1,600km (1,000 miles) south-eastwards from where it rises in Angola, (where it is known as the Kubango) forming part of Namibia's northern border, (approx 350km). It continues across the Caprivi Strip and into the Kalahari regions of northwestern Botswana, where it divides into streams and and empties into the Okavango (swamps) Delta wetlands.
It is a precious source of water for all 3 of these countries, and for the Kavango and the people of the Caprivi, the river is life itself. It nurtures the land, sustaining the herders and their cattle simultaneously. Watu dugout canoes are used by the Kavango people, both for transport and for fishing.
No visit to the Okavango would be complete without hopping on a boat for a cruise along the river, with a choice ranging from houseboats, to tenders, mokoros, (dugout canoes) and river rafting. Some of these forms of (river) transport are ideal for fishing trips, (catch and release) with bream and tiger-fishing the most popular. Anglers can also expect to hook various other species including tilapia, sharptooth catfish and nembwe.
Sunset cruises are a popular activity on the river, where binoculars and camera's should be at the ready. Hippo and crocs loll around on the river banks and the dry season is a particularly rewarding part of the year for game viewing. Huge herds of elephant congregate along the Okavango River, and there are frequent sightings of lion, buffalo, African wild dog, the rare sable and roan antelope, bushbuck, reedbuck and tsessebe.
There are also some greats spots along the river banks for birding and guided birding walks. The region is home to an estimated 430 species of birds, with over 20 endemic or near-endemic species, including the yellow wagtail, wattled crane, great snipe, African rail and African skimmers.
Popa Falls: On the road south of Divundu and near the town of Bagani, the Okavango River plunges down a broad series of cascades, creating a 4m waterfall, before the river enters Botswana and the Okavango Delta. The 'falls' consists of a network of rushing channels, water courses and small islands, that form a spectacular 1km (0.6mile) wide series of rapids, misleadingly known as Popa Falls.
However, only a small section can be seen from the southern bank of the river. The best time to visit is between July and October when the level of the river is low. Do not swim in the river, because of the danger of crocodiles and hippo, and some parts of the river are bilharzia-infested. If you visit the 'falls' then the Popa Falls Resort is your best bet accommodation wise. It is also only 15km from the Mahango Game Reserve.
Several bird species can be found only in this area or have a limited distribution elsewhere in Namibia. The African skimmer feeds by flying low over the water's surface, with the long lower mandible (lower jaw) immersed in a skimming action. The coppery-tailed coucal can be distinguished from other coucals by its deeper, richer call and other residents include the slaty egret and the longtoed lapwing.
On the Kwando River, perfectly situated to visit the Mamili & Mudumu Reserves
Just outside the town of Katima Mulilo lies this small river front lodge. The accommodation is rustic, the food awesome and the situation idyllic - resulting in some of the best value for money accommodation in Namibia
Explore the Chobe & Zambezi River on an adventurous houseboat holiday
Overlooking the vast Chobe floodplain's from its situation in the east Caprivi this lodge has a lot to offer visitors
One of the best lodges in this area has accommodation in both traditional land based units as well as on two houseboats.
This is the only place in the world where four countries meet. A wonderful Chobe destination with eight luxury chalets.
A self catering family oriented lodge which offers excellent fishing opportunities
Traditionally one of the east Caprivi's most popular lodges has recently been re-opened
Situated on an island in the Kwando river around 4km from the trans-Caprivi highway
A popular and well appointed lodge near Kongola
Brand new lodge in east Caprivi - ideal for exploring the wetlands of the Mamili National Park
situated on three small islands this is an ultra-luxurious Chobe destination, with four suites, each with plunge pool and private guiding
A small luxurious houseboat, offers awesome game viewing, bird watching & fishing expereinces on the Chobe & Zambezi Rivers
in the Bwabwata National Park this is a perfect land and water camp with six luxury suites, each with private plunge pool
Close to the town of Katima Mulilo in the east Caprivi
A luxurious house boat on the Chobe River
In the far eastern Caprivi this lodge offers lots of water based activities on both the Chobe & Zambezi Rivers