Bordering Angola, Botswana and Zambia, the Caprivi region is a mosaic of woodlands, rivertine forests, swamps and rivers and home to an abundance of game and birds. Ruben Mafati, a wildlife conservationist, shares his Caprivi...
|“Namibia is known for its desert, but the Caprivi sends a different message. The Caprivi is unique. It is wet, green and alive. We have important water resources and rivers to explore. The Kavango, Chobe, Kwando and Zambezi rivers are home to large herds of wildlife, hundreds of bird species and fishing, especially tiger fishing, all strong draws for tourists.|
We are very, very excited to be at the heart of KAZA, our voices are represented and we are a part of one of the most exciting conservation and tourist endeavors in the world!
We also have three special national parks, Bwabwata, Mahango and Nkasa Lupala in the Caprivi that are part of KAZA. These parks share international borders, waterways and borders with local communities. Communities support tourism and share in the benefits. This mutual benefit is new – only in the last 20 years with the establishment of conservancies and it has made a huge difference to the land and the people in my region.
Community campsites and joint venture lodges are set in amazing places. So not only do tourists get to visit spectacular places, but also they know that their visit to these places benefits local people. One special community campsite is Nambwa. It’s located near the well-known Horseshoe bend in the river in the Bwabwata National Park. Nkasa Lupala and Suswe Island Lodge are very nice joint venture lodges that are also in national parks.
Victoria Falls isn’t the only falls in the area. Namibia’s has Popa Falls in western Caprivi and N//goabaca is a lovely community campsite there.
Visitors to the Caprivi remark that it feels like real Africa, and this is true because of the cultural elements of tourism here. Trips to traditional villages where guests can experience the authentic lifestyle of the Caprivi people are organized through joint venture lodges. This is part of the attraction of joint venture partnerships – guests experience village life and those people living in the villages benefit financially form these visits. There is also the Living Museum of the Mafwe, which is a very real representation of our people. In many places, tourists can buy arts and crafts that are produced by local people using traditional methods and materials. There is an arts hub at Kongola and a new art center is planned for Bwabwata National Park."