Desert of the Skeletons (Full Documentary)

Huge deserted beaches surrounded by dunes, where boat masks have forgotten the company only the remains of unfortunate creatures are called skeletons Coast. This side of the Atlantic, east of Namibia, is the gateway to the Namib Desert, which follows the Kalahari. There we find groups Bushmen and Himba, atavistic residents of these arid regions. The Bushmen demonstrate their integration in the most hostile of friendly means by hunting and gathering techniques. (featured Image from Naankuse Lodge)

Joining them pursue their prey poisoned arrows wounds on an expedition lasting several days and observe the survival of an entire clan in the harsh dry season. The Himba us their nomadic life, in which everything revolves around the goats and cows grazing. Among its strongest features see the symbolism of their hair and body ornaments, his main artistic expression, know the rules that govern the formation of polygamous marriages and will attend the rituals “esuko” where women gain maturity within the tribe. (by New Atlantis Full Documentaries)

 

Desert Survival Know-How

If you’re thinking of going on an outrageous adventure then try travelling in the arid stretches of the Namib Desert? This is not everyone’s fancy or an idea of a holiday safari and only for the true hard-knock adventurist’s out there. So to help you plan ahead, you may want to study up on some desert survival skills before you take any decisions. Even the most experienced traveller can end up in a dire and severe situation for such an undertaking. Professionals have the tendency to usually arrive prepared for emergencies, so they survive these harsh undertakings. In general, these individuals have learned from past errors. With serious gained knowledge and a lot of common sense, tragedies will be avoided. That’s where the saying comes in “there is no such thing as being too prepared” holds true value when you are in a dangerous and underestimated environment like the Namib Desert. Please be aware, this small guide is intended for the pure “deep Desert” environment and not the Desert outskirts where bushes and trees are present. By sticking to certain guidelines, survival within the Namib desert is nothing more than a background with well understood plain old common sense with a few added hints, tips and good recommendations.

     + Here are Hippo’s basic and so with best Tip’s:

The biggest common mistake:

In this digital modern age, people rely too much on their cell phones or digital devices. But imagine the unfortunate event of a crash landing in the middle of the Namib Desert where no roaming is available. So we can agree that these devices don’t always work in such remote areas. If you are in doubt, don’t even bother to check with your service provider or any link to confirm coverage areas. Best idea would be, as long as you have battery life is to contact any service providing rescue (download .pdf link with coastal emergency numbers here). Professionals don’t even take such an option into account. It is wise to be sceptical of promises made about battery life and coverage area in regards to Cellphones/Mobiles.

Calling America’s Hotline “911” is impossible, and maps will not download to your phone. Especially in certain areas of the Namib Desert, you can completely forget about it. A GPS gadget will work as long as the battery life will hold, but one will have to settle with is a blue dot on a blank screen. Without directions, many of us will end up walking in a large circle, apparently hence to one leg being stronger than the other, or not the exact same length – debateable (?). A good way to test this theory is to stroll within a large open area by walking with your eyes focused on the ground approximately 2 metres in front of you. Observe what happens.

So how to guarantee that your walking in a straight line? The most simple rule to be followed which is true for the Namib Desert would be the following: In the morning walk away from the sun, rest in the afternoon when the Sun is above you and then continue walking towards the Sun once setting. Hence in Namibia the Sundowner occurs by setting “in the Atlantic Ocean“, you will surely reach a highway connected with various Namibian Towns/Cities. So without Compass or Cellphone (basically nothing), this is one of the best rules to follow to ensure your survival. In other words – try to follow and travel towards the West! If you climb from one dune to another and feeling a slight breeze you should be on the right way. Follow the breezy. A very BIG however is that this fact is vice versa in Namibian during Winter times (!). Air from the inland rushes towards the coast, passing over the Namib Desert making it the most famous yearly Desert Storm which can be expected during the time period. Below a small Clip taken on the highway connecting Swakopmund and Walvisbaai – those poor folks on the bikes must have been exhausted once upon arrival.

These Winter Desert Storms are not to be underestimated. The power from these Storm creates problems for coastal cities, year after year, sandblasting Vehicles right down to pure sheet metal.

As an all-around insider Joke from many hardcore adventurers/hikers: “Desert’s and circles is a match made in hell” – no pun intended.

So, how about Water?

In such an extreme survival situation, try to stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and hike only during the cooler hours of the evening or morning heading West. Most lost hikers (or other) have lasted up to two days without water in the extreme conditions of the Namib Desert. While many individuals, trying to find water in the middle of the day, have perished within three hours or less. One thing is for certain, you will never find an Oasis within the Namib Desert (except Namib Desert outskirts), so don’t bother looking for it. You will cough dust before you find an Oasis. This is not like Americas Deserts or the Sahara. In case you should have to abandon your Vehicle try to gather all the liquids in your Vehicle (eg. Water for the Window wipers or Radiator should it not contain any chemicals like eg. Anti-Freeze). You will need the supply, guaranteed! Also true for the Namib Desert, don’t bother looking for trees feeding on ground-water reserves. But if you do encounter some, expect them to be bone dry. Digging for water inside the Namib Desert is also a big waste of time and energy. You won’t find any guaranteed! This landscape is rough, dry, harsh and unforgiving! One needs have a serious survival plan for sure.

Knowing when to consume water is a good survival insight if you want to survive the endure. Don’t just consume all your liquid at the first sign of thirst. A better tactic is to ration it for yourself, taking smaller sips throughout the day if possible. Try to assess your dehydration by the colour of your urine – if it’s light-coloured, you’re mostly doing okay, however, if your passing is darkish, you should consider rehydration.

Also, a good insider is to carry a small piece of plastic or any form of a polymer. At night the Namib Desert is generally clouded with fog. Placing a sheet of plastic (or any non-absorbing water material) within an open Desert space throughout the night will condense fog into some drinking water on the material. Try to place the sheet/other on a higher ground but not on the top of a Dune. You don’t want the daily wind to disperse every droplet gathered. Although it might not be much, it will definitely come in handy. Rocks will also help out if you can find some(?). This is a severe measure, but nevertheless! A good teacher to explain what we are talking about here is to observe the Namib Desert Gecko (see Clip below).

Bite Size: Gecko Uses Eyes to Drink

Thirsty, little fella?

Gepostet von Animal Planet am Donnerstag, 19. Juli 2018

 

Is it safe to drink urine when things get tough? This is a very debated topic but take a look at this article for more insight on urine hydration!

Keep cool!

On this matter, we have only one simple insider trick. As we all know, most heat from the body is being radiated and consumed via the human head or skin. Taken from practices adopted by Nomads in the Sahara this one works like a bomb! Take a piece of cloth which fits your entire head and drench, or at least dampen the cloth in water, should you have some water to spare (!).

You will notice that once you start walking that the always constant Namibian Desert wind cools it down drastically. Even with the slightest breeze! The harsh Namibian Sun is on a full check-mate and will add many miles or kilometres towards your gained distance. Also, it will keep Sand and Dust out of your mouth in case of heavy winds or storms. If you never tried this one then do yourself the favour and test it. This very simple method turns your entire cranium space into an Ice-Box, literally! You can always thank us later for this one. 🙂

Also, keep warm and more!

Many unfortunate events with people forced into a desert survival situation have the tendency to only be aware of the Desert heat. The Namib Desert (depending on the month) reaches seriously cold nights once the sun sets. Do not leave your warm gear behind, you will need them. Take them off during the day but have them along for the night. The Namib Desert offers you extreme contrast’s regarding temperature, there rarely is an “in-between measure”. If you ignore this one, be assured to freeze your socks off, …as they say (or freeze to death). Also Note, travelling at night is a bad idea. After sundowner, the Desert Reptiles start wandering and so with the Namib Desert comes alive. Accidentally stepping on something venomous is very likely! Another thing is Sunscreen. There isn’t much to write about this matter because in general, this one is self-explanatory. Without sunscreen, depending on your skin type, you will burn up sooner or later. Trekking for survival with skin-blisters is definitely a nightmare. Secondly, try to climb each Dune sideways and not on a direct angle. You will consume less energy hence the sand displacement with each step is much lower. On a direct climbing approach of a Dune with heavy sand displacement properties, one can put a general rough estimate of about one step equaling three steps as a whole. Conserve your energy, you will need it later!

Watch your step

Contrary to the belief, the Namib Desert is filled with venomous reptiles.

One worth mentioning is the hairy thick-tailed scorpion (Parabuthus villosus) which are active at night but also moves during the day. These scorpions can reach lengths of 18cm and can survive without food for 12 months. Highly venomous! Another one would be the Namib sand snake (Psammophis namibensis) a very slender and fast moving snake. In the Namib Desert, we have another exception to the rule, the sidewinder or Peringuey’s adder (Bitis peringueyi). This snake’s eyes are situated on top of its head, which means it can bury totally into the sand but still be able to see you, this is a sneaky little being. So be aware, to the untrained individual this snake is hard to detect hence it loves hiding below the Namib Desert sand. If thirst won’t kill you, these reptiles definitely will if taken lightly. (Image by Africa Geographic)

An interesting video about the Sidewinder (Bitis peringueyi) :

A nice documentary of the Namib Desert by Richard Klug (German):

Just for Fun, a small online quiz. Will you make it out alive?: 

Check out this small desert survival quiz. More based on other Deserts not relevant to the Namib Desert, so just for fun!

Also read this past Blog Post:

• 4 Desert Race Namibia

Namibia’s Bush Encroachment Issue

We would like to inform guest’s as well as nationals on the growing issue regarding the encroachment bush issue currently burdening Namibia’s landscape. This topic is not taken lightly by most or actually all landowners of Namibia. Discussed here is the species known in Latin as Acacia mellifera, English: Blackthorn, Oshiwambo: Omunkono, Otjiherero: Omusaona, Khoekhoegowab: !noes and in Afrikaans as SwarthaakBush encroachment is the invasion and/or thickening of aggressive undesired woody species resulting in an imbalance of the grass to bush ratio, a decrease in biodiversity, a decrease in carrying capacity and concomitant economic losses. Namibia is the aridest country south of the Sahara, with scarce and unpredictable rainfall, and perennial rivers only on its borders. Over 80% of Namibia’s land area relies solely on groundwater for any economic productivity. Extensive bush encroachment, together with the effects of climate change, is putting further pressure on water resources. The Namibian agricultural sector has the potential to increase economic production provided that extensive thinning of encroacher bush is implemented – in order to restore the former carrying capacity and restore the natural recharge potential of groundwater. However, the potential benefits of bush thinning extend into other economic sectors as well.

“Near the village of Gawukeni, in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.  Shrubs and low trees have invaded the abandoned fields in the centre of the image resulting in extensive ‘bush encroachment’ which is widespread in the region.  The original photo was taken by D.M. Commins in 1958 and the repeat photograph by PCU PhD candidate James Puttick 53 years later in 2011.” (by University of Cape Town)

Bush encroachment is severely hampering the red meat industry of Namibia and it is also negatively affecting biodiversity and the recharging tempos of certain aquifers. More than 40 million hectares of Namibian rangelands and Savannah has been degraded by encroacher bush. There is a considerable market demand for biomass in the world and the use of waste wood or unwanted woody biomass has become a sought-after commodity, mainly because of its low to a positive impact on the environment when used as a heat source. Read this article giving a deep insight into Farmers struggling to manage this ever-growing problem.

BOTANIC DESCRIPTION: Acacia mellifera is a low, branched tree with a more or less spherical crown. Black bark on stem becomes ash-grey to light brown on the branches, bearing small, short, sharply hooked spines in pairs. It has a shallow but extensive root system radiating from the crown, allowing the plant to exploit soil moisture and nutrients from a large volume of soil. The roots rarely penetrate more than 1 m. Apparently, this bush has somehow made it to Namibia, hence it isn’t an indigenous Plant within the southern parts of Africa (debated along Botanist’s hence their Latin classification of “Acacia” ?). It nevertheless is creating a massive problem within the southern Africa Fauna & Flora. Creating huge problems for the Agricultural and Wildlife field.

Swarthaak – Acacia Mellifera encroaching Bush

Acacia mellifera is a commonly occurring shrub on rangelands throughout the savannah in western, eastern and southern Africa. The terrain preference is rocky hillsides with rainfall along seasonal watercourses, mixed with other trees. If left unattended, especially if grazing is heavy and no fires check its spread, it may form dense, impenetrable thickets, 2-3 m high and sometimes hundreds of metres across, slowly taking over good grazing land. This species is extremely drought-tolerant.

The removal of encroaching bush from the Namibian rangelands would not only be regarded as an attempt to restore the savannah and its biodiversity, it would also be advantages to the subsurface water resources of affected areas. It is therefore important that methods to economically harvest biomass from encroaching bush is currently being addressed by the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture. Due to the certain years of drought throughout Namibia, the Swarthaak bush is now growing fiercely and this further overcrowds the lands and leaves no space for the natural grass to grow. Farmers and Landowners then learned that they have to come up with a brilliant solution to this problem and save their cattle from dying and at the same time de-bush their land. Bush encroachment hinders productivity on some of the commercial farms sampled, reduces underground water, and has negative effects on the Namibian economy. Results shown on Government surveys carried out with selected targeted farms demonstrate that farmers are using a range of methods to combat bush encroachment, each with limited results: Methods include 1. Burning, 2. Removal via Machinery, or via 3. Pesticides / Chemical applications (least favoured hence it filters down to the groundwater reserves).

It is generally accepted that the decline in the carrying capacity of our rangelands could be as much as 100% or more (a decrease from 10 ha per LSU too, for example, 20 to 35 ha per LSU). It is generally studied and so with accepted that on a day with good rainfall the Blackthorn or Swarthaak takes up at least 70% of the available rainwater. Therefore, at a conservative production loss of only 3 kg carcass weight per hectare and at 2002 prices (2018 prices currently not available). Namibia is suffering a loss in income of more than N$700 million per annum (LSU = Life Stock Unit). Bush encroachment should, therefore, be regarded as a societal problem to be addressed with strong support at a national level (the calculations estimate is predicated on a triple increase on the mentioned amount for the year 2018). Water shortage is always giving a constant problem and worries for the Namibian Farming community. Unfortunately, the issue of water shortage is becoming a massive global issue, for this Blog Post we are going to focus on the mentioned issue at hand. Read this informative Newspaper article for a deeper insight regarding this urgent matter!

The overwhelming factor determining the spatial distribution and productivity of forest savannas and grassland is soil moisture balance. This balance and, therefore, the soil water content have largely been disturbed by invader bush, resulting in very little efficiency in respect of water use on natural rangelands. Research findings in African savannas showed that rangelands in poor condition, i.e. bush-encroached, need three to four times more water to produce the same amount of grass compared with veld that is in an optimum state.

This problem is further accentuated given the erratic climatic features of Namibia, where – • low average rainfall • high evapotranspiration • large fluctuations in rainfall between and within years, and • low rainfall predictability have a drastic impact on the stability of people’s livelihoods.

Please do not confuse the Camelthorn Tree (Acacia erioloba) with the Swarthaak (Acacia Mellifera) these are two very different botanical species. The Camelthorn Tree of Namibia is much beloved and gives the impression to seem harmless, offering a delicious meal for hungry desert-dwelling wildlife. But don’t underestimate these beautiful trees, they are indeed very clever. On the moment when wildlife animals start snacking on the Acacia leaves, this beautiful tree goes into self-defence mode by secreting a sharp garlic-like odour as a defence mechanism which in turn repels animals. The Camelthorn tree is extremely slow growing due to the harsh Namibian environment. It deserves the utmost respect and should not be seen as an encroaching botanical species like the Swarthaak. The Acacia Erioloba carries the same pre-name “Acacia” but is not an invasive species!!

     + People making a change:

One trailblazing individual wanting to take the matters into his own hands is Mr Fanie Bosman.
Born in Namibia and raised on a free-range cattle farm where he learned to love/protect and appreciate nature. His driven nature to want to try and conserve Namibian’s nature and wildlife for Namibia’s children’s children is remarkable. He is as local as you can get! A strong supporter of Namibian’s businesses and all things Namibia.
This gave him the business Idea of using a problem (encroachment bush) towards the countries advantage on several points.
“There is nothing better than taking an environmental problem and turning it into an agricultural solution via an economic interest in mind.” Encroachment Bush in Namibia is a very, very serious Problem and needs urgent attention. This individual is trying to make a serious change which matters. Furthermore, with all help on deck, it will benefit Namibia in multiple ways, not just in Agriculture but also economically.  Mr Bosman is so passionate about this matter that he get’s external Businesses involved to help him solve this constantly growing issue. Worth mentioning, Namibia has a small number of companies offering a de-bushing service for a re-payment on per ha. on land cleared. Most of the time this service cannot be afforded by 90% of the landowners giving the invasion of encroachment bush freedom to roam and spread. However, if the undertaking of Mr Bosman succeeds the de-bushing on farmland will be offered free of charge to anyone in need of this service, taking only the gained product as compensation. Free to any landowner regardless of location. Imagine the impact! It is evident that currently (!) far too little emphasis is being placed on this matter via the Ministry of Agriculture as such. Therefore, we at Hippo Adventure Tours support his idea all the way and hope he succeeds in his undertaking.

In many ways, we therefore kindly ask the International society to have a look at the below-linked undertaking and offer their support as far as possible. These individuals are trying a serious attempt to create a change and all help is much appreciated…

   + Please visit this Undertaking for more Information regarding this Bush encroachment Project in Namibia.

Some interesting Namibian Newspaper articles and .pdf’s regarding Bush encroachment:

• New Era News Article on Water shortages

• The Villager Article with insight on the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture 

• Namibian Newspaper Article on the Camelthorn Tree

Namibian Company link selling Encroachment Bush by-products or services:

• Greencoal Namibia

• Omuramba

• Omuriro

• De-bushing Advisory Service Namibia

Although there are a couple more companies out there trying to help with the bush encroachment problem, the impact on the issue still remains far too small to make a true difference.

.pdf Downloads:

• A one-page graphical poster on encroacher species in Namibia

• World forestry document

Image rights for explanatory Graphics / Posters (middle): DAS Namibia

 

All details for Namibia Border Crossing

This Post is very useful to answer all your questions regarding border crossing from Namibia. Whether you are planning to travel to Angola, Zambia or Angola, the details below will clarify most of it. The Namibian Border has quite a mature immigration and customs systems. Passing through Namibia’s road borders is normally very straightforward should you have all the correct documents in place.

Some visitors, unfortunately, have had difficult experiences with having to bribe officers at the posts at various borders located in southern Africa. However, Namibia officials are always friendly and efficient and not open to bribery. You should ensure that you have all the necessary official documents to pass through immigration and customs, as we will explain below.

If you take your hat and your sunglasses off and put on a smile, chances are good that you will get a much warmer reception. Everybody loves to be treated kindly, so if you are having a bad day, do yourself a favour and leave the negative vibe at home. Also, please ensure your Passport is in a good condition. When it looks “very used” or gives the impression that it has been tampered with, chances are that no border crossing will be allowed. Plus ensure a minimum of 3 months before the Passport expiry date.

Documents required:

• A valid passport is a must!

• Original vehicle registration papers: Note that a certified copy is acceptable at the border post. Persons whose vehicles are still being financed by the bank will not have original vehicle registration papers. They would, therefore, use the vehicle license papers (where the renewal disk is cut out yearly), or

• Vehicle license papers: Must be accompanied with a letter from the bank giving you the authorisation to take the vehicle across the border including dates. Both the bank letter and license papers should be signed by a Commissioner of Oaths

• If you are not the registered owner of the vehicle: Please carry an affidavit from the police giving you authorisation from the owner / financial institution to take the vehicle abroad. Your Car-Rental company will also be able to help you out.

• Valid driver’s license

• Cross-border Charge: R220 per vehicle; R140 per trailer (price remains the same for Namibia Dollars) Click here to download the 2018 .pdf border crossing charges.

• Carnet de Passage: Only compulsory if the vehicle is being shipped to Namibia. Application forms can be downloaded here. Police Clearance Certificates are not required for temporary importation. These are only required if the vehicle is being used for rental purposes or if the importer is in the country on a working permit.

• Permit: Allowed up to three months, if staying in Namibia for longer and on a working permit, a provisional payment of duties valued at 16.5% of the value of the car has to be paid to customs. This is refundable upon the car’s export from Namibia. The work permit must be shown on the passport and on the letter from the company in Namibia confirming that you will be working for them. Cars registered in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana do not need to obtain a Carnet.

• ZA Sticker: Available at any AA Accredited Sales Agent store. See Map below for the AA Sales Agent in Windhoek:

Border crossing hours:

     + South Africa Crossing:

• Namibia / South Africa Ariasmsvlei: open 24hrs

• Velloordrift / Onseepskans: 08H00 – 17H00

• Noordoewer: open 24hrs

• Hohlweg: 08H00 – 16H30

• Oranjemund / Alexander Bay: 06H00- 22H00

• Rietfontein: 08H00 – 16H30

     + Botswana crossing:

• Namibia / Botswana Impalila Island: 07H00 – 18H00

• Buitepos / Mamuno: 07H00 – 24H00

• Ngoma Bridge: 07H00 – 18H00

• Muhembo/ Shakawe: 06H00 – 18H00

     + Angola crossing:

• Namibia / Angola Ruacana: 08H00 – 18H00

• Omahenene: 08H00 – 18H00

• Rundu: 08H00 – 18H00

• Oshikango: 08H00 – 18H00

     + Zambia crossing:

• Namibia / Sesheke / Zambia Wanele: 06H00 – 18H00

PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:

Please check your cargo before embarking, the chances of being Vehicle searched are high. The Duty-exempt items for personal use allow 50ml cologne, 400 cigarettes or 250gr tobacco, 1-litre liquor, 2 litres of wine, 250ml Eau de Toilette or other new or used items to the value of N$ 2000.oo. So with, all things exceeding this limit including food, are subject to strict tariff regulations. This also applies to travellers from South Africa. Should you bring gifts for friends or family, a value of N$200.oo and all personal items are allowed and recommended (duty-free).

The following rules apply to the importation of meat into Namibia. Only 25kg per person older than 12 years and 3 per vehicle (mutton, goat and beef), are allowed for own consumption only and no permit is required. A weighed amount of 10kg of biltong or processed meat allowed per vehicle. No chicken or pork may be imported for own use into Namibia should you cross into Namibia from the outside. 

• Any queries on Duty-exempt items please phone the customs Office in Windhoek at Tel: +264 (0)61 2099111.

• Further information regarding protein cargo can be obtained from the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture at Tel: +264 (0)61 276580

 

Everything about Namibia’s Caprivi Strip

The Caprivi Region has a quite unique historical story to tell. Unlike the other regions in Namibia, the Caprivi has a completely different past. Till the end of the 19th century, the Caprivi has been known as “Intenga” and has been under the rule of the Lozi kings, but later forming part of the British “Bechuanaland” Protectorate (known as Botswana today).

The Namibia Caprivi Strip, The Caprivi strip was named after the German Chancellor General Count George Leo von Caprivi di Caprara di Montecuccoli, who negotiated the land trade with the United Kingdom in 1890 for the exchange of the little Island Group belonging to Tanzania known as Zanzibar. Von Caprivi coiffured for Caprivi to be affixed to the former German South-West Africa in order to allow Germany access to the mighty Zambezi River. Importance emphasis was on the route to Africa’s East Coast, where the German colony Tanganyika was based.

DSWA 1986 Caprivi Strip Postal Stamp

It seems that the Germans were oblivious to the fact that the Victoria Falls was downstream and their plans to use the mighty Zambezi to access the Indian Ocean was naturally out of the question. The capital of the Caprivi was at Schuckmansburg until around 1933, when it was moved to Namibian city known as Katima Mulilo. This annexation between Germany and the United Kingdom was a part of the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty, in which Germany ceased interest in Zanzibar for the possession of the Caprivi Strip and the North Sea island of Heligoland.

The Caprivi Strip played a strategic military importance. Between 1965 and 1994 the African National Congress operations against the South African apartheid government and the apartheid regime. In the years of 1970 up to 1979 saw the brutal guerrilla Angolan Civil War and the Rhodesian Bush War. The Caprivi Strip bared witness to continual military activity and multiple attacks on enemy territory by diverse armed forces like SWAPO Planfighters and other known and unknown Terrorist and Freedom Fighter Groups. The use of the Caprivi Strip was as an ideal corridor to access and perform logistics between strategic Zones and territories.

Caprivi Strip Map

The Caprivi Strip also drew attention as Botswana and Namibia had a longstanding dispute over the strip’s southern boundary at the International Court of Justice.
The entire Caprivi Strip was administered by South Africa from Pretoria and from 1981 to 1990 ruled by the Administration for the Caprivians as part of South West Africa. The transitional period from 1990 to 1992 was followed by Namibian Independence on 21 March 1990. In 1992 the Caprivi became one of the 13 political regions in Namibia with its own Regional Governor joined by six councillors for future regional management. The centre of the territorial dispute pertained which irrigation channel of the Chobe River was the thalweg, the bona fide boundary.

What to expect from a Caprivi Safari:
Namibia’s Caprivi Strip is sandwiched between Angola, Zambia and Botswana near the tip of Zimbabwe and close to other outstanding holiday hotspots like Chobe National Park, Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls. This inspiring safari destination in Namibia is made up of a number of reserves and parks for game viewing and birding both by boat and on land. Five mighty rivers flow through this beautiful location – the Zambezi, Okavango, Linyanti, Kwando and Chobe Rivers. Some 200 kilometres east of Rundu lies one of the scenic highlights of Namibia in the western part of the Caprivi Strip. Known as the Popa Falls where one can expect are rapids rather than waterfalls. Here, the Okavango River breaks through a four-metre high rocky intrusion in its riverbed and tumbles down a series of rocky plateaus.

Hippos in the Okavango River, Nunda River Lodge, Caprivi Strip, Namibia

About the Bwabwata National Park:
The entire Western Caprivi today is a game reserve known as the Bwabwata National Park. In the year 2002, the Western Caprivi Game Park and the former Mahango Game Park were joined to the new Bwabwata National Park. The park stretches from the rivers Kwando and Okavango, covering a stretch of land more than 5000 square km. Over 8000 elephants, as well as many antelope species, hyenas, buffalo, hippos, lions and leopards, inhabit this area. Currently, no permits are needed for driving via the Trans Caprivi Highway. A big matter which one has to be very aware of is the fact that there are no fences! So keep your eyes open for roaming wildlife!

Wetlands Boat Ride

A border post to Zambia can be accessed in the city of Katima Mulilo, hence to the new Zambezi bridge at Wanella, is great for tourists wanting to go to Zambia and experience the majestic Victoria Falls. This border post near Wanella (Wenella) lies 4 km north of Katima Mulilo. On the Zambia side, it is called Sesheke. Holidaymakers will be able to acquire the required visa directly at this border post. If you are heading for Botswana or Zimbabwe, follow the B8 to Ngoma Bridge.

Victoria Falls

Some advice: If you prefer to get to the beautiful Victoria Falls, you can still travel through Botswana (border post at Ngoma Bridge) and Zimbabwe, despite the present problems in Zimbabwe. We advise to pack sufficient fuel and food rations plus be prepared for long waiting times at the border. Many issues also arise when stacked up on selected fresh foods, mostly meat products.
Travelling overland one of the most important thing once leaving Namibia is to hang onto the cross-border permit, normally available for N$160,00. You need to provide this crossing permit to exit. It also happens that some officers will request to inspect this permit at selected roadblocks along the way – so keep it nearby or somewhere safe!

Road Signage, Bwabwata National Park

Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to have ownership documents to hand. Third party insurance is most of the time not required, although it is also a good idea to bring insurance documentation, just in some rare cases. Travelling via a Non-SACU registered vehicle, we at Hippo Adventure Tours highly recommend a carnet de passage.

Self-Drive Guest’s travelling with a rental vehicle, request the Vehicle rental company to write a letter of permission to bring the vehicle across the border, as there is a possibility that officials will want to see it due to vehicle theft control.

Recommended locations and links:

+ Mahangu Game Reserve
+ Bwabwata National Park (was Caprivi Game Park)
+ Mudumu National Park
+ Mamili National Park
+ Impalila Island

Caprivi Strip Wetlands Aerial

Our Adventure Centre insider Tipp:
The Caprivi is a pure angler’s paradise! These breathtaking rivers of the Caprivi Strip in Namibia are habitats and breeding grounds to nearly 100 different species of fish. The top sporting fish in this Namibian region is the much loved Tiger Fish which can be caught in the wide deep waters of the Zambezi River. Recorded catches of 10kg (22lbs) have been caught here. The Caprivi’s rivers also offer great Bream fishing. In Namibia, the Okavango River apart from the much loved Tiger Fish offers other fighting species such as Nembwe, Three Spot Tilapia and African Pike. The Kwando River restricts yields of Nembwe and Bream.

For more Information read one of our recommended Post regarding the same location (click here).

Also, have a look at our newest Blogpost’s regarding Namibia Freshwater Angling… 

Do you know the Nambwa Tented Lodge?

Nambwa Tented Lodge

Enchanting Nambwa, where elephants have right of way and nature is the star of the show! #nambwa #namibia

Gepostet von Nambwa Tented Lodge am Donnerstag, 12. Juli 2018

 

The updated Namibian Wetlands Route

Situated in a very limited riverine forest, Caprivi Mutoya Lodge & bivouac lies on the banks of a tranquil backwater lake of the Zambezi, around 24km east of Katima Mulilo. For eight months of the year (mid-May to February) the lodge backwater becomes a separate lake because it is interrupted from the most Zambezi once the floods recede.

Mutoya is that the native name for “Waterberry Tree”, thanks to the presence of those trees found right along the shore. close the lodge ar ancient Jackalberry Trees (African Ebony) likewise as various alternative autochthonous trees, that are home to monkeys, squirrels, and outsized sort of birds and alternative tiny species. because of the quiet waters of the hippo pools, there’s conjointly a teemingness number of water birds, that Caprivi is known for, a paradise for ticking twitchers.

Facilities on provide embrace a bar and eating place, cosy lounge with DSTV, books & games, and access to a local area network. The lounge is enclosed by an outsized picket deck with a hearth pit and beautiful lake views. there’s conjointly a tiny low natatorium for those desire to chill off on sweltering hot days.

The download link is a very fresh and revised HTML. document for the individual adventurers interested regarding this area. The details have been beautifully created, compilated and supplied via the Caprivi Mutoya Lodge in Katima Mulilo, Namibia.

  • To download this stunning brochure please click below (digital hosting via ISSUU):

The updated Namibian Wetlands Route

Image by: Caprivi Mutoya Lodge in Katima Mulilo, Namibia.