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Trip Report – Caprivi Strip, Namibia Self Drive

by | Sep 18, 2018 | Destinations, Namibia

On a recent business trip we managed to steal some time and drive in one of our 4x4 campers from the Bushlore office in Kasane through the Caprivi Strip in Namibia and back to Maun where we are in the process of setting up more permanent Bushlore rental offices.
We took the Toyota Hilux 4x4 bushcamper, booking code – HILCAM which proved a great vehicle with some serious 4wd tracks explored and with limited time, we enjoyed the convenience of the simple camper system. When planning a Namibia self drive safari this is the ideal 4x4 vehicle.

A unique sighting on the outskirts of town

(Viewer discretion advised: not for sensitive viewers)

We had not even left Kasane when we ran into a phenomenal sighting of wild dogs killing an Impala. At first light on the way to the office we were surprised to find a single wild dog busy killing an Impala ewe right on the side of the road.

She started to feed on the Impala and was then joined by an additional 6 wild dogs that made short work of the Impala and devoured it completely. This was just outside the main town and on the way to Kazangula so the road was busy and people were starting to que up on the side of the road to get a glimpse of these rare predators.

Unfortunately due to the position and recently erected fences around properties there was no obvious escape route for the dogs who were becoming more and more stressed. 

They initially ran into town and then turned back and headed out towards Kazangula until they reached the wildlife corridor where they were narrowly missed by a speeding taxi and dashed off into the bush and safety. See how Bushlore supports the protection of Wild Dogs. You can read about our efforts here.

This is what makes Kasane so unique, it is teaming with wildlife but as the urban development spreads so the local wildlife is unfortunately under more pressure and have less open spaces.

Before we reached the office only a few kilometres down the road we had also seen elephants, buffalo, impala, warthog and baboon.

Crossing the borders into Namibia at Ngoma bridge and back into Botswana at Shakawe were an absolute pleasure and only took us 15 minutes either side.

The Caprivi – a must on a Namibia self drive

The main roads in Caprivi are good and we made good time but it would not be wise to drive these at night as cattle, elephants and other stock are frequently encountered. There are some police check points but we were only stopped once and encountered no major delays. We were very impressed with the enormous trees and the high biodiversity of the area.

The Kwando river basin is very scenic and well worth a visit. The parks are ideal for a Bushlore 4x4 self drive, the roads in the parks are very sandy and 4wd is essential but we did not get stuck at all in the Toyota Hilux bushcamper. Having said this we did not spend much time in Nkasa Rupara (formerly Mamili) and certain parts may be inaccessible in the wet season or the months just after.

The parks are remote and we did not see much traffic, we did at times appreciate the fact that we have a satellite phone with us but there was intermittent signal in some areas.

Game viewing was good and the campsites in really good areas and the rates reasonable. Hundreds of elephants move to the Kwando river in the afternoons and at the right time Buffalo are common. Predators are not commonly sighted but you have a good chance for Lion, Leopard and wild dog. Birding was great and the night time noises were special.
Cautions – We were cautioned not to travel the remote tracks through the Bwabwata National park between the Kwando zone and the Buffalo zone as the anti – poaching patrols are not used to finding tourists in these areas and you may well be pulled over by armed men in civvies which is not ideal in the middle of nowhere. There is not much to see and it is advisable to stay in the more popular areas in the wildlife zones of this park.

The main road from Shakawe in Botswana, south to Nokaneng has terrible pot holes and you must drive slowly or you risk damaging the vehicle or worse. Accidents and rollovers are common. Be very cautious and reduce travel speed.

The Caprivi is certainly worth a visit as part of a Namibia self drive safari and very close to the Bushlore office in Kasane.

More details about the new Bushlore office in Maun to follow shortly.

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