Things to see and do? The Kwando runs through the middle of the Caprivi Strip. It’s much narrower than the Okavango – sometimes there’s not enough space to overtake a grumpy hippo on a sunset cruise – but it has a lot of character.
Visit Horseshoe Bend in Bwabwata National Park. On the way there, stop at the ruins of Fort Doppies, a former recce base. It’s 4x4 country – expect lots of sandy tracks.
The town of Kongola is where you turn off the B8 and onto the C49 – this is where most of the lodges are found. In Kongola there are two souvenir shops right next to each other: Kongola Crafts Centre and Mashi Crafts Trading Post. Both are worth a visit.
Will I see game? The western bank of the Kwando is part of Bwabwata National Park. You might arrive at Horseshoe Bend at the same time as a herd of elephants. The area around Nambwa Community Camp – also in the park – is one of the best birding spots in the Caprivi.
East of the river you’ll find Mudumu and Nkasa Rupara national parks, where game-viewing opportunities are also abundant. Make sure you visit Hippo Pool in Mudumu. The access road to Nkasa Rupara might have been improved, but both reserves remain quiet and remote. You might wake up to a lion’s roar.
These two parks are only suitable for 4x4s, except if you plan to stick to the C49 tar road, where you can also see game.
How will it fit into my itinerary? The Kwando is for Caprivi connoisseurs. If you’ll be driving through the Caprivi from west to east, the Kwando is an obvious halfway stop where you can spend up to three days.
The Caprivi in general complements a tour of northern Botswana. Explore the Okavango panhandle in Botswana then cross into Namibia at the Mohembo border post. In Namibia you can spend time on the banks of the Okavango, the Kwando, the Zambezi and the Chobe.
You’ll need a holiday to recover from your holiday!
Best places to stay? The most accessible places with camping and lodge accommodation are Camp Kwando (p 122) and Namushasha River Lodge (p 122). I also like Malyo Wilderness Camp (p 122).
Fuel? Available in Kongola.
FIND YOUR WAY
Horseshoe Bend: GPS S17.90088 E23.28806 Fort Doppies: GPS S17.81989 E23.31537 Kongola Craft Centre & Mashi Crafts Trading Post: GPS S17.82288 E23.39740 Hippo Pool: GPS S18.18058 E23.45247