Interactive Map of Caprivi, Linyanti, Kwando, Selinda, Savute Marsh, Chobe
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Chobe River and Eastern Caprivi
The Caprivi Strip is a long panhandle enclosed by permanent water and stretching eastwards from the Kavango River to and along the Zambezi ending at the border junction of Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia called Kazungula, the place where four countries meet.
This lush savannah area is bounded by the Kwando, Linyanti and Chobe River system on the southern border with Botswana. From a wildlife and African travel point of view, it is the Chobe River boundary which is most renowned for the amazing wildlife experiences it delivers. Wildlife in the Caprivi has not yet recovered from years of poaching and the destructive bushwar of the 70's and 80's, but its superb conservation areas may in the future rival Etosha. Almost 70% of the bird species found in Namibia have been recorded in the Caprivi. The Chobe River system delivers a great diversity of these as well.
A major attraction to this part of the Caprivi is its elephant population, which migrates freely across the Chobe River from Chobe National Park in neighboring Botswana. The Chobe elephants comprise part of what is probably the largest surviving continuous elephant population remaining on this planet. This elephant population covers most of northern Botswana, the Caprivi region of Namibia, the Zambezi region of Zambia and the northwestern region of Zimbabwe. The combined elephant population is currently estimated at around 120,000. This elephant population has built up steadily from a few thousand since the early 1900's and has escaped the massive illegal decimation that affected other populations in the 1970's and 1980's. The Chobe elephant are migratory, making seasonal movements of up to 200 kilometres from the Chobe, Zambezi and Linyanti rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the Chobe National Park, to which they disperse in the rains.
Mudumu National Park
This expansive Park, proclaimed in 1990, covers 850km² and is located on the eastern side of the Caprivi Strip. Its lifeline is the Kwando River, which flows along the western border of the Park. Along the river there are extensive floodplains, floating papyrus swamps and lush riverine forest. Away from the river one finds mixed mopane and teak woodlands, open grasslands and typical African savannah.
Mudumu is known for its buffalo population, roan and sable antelope, red lechwe and the water-dependent sitatunga together with large elephant herds. General mammal diversity is good including lion, hippo, impala, Burchell’s zebra, greater kudu and common waterbuck, reedbuck and bushbuck. The waterways here are home to spotted-necked otter, ferocious tigerfish, and several large Nile crocodile.
The birdlife here is a big attraction – Coppery-tailed Coucal, Slaty Egret, Greater Swamp Warbler, Swamp Boubou and Brown Firefinch are some of the resident species. In summer, numbers are boosted by the tremendous amount of migratory species including flocks of colourful Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Copper Sunbird, Pennant-winged Nightjar and Broad-tailed Paradise-Whydah.
Linyanti Wildlife Reserve
The 125,000-hectare (308,000-acre) private Linyanti Concession bordering Chobe National Park's western boundary is an enormous, wildlife-rich area, which creates an unrivalled atmosphere of remoteness and space.
There are three main features of the Linyanti Concession: the Linyanti River, the woodlands of the interior and the well-known Savuti Channel, famous as a sporadic and unusual watercourse. The Channel last flowed in 1980 (but has again begun to show signs that the flow is returning) ;today it is mostly an open grassland and home to a wide variety of animals.
These three features together with the floodplains, woodlands, grasslands, palm islands and scrub vegetation of the area harbour one of the densest dry season concentrations of elephant in Botswana - at times the Linyanti must have several thousand elephants roaming around. This phenomenon is one of the main attractions for travelers to northern Botswana, but the area is also important in holding good numbers of predators, providing an integral stronghold for species like the critically endangered wild dog, as well as lion, cheetah and spotted hyena. The roan antelope found in the area can provide an equal thrill however, as can the high concentration of birds of prey, seasonal zebra congregations and the cathedral-like woodland of mature mopane trees.
Aside from roan, other plains game includes red lechwe, Burchell's zebra, blue wildebeest, impala, common waterbuck, sable, eland, southern giraffe, chacma baboon, vervet monkey, warthog, hippo and Cape buffalo. Nocturnal species often seen are lesser bushbaby, spring hare, aardwolf, serval, large spotted genet and if you are extremely lucky, the elusive pangolin.
Birding is outstanding here, ranging from the Okavango specials, such as Slaty Egret, Hartlaub's Babbler, African Skimmer, Allen's Gallinule and Wattled Crane, to the drier mopane woodland species like Racket-tailed Roller, Bradfield's Hornbill, White-breasted Cuckoo-shrike, Bennett's Woodpecker, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater and Arnott's Chat. This area is also excellent for Kori Bustard, Ostrich, Secretarybird, and Ground Hornbill with Southern Carmine Bee-eaters in summer. The Savuti Channel is famous as an area with a high concentration of eagles and raptors and this area is internationally recognised as an IBA (Important Bird Area), particularly for birds of prey like Dickinson's Kestrel and waterbirds. There are also various owl species to be seen here such as Verreaux's (Giant) Eagle-Owl and African Scops-Owl.
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