Between borders

The Caprivi Strip is a weird thing, and has a very strange and colonial history. Right now, it is a small strip of land of what used to be Botswana, which is now Namibia and which borders on Angola. This strip is thus sandwiched between Angola in the North and Botswana in the South, and does not resemble any other landscape in Namibia. It even lives on Botswana time, which is an hour ahead of the east of the country.

Where Namibia is dry, arid and mostly empty except for the large number of Euphorbia plants, the Caprivi Strip is brimming with both flora and fauna, mostly because it is bordered by two large rivers. Due to the quite recent civil war in Angola spilling over into this part of the country, the wildlife had been all but eradicated by poachers due to unlawfulness and the insane prices that are being paid for ivory and other products on the world market. Slowly but surely, the animals are returning, and can be spotted in quite a few places already.

Our day consisted of yet another long drive from Rundu to Kongola which is about 450kms, and is proving to be butt-clenching for us as our trusty Duster only has a 40 litre tank for the diesel. That lasts us about 550kms, but we do not dare to empty the tank any further than the second to last mark in the gage. And the final kilometers are always a little tense so to speak. 😉 Luckily, there is a gas station every 200km or so, which means the next one is always around the corner. Sort of.

As we arrived early today, (the road is tarred!) we have found time to embark on the evening boat ride on the Kwando river. We found lots of birds (bee-eaters and Kingfishers mostly), crocodiles and some hippos. As the river is very narrow and our boat not very big, the guide put the pedal to the metal and raced past them, as they are very aggressive around here and even charge the boat!

We are staying 2 nights in Camp Kwando, and will not have to move for a day. Nice!

Leaving Etosha

There is not much to tell about today, we drove 440km on tarred roads and have seen the scenery change from arid and dry to green and probably fertile. Also, we found that driving on the B8 (Trans Caprivi Highway) feels like driving in Africa, as there are hundreds of small compounds built right along the highway, with people everywhere.

This is the poor part of the country, and we feel kind of guilty driving past.

The lodge were staying is is built on the rivers edge, and overlooks the river and Angola on the other side. It is about 100 metres wide, so this is the nearest we’ll come to being in Angola, although I’d like to avoid going there. 😉