Camping with Hippos in the Caprivi strip
After leaving Etosha National Park, Maggie and the team were fed up with being dusty and seriously dry. We needed a change of scenery with a lusher outlook and luckily for us, the Caprivi was within a day’s drive!
The Caprivi strip, which is also known as the Caprivi or Okavango panhandle, is a 280-mile-long protrusion of Namibia eastwards from the northern Kavango region, sandwiched between Botswana, Angola and Zambia.
We decided that we would enter Botswana by driving through part of the Caprivi – I remembered from my first journey how beautiful this area is, and definitely wanted to return.
National Parks in the Caprivi
The main National Parks found in the Caprivi Strip are Bwabwata National Park, Mudumu National Park and Nkasa Rupara National Park.Each part is rich in wildlife, including wild dog, hippos, buffalo, roan antelope and crocodiles. The Caprivi is also a corridor for elephants moving from Botswana and Namibia into Angola, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Camping in the Caprivi / Okavango panhandle
Located 170km east of Rundu, we stayed at the wonderful RiverDance Lodge. When we arrived we were told that their campsites were fully booked for the evening, but they did have a waterfront cabin available. We were reluctant at first, due to the hefty price tag. But after a week of dusty camping, it was one of the most magical places that we have ever stayed in!
Located 200km east of Rundu we found the Ndhovu Safari Lodge. Their main campsite was fully booked but the owner and staff were very accommodating, and allowed us to camp in front of one of their luxury tents overlooking the Okavango river. We were able to use the shower within the tent as part of our camping fee (N$160 per person) – what a deal!
It was at Ndlovu that we organised an incredible sunset boat safari. Our guide was very experienced, and with incredible eyesight, showed us highlights of river wildlife. We were fortunate to see hippos, crocodiles, elephants, a few snakes, some monitor lizards, many species of bird (including the Kingfisher) along the Okavango river.
Ngepi Camp is located 14km from Divundu, at the time we arrived all the campsites were fully booked (boo!). However, the place has a really nice bar/restaurant area and it’s definitely worth staying here if you get a chance.
Drotsky’s Cabins Campsite is situated 10km south of Shakawe, on the northwestern panhandle of the Okavango river. There are twenty rather spacious campsites under shady trees, the majority situated on the banks of the Okavango. We were told that there would be free wood at each campsite which was true in some cases. There is also a nice restaurant/bar area which is located closer to their cabin’s and is a nice place to relax of an evening. We paid P150 per person per night.