The Zambezi Region in Namibia’s north-eastern corner is the greenest part of the country. It owes its unusual shape on the map to the Helgoland–Zanzibar Treaty, according to which the then Caprivi Region was declared German territory. The Germans planned to gain access to the Zambezi River to easily enter Tanganyika (Tanzania), and to obtain an outlet to the Indian Ocean. However, the British colonisation of Rhodesia (Zimbabwe and Zambia) stopped them in their tracks, not to mention the difficulties of navigating down the Victoria Falls.
Today I’m sharing five reasons to visit the Zambezi, although there are many more.
1. it is the only quadripoint in the world.
This horizontal strip is 500 kilometres long and only 32 kilometres wide before finally opening at its furthest point into the shape of a rough triangle where four countries meet: Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. This is known as a quadripoint and is the only one in the world, while there are more than 150 tripoints worldwide. This of course means that you can combine several countries within one trip, for example Chobe National Park in Botswana and the Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe.
2. Birders’ paradise
I believe in the healing power of sound. To me, those sounds include raindrops falling on a tin roof (show me a Namibian who does not get excited about it) and the call of the fish eagle. The latter is one you’ll hear a lot in the Zambezi Region. I’ve never taken part in the frenzy of ticking birds off on a list when visiting a destination, but the Zambezi with its colourful bird species will certainly bring out the birder in anyone.I learned to look at things more intently. You instantly turn into a watcher instead of a looker, which is a vital part of mindful living.
3. Thriving wildlife
The Zambezi boasts healthy populations of wildlife, with buffalo, zebra, antelope, hippo and crocodile amongst many other animals that call this place home. There are stringent conservation regulations in place in the region’s national parks, which are Mudumu National Park, Nkasa Rupara National Park and Bwabwata National Park.
4. Fishermen’s paradise
Did you know that the Zambezi is home to the Nwanyi Angling Club that hosts the annual international Zambezi Classic angling competition? The most prized trophy is the feisty tiger fish that is sure to put up a fight when a lucky fisherman tries to reel it in. Other fish species that might tug on your line are the African pike, barbel, Upper Zambezi yellow fish and bream or tilapia.
5. Beach braai
The north-easternrivers boast pearly white sandy beaches.On some banks of the rivers the sand is so velvety soft that you would wish this was a coastal beach where you didn’t have to share tanning lotion with crocodiles and hippos. A favourite activity, especially amongst guests staying at Zambezi Mubala Camp or Zambezi Mubala Lodge, is a beach braai (a Namibian barbecue). The Gondwana team will make magic happen setting up an open-sky dining area, while you sink your toes deeper into the sand… or perform backflips.
On your next trip to the Zambezi, book your stay at one of three Gondwana lodges, or combine them for the ultimate experience: Zambezi Mubala Camp, its more luxurious counterpart Zambezi Mubala Lodge, and Chobe River Camp. If you still have some time left on your trip, head west to Namushasha River Lodge and Hakusembe River Lodge.
One last thing
How to do the signature Namibian hand sign:
Using your right hand, stretch out your fingers, keeping them close together, except for the thumb stretching sideways at a 90-degree angle. If you haven’t guessed it yet, your thumb represents the Zambezi Region. Then bend your index finger, so that only half of it is visible.
Voilà. Namibia at your fingertips.
Can you think of other reasons to visit the Zambezi Region? We would love to hear from you.
Annelien Robberts is an avid wordsmith who turns her pen to all things travel, culture, and lifestyle. She was born in a small town called Otjiwarongo and grew up on a farm nearby. Creativity, nature and animals make her happy.