Described by many as one of the most beautiful regions in Namibia, the Kavango is a stark contrast to some of the other regions in the country. This contrast is attributed to the Okavango River and its broad flood plains, which make the area considerably greener than the rest of Namibia. The area is dominated by large areas of tall woodland, riverine forests, floodplains and reed-lined channels. A stunning variety of birds and animals are attracted to this diversity of habitats, some of which are not found in any other part of the country. The Okavango River itself forms a natural part of the border between Namibia and Angola for more than 400km. It is the lifeline to the Kavango people who make a living from fishing, tending cattle and cultivating sorghum, millet and maize. The people of Kavango are made up of five tribes each led by a traditional chief and assisted by a traditional headman. Like most of Namibia Kavango has a very low population density with the entire 44 000 square kilometre region being home to only 120 000 people. Although this equals a low number of only 3 inhabitants per square kilometre, it is still more than the National average. The communities of Mbukushu, Sambiyu and Caprivi people are renowned for their high-quality woodcarvings, which include animal figures, masks, wooden beer mugs, walking sticks and boxes. These items are carved out of light dolfhout (wild teak) hardwood and make excellent souvenirs.
The Kavango Region is home to the wild and mostly undeveloped Khaudum Game Park. The Park was established with conservation in mind, and not as a money generating development. Khaudum is rarely visited, probably because of its basic tourist infrastructure, but nevertheless, those with an adventurous streak, should look no further than this gem of Kavango. It is even said that there are more elephants than visitors in the park which is exactly what some people want to hear, especially those who are used to the bigger and more famous National Parks. Khaudum covers an area of approximately 384,000 hectares and although it is not fenced, is home to animals such as antelope, elephants, zebras, wild dogs, lions, leopards as well as 320 different bird species.
Another stop worth making on your journey through Kavango is in Sambiu, just east of Rundu the capital of the Kavango region. The Roman Catholic mission museum exhibits crafts and woodcarvings from Angola and Kavango. Visitors are encouraged to phone first to arrange a visit, or they can just take a chance and simply stop by during daylight hours.
The Kavango region is a malaria area, and travellers must consult with their doctors on malaria precautions before entering the area.
Tambuti is a small Lodge beautifully perched above the Kavango River overlooking the floodplain. We are one of the rare lodges looking at the river without getting wet feet, thus we are also open during the flood season, all year round.