Game Reserves Today, almost the entire Caprivi is a game conservation area. In 2002, the former Mahango Game Park and the West-Caprivi Game Park were combined to the Bwabwata National Park. The new reserve stretches between the rivers Okavango and Kwando and is 5000 square kilometres in size. It is home to an estimated 8000 elephants, 1000 buffalos, many antelope species, hyenas, lions and leopards. Crocodiles and numerous water birds can be observed along the river beds. Namibia and Botswana have agreed to remove all fencing and so the animals can roam freely between the two countries. The small communities of the area are not allowed to keep cattle, goats or sheep any longer. As a compensation they are supposed to participate in the revenue from tourism, which is, however, only coming off very slowly.
in the Caprivi
Most parts of the Bwabwata Park are covered with leafy forests, the typical dry forest prevails. The banks of the Okavango are seamed by riverine forest with reedgrass and papyrus on the slopes. One can also see the odd wild date palm and baobab. In the east the park's terrain descends into the wide, sandy plain at the Kwando. Here, in the Kwando marshes, one comes across large elephant herds.
The national park is cut through by the Trans-Caprivi-Highway at a length of 200 kilometres. Because there are no fences, one always has to look out for crossing game. For driving the Trans-Caprivi-Highway a permit is not required.
In the eastern Caprivi there are two more game reserves with National Park status, the Mudumo National Park, 100.000 hectares in size, and the 32.000 hectare Mamili National Park. Both can be accessed via the C49 track which comes of the B8 at Kongola, first to the south and then along the Linyanti River up north to Katima Mulilo - a very scenic alternative to the B8.
Both national parks are teeming with game and boast large elephant populations and also rare antelope species, zebras, hippos, crocodiles and more than 430 bird species. The tracks through the Mudumu and Mamili parks, however, are sandy and rough and in the rainy season muddy. Especially the Mamili Park is then mostly flooded.