Caprivi Game Reserves The entire Western Caprivi today is a game reserve. In the year 2002 the former Mahango Game Park and the Western Caprivi Game Park were joined to the new Bwabwata National Park. It stretches from the rivers Okavango to the Kwando, covering an area of more than 5000 square kms. More than 8000 elephants as well as buffalo, hippos, many antelope species, hyenas, lions and leopards are estimated to inhabit this area. Along the banks of the rivers one can observe crocodiles, hippos and a multitude of waterbirds. An agreement has been reached with the government of Botswana to remove the border fencing, allowing the game to migrate freely between the countries. The small communities in this zone were forbidden to keep cattle any longer. Instead they are promised to gain from tourism which gets going, however, only hesitantly.
Large parts of the Bwabwata Park's area are covered by leafy forests, mainly the typical dry forest. Riverine forests seam the banks of the Okavango, with reedgrass and papyrus on the slopes. In some places Wild Date Palms and Baobabs can be found. At the eastern end the park slopes to the wide sandy plains at the Kwando. Huge elephant herds roam here, in the marshlands of the Kwando.
The Trans-Caprivi-Highway cuts through the National Park at a length of almost 200 kilometres. There is no fencing, drivers need to be on the alert for crossing game. A permit is not required for the passage.
In the eastern Caprivi there are two more game reserves with the status of National Parks: the Mudumo National Park with an area of 100,000 hectares and the Mamili National Park with 32.000 hectares. Both parks are accessible from the C49 which comes off the B8, the Caprivi Highway, near Kongola and leads in southern direction along the Linyanti River to Katima Mulilo - a very scenic alternative to the B8. Both National Parks are teeming with game and are home to huge elephant populations, but also to rare species of antelope, zebras, hippos, crocodiles and more than 400 bird species.
The roads through the Mudumu and the Mamili parks are sandy and in the rainy season muddy as well. Especially the Mamili is largely flooded at this time.