The Caprivi Region
The Caprivi is a heavily tropical area, with high temperatures and much rainfall during the December-to-March rainy season, making it the wettest region of Namibia. The terrain is mostly made up of swamps, floodplains, wetland, and woodland.
It also is home to 450 animal species, including elephants, making Caprivi a popular game-watching spot. The wildlife is protected by several nature reserves, such as Bwabwata, Mudumu, Lizauli, West Caprivi Game Park, Mahango Game Reserve, and Mamili National Park; animals travel freely across the unmarked border with Botswana, where the Chobe National Park lies. The strip is also a prime bird-watching area, with almost 70 percent of bird species found in Namibia being recorded here. Katima Mulilo is the largest city, with other notable towns including Choi, Chinchimane, Bukalo, Sibinda, and Impaliola.
In addition to the Zambezi River, the strip also holds the Cuando and Kwando River, which marks the border with Botswana. Tributaries of the river here go by different names, including the Linyata and the Chobe. The province's far eastern is where the Cuando meets the Zambezi.
Because of the Caprivi's location, it is almost entirely surrounded by foreign countries:
* In the northwest, it borders the Cuando Cubango Province of Angola.
* In the north, it borders the Western Province of Zambia.
* In the south, it borders the North-West District of Botswana.
Its only domestic border is a short connection in the west with Okavango.
History and people
Caprivi was named after German Chancellor Leo von Caprivi, who negotiated the land in an 1890 exchange with the United Kingdom. Von Caprivi arranged for Caprivi to be annexed to German South-West Africa in order to give Germany access to the Zambezi River as part of the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty.
About 80,000 people live in Caprivi, about four percent of Namibia's population. About 17,000 are part of the Lozi ethnic group of 556,000 people, who also live in western Zambia, northwest Zimbabwe (70,000), and northern Botswana (14,000). According to Ethnologue, the Lozi language is "spoken as lingua franca by all East Caprivians."
There has been ethnic tension between the Lozis and the Ovambos, the majority ethnic group of northern Namibia. This has led to past conflict, including the 1994 formation of the Caprivi Liberation Front, which pushes for Caprivi-Lozi self-rule.
The region comprises six constituencies: Kongola, Linyanti, Sibinda, Katima Mulilo Urban, Katima Mulilo Rural, and Kabe.