In 2013, a 500-kilometre finger of land stretching from Namibia to the corner of Zimbabwe, Botswana and Zambia was named the Zambezi Region. Formerly known as the Caprivi, this odd strip of land is home to four rivers and at the right time of year, a befuddling number of elephants. We were tasked with exploring the Zambezi Region for our October 2015 issue: to find out whether it’s worthy of being a destination in its own right, and how well communities are living at home in the wilderness, with elephants crossing their paths almost every day.
An elephant clambers out of the Chobe River onto an island to graze. Elephant often cross from Botswana into Namibia alongside the docking point of the Pangolin Voyager when the river is low enough.
and I started our Zambezi adventure on the western end of the Caprivi at Ngepi Camp
. We had a fully kitted 4×4 from Bushtrackers Africa
– our camper home for the next 10 days – and we were ready to explore the wilderness of the riverside bushveld.
Early morning mist on the Kavango River.
Sunset at the Ngepi Camp plunge pool, which is fenced in so you can swim without meeting a croc.
Riverside lodging at Ngepi Camp on the Kavango River.
Cattle are a common sight on the roads of the Zambezi Region.
Visitors to the Namushaasha Heritage Centre can get a feel of what traditional life is like in the Mashi Community.
Several schools gathered for a soccer tournament.
Striking a pose.
Beautiful detail at the Rupara Community Campsite.
Vuyi shows children a photo of themselves much to their delight.
Our Bushtrackers Africa 4×4 camper set up beside the braai.
Hippos are guardians of the river in this part of the world. They are plentiful and plenty dangerous.
A local fisherman casts out his net near Ngepi Camp.
Fishermen show off their wares at Impalila Island.
Local fisherman spend their days on the Chobe and Zambezi River, then sell their wares to other locals and passing houseboats.
Mokoro parked in the mud ready for fishing.
Vuyi smiles on her first mokoro trip and white-fronted bee-eaters perch beside their homes in the riverbank.
Vuyi looks out over the Linyanti River.
Elephant family on the Chobe River.
Hordes of elephants coming to drink in the late afternoon light.
Alfred Nyazo Tunapu, a local community game guard leads us in his uniform along well-used elephant corridors.
For one night, we abandoned our capable camper for a different kind of aerial tent – can you blame us?
Dreamy scenes from Nambwa Camp.
The Zambezi Region is not only a destination in its own right, it’s a wild adventure with many beautiful faces. I can’t wait to get back.
Read the full story, ‘Walking wild with the wise giants’, in the October 2015 issue of Getaway magazine.
Get this issue →
Also free with our October issue, and now available online – the Getaway 4×4 Guide to Botswana. Everything you need to know to plan a 4×4 trip to Botswana.