Namibia’s Caprivi Strip will be renamed

Posted on 13 August 2013

The Namibian government announced last week that the popular tourist area, the Caprivi Strip will be renamed the Zambezi Region in an attempt to eradicate its German colonial history as it was named after Count Leo von Caprivi (read more: The curious case of Caprivi).

The popular strip in the north of the country is known and loved for its tropical rivers, abundant bird life and breathtaking scenery and has been building itself up as a reputable and safe travel destination over the past 15 years. Only very recently has it begun blossoming as a tourist destination, with the name ‘Caprivi’ becoming a brand of sorts.

Hippos at dusk - Caprivi

Hippos at dusk. Photo: Charl Pauw

Many people in the industry fear that this name change will have a negative effect as tour operators, guest houses and other travel-related businesses have branded themselves with the Caprivi name. Just as travellers are becoming more familiar with the name and tourism to the area is increasing, it’s safe to assume that this move won’t be well-received.

For the last five years non-profit organisation Open Africa has been helping to promote tourism to the area through the Caprivi Wetlands Paradise Route, which was named by communities and businesses in the area.

For an area that has little association with the Zambezi (personally, Zimbabwe and the mighty Vic Falls spring to mind when I think of the Zambezi) this recent move has caused a lot of debate around those familiar with the Caprivi Strip.

What’s in a name? Do you think changing the name from Caprivi Strip to Zambezi Region will affect travellers? 


Considering a trip to the strip? Check out Ngepi: Caprivi’s wackiest campsite or find more affordable accommodation in Caprive here.

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