INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT NAMIBIA
OKAVANGO RIVER Rising in the highlands of Angola, where it is known as the Cubango, the Okavango River is southern Africa’s second largest river. It forms the international border between Namibia and Angola for about 400 km and is a lifeline to those living along its banks. Maize, mahangu, sorghum and other crops are cultivated on the fertile floodplains as the river’s water level recedes. The river is also a highway for local people who ply the waterway in their watus (dugouts). Some 79 fish species have been recorded to date, including several species caught by subsistence anglers, although large-scale commercial fishing has become a cause of concern.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT NAMIBIA
02 July 2018 | Tourism
The Kwando River changes its name no fewer than four times along its journey from the highlands of Angola to Lake Liambezi. In Angola it is known as the Cuando, but it becomes known as the Kwando when it enters Namibia. In Botswana, however, it is known as the Mashi - the local name of a fruit-bearing tree. When the river reaches the Gomare Fault, it makes an almost 90-degree turn to the northeast and its name changes to the Linyanti River. It then makes its way through the Linyanti Swamps to Lake Liambezi where its journey ends.
FAR AWAY PLACE
Impalila Island is also known as ‘The One Island in Africa where Four Countries Meet’. Bounded by the Zambezi and Chobe rivers, it lies at the convergence of Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Here, the Zambezi River flows over a series of rapids and along a maze of channels it has carved through the basalt rock which obstructs its course. The name Impalila appropriately means ‘the faraway place.’ The island, which is about 11 km long and up to 4 km wide, is one of the top birding and angling spots in Namibia.
The Khaudum National Park, north of Tsumkwe, is a stronghold of Namibia’s Roan Antelope and provides protection to 385 000 ha of Kalahari Sandveld. Khaudum made conservation history 20 years before the park’s proclamation when 74 Roan Antelope were captured and transported in three groups in a Lockheed Hercules aircraft to the Etosha National Park - the first transportation of such a large group of animals over such a long distance under sedation. The park is also a sanctuary to large herds of Elephant, as well as Giraffe, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest and a variety of other species.
PLACE WITHOUT MOUNTAINS
The Nyae Nyae Conservancy was the first communal conservancy to be proclaimed in Namibia in February 1998. The conservancy forms part of the ancestral land of the Ju/’hoansi (San) and is one of the last strongholds of the endangered African Wild Dog and a sanctuary to Lion, Roan Antelope, herds of Elephant and other wildlife. The seasonal pans punctuating the Nyae Nyae landscape form one of Namibia’s most important wetlands, attracting upwards of 11 000 water birds of 84 species.
The ‘islands’ after which the Nkasa Lupala National Park has been named are not islands in the real sense of the word, but elevated areas that rise above the floodplains. During wet cycles, when up to 80 percent of the park is inundated, they become isolated as islands amidst the mass of water. The park provides protection to Namibia’s largest wetland and its associated birdlife. It is also home to the largest Buffalo population in the country, Hippopotamus, herds of Elephant, Red Lechwe, Reedbuck, Kudu and Nile Crocodile.
The name Popa Falls is a complete misnomer as the ‘falls’ are nothing more than a series of rapids. Here the Okavango River breaks up into a series of channels separated by islands as it makes its way over a 1.2km-wide quartzite barrier. The total drop of the step-like cataracts is a mere four metres. When the river’s level is low, the exposed rocks are used as roosting and nesting sites by Rock Pratincole, while two of southern Africa’s rare fish species, the Broadhead Catfish and the Ocellated Spinyeel have been recorded at Popa.
A baobab that once housed a flush toilet, the Mubuyu Toilet, is one of Katima Mulilo’s attractions and a legacy of Major Leslie French Wade Trollope. Trollope served as magistrate and ‘native’ commissioner in what was then known as the East Caprivi Zipfel from 1939 to 1945 and from 1947 to 1952. He installed a porcelain pan and flushing system in the hollow stem of a baobab that stood in the grounds of his residence. He died in 1965 and was buried under a Jackal-berry tree on the town’s outskirts.
Rising in the highlands of Angola, where it is known as the Cubango, the Okavango River is southern Africa’s second largest river. It forms the international border between Namibia and Angola for about 400 km and is a lifeline to those living along its banks. Maize, mahangu, sorghum and other crops are cultivated on the fertile floodplains as the river’s water level recedes. The river is also a highway for local people who ply the waterway in their watus (dugouts). Some 79 fish species have been recorded to date, including several species caught by subsistence anglers, although large-scale commercial fishing has become a cause of concern.
SOUND OF BUBBLING WATER
The Bwabwata National Park was established in 2007 when the Caprivi Game Park was reproclaimed and the Mahango Game Reserve and the Kwando Triangle incorporated into the newly proclaimed park. It is the only game park in Namibia where the inhabitants who were living in the park at the time of its proclamation were allowed to remain. The inhabitants, mainly Khwe (San), live in several settlements in the Multiple Use Area which is bounded in the west by the Buffalo and Mahango core areas and the Kwando Core Area in the east. The park was named after a settlement (which has a spring that bubbles to the surface) close to the Angolan border. It is a stronghold to one of the last remaining African Wild Dog populations in Namibia, large herds of Elephant and Buffalo, as well as Roan and Sable Antelope, Tsessebe, Impala and Plains Zebra.