The Kavango Region of Namibia is dominated by the Kavango River and its broad floodplains, which makes the area considerably greener than the rest of Namibia. The Kavango River forms a natural border between Namibia and Angola for more than 400km and is the lifeline to the Kavango people. The people make a living from fishing, tending cattle and cultivating sorghum, millet and maize. The Kavango people originate from the large lakes of East Africa moving to Kavango between 1750 and 1800. Today the Kavango Region consists of five tribes each led by a traditional chief and assisted by a traditional headman.
In the Kavango Region is the wild and undeveloped Khaudum Game Park. It covers 384,000 hectares and is home to animals such as antelope, elephants, zebras, wild dogs, lions, leopards as well as 320 bird species. However game numbers vary considerably as the park is unfenced enabling animals to follow their natural migration routes. Because the roads can be so poor the best time to visit is during the dry winter months, June to October, but even then a four wheel drive vehicle is essential.
Bordering the Kavango River is Mahango Game Reserve. It covers 244km2 and is characterised by riverine forests, abroad floodplain, magnificent Baobab tree's and large herds of Elephant and Red Lechwe. The game park also harbours rare game species such as Buffalo, Sable, Roan, Bushbuck, Reedbuck, Tsessebe and Sitatunga. It is also home to over 400 bird species and is one of the only game parks in Namibia where unguided walking is permitted.
The Kavango River with its rich fauna and flora is one of the main tourist attractions in this north eastern region of Namibia. This river is quite unique in that it is the only perennial river in Africa that flows eastwards without reaching the ocean. After a journey of more than a thousand kilometers, it drains itself in the endless sands of the Kalahari basin forming the magical Okavango Swamps in Botswana. Activities presented for tourists on and along the Kavango River include fishing and bird viewing excursions, canoe and sundowner boat trips, quadbike trips and microlight sightseeing trips. See Kavango River accommodation.