The Caprivi is 500 km long, narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Namibia. Germany exchanged the area, together with Helgoland with the United Kingdom for Zanzibar in 1890. It was named after the German chancellor of the time, Graf von Caprivi, who signed the contract with the British.
The Caprivi is the wettest region of the country with its high rainfall and a number of major rivers like the Okavango, Kwando and Zambezi; all of them originating from Angola and draining an enormous area. There are also some smaller rivers like the Linyanti and the Chobe. The abundance of water in the Caprivi sustains a large variety of animal and around 450 bird species. Especially numerous are the elephants, though not easily spotted through the dense vegetation. Wildlife is being protected in a couple of reserves (Bwabwata, Mudumu, Lizauli, Mamili). There are no fences, so the animals can roam freely across the borders of the neighboring countries of Botswana and Zambia.
Tarred Caprivi Highway was built to replace the corrugated dirt road, which was hardly passable during the rainy season. Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Chobe National Park in Botswana, both popular tourist destinations in the north, are now easily accessible. In the western part of the Caprivi, some 200 km east of Rundu, lays the Popa Falls. Rapids, rather than waterfalls, are situated where the Okavango River breaks through a 4 meters high, rocky intrusion in its riverbed. The falls lie amidst enthrallingly beautiful nature.