The Caprivi Strip – Dr Dawn Gould

CAPRIVI, or the Caprivi Strip as it has also been called, was named after the German Chancellor (1890-1894)  Leo von Caprivi .   Consult an atlas and it will be seen to be a narrow strip of land that lies in the north east corner of Namibia and borders Angola, Zambia and Botswana. In 1890, Germany and Britain came to an agreement. The area was annexed to German South West Africa. The thinking then was that this would give Germany an entry into the Zambezi River and maybe a roadway to the East Coast of Africa. In time this was realized as being impossible.   In exchange Britain was traded entry into the German possessions in East Africa.  Something the British quickly made a fact.


In 1976 South Africa was in control and attempted to make it another “Bantustan”. This resulted in civil war. Politics was always around in this region. The African National Congress (ANC) carried out operations against the South African Government until 1994. Other armed forces used Caprivi as a way of gaining access to other areas. Altercation between Namibia and Botswana led to the International Court of Justice entering the fray.


On the 21 March 1990 South West Africa became the independent Namibia with the Caprivi still part of its territory.  Today, while there may still be quiet political grumbling, the area has become known for its economically active conservation activities.