The Caprivi Strip

Caprivi Strip

The Caprivi Strip is a small finger of Namibia that reaches eastward to the Zambezi River. It’s a geographic oddity that came to being in the colonial era—in 1890, Germany and the United Kingdom swapped land claims, with Germany receiving access to the Zambezi. They had hopes of connecting Namibia with their colony to the east, now known as Tanzania. Unfortunately for the Germans, the Zambezi was unnavigable. Their plan to connecting the two colonies died, but the Caprivi Strip remains part of Namibia to this day.

The Strip’s other curiosity are the bands of vegetation seen above. They stretch for hundreds of kilometers and cover dunes that formed between 20,000 and 60,000 years ago. According to NASA, this area was a desert then and has undergone a sort of de-desertification.

Between the its convoluted geopolitical and climatological histories, the Caprivi Strip is a ghost of geography in many senses of the term.

Thanks to the support of readers like you, Per Square Mile remains independent and ad-free.

If you enjoy what you read, please consider supporting the site with a donation.

opening times