The Kwando River has a very large population of Hippos

“The Kwando River is a Wildlife Photographer’s playground”

The Kwando River is narrow, slow moving with many channels and lagoons.

The floodplain is teeming with Wildlife making the Kwando a wonderful river to operate a Photography boat on. 
It is not uncommon to be able to move stealthily to within meters of the game and birds, allowing for excellent photography opportunities.

The Caprivi Strip is blessed with 3 magnificent rivers that flow through it.
The Zambezi, the Okavango and the Kwando

Zambezi River

The most well known is the Zambezi River.  A majestic river that rises in Zambia.  A river that is continually changing gears, languid through the floodplains, to raging torrents with massive waterfalls.  It reaches its resting point in the Indian Ocean off Mozambique.  Unfortunately as the Zambezi supports a large rural population throughout its length, in the Caprivi there is very little wildlife along its shores.

Okavango River

The second river is the Okavango.  Best described as a lazy river.  Too lazy to reach an ocean as its course ends prematurely in the Botswana thirstlands.  Popa Falls can hardly be classified as a waterfall, but rather a tumbling rapid.  Along its short but entire length, it is a Wildlife paradise.

Andrew in his inflatable boat on the Kwando River
Exploring the Kwando River
Rapids on the Zambezi Rivers
Fishing off a sand bank in the Kwando River

Andrew exploring the Zambezi, Okavango and Kwando Rivers (in his youth)

Kwando River

And then there is the lesser known Kwando River.  I have explored all three rivers, and the Kwando  can best be described as magical.  A much smaller river than the other two, it meanders leisurely through the floodplains.  Its course is forever changing, forming oxbow lakes, channels and wonderful lagoons covered in glorious water lilies. The excitement of the river is never knowing what one may expect around the next bend. 

 

This is the home of the Hippo. Large pods of hippos can be found throughout its course.  It also the home for some extremely large and very elusive crocodiles.  The largest crocodile I have seen in the wild was in this river.

The Kwando River is species rich in fish, with the Tiger Fish being one of the keystone predators.  

 

But it is the birdlife that sets the Kwando River apart.  Over 450 bird species have been recorded in the Caprivi Region, many of which can be found on the Kwando River.  At Mukolo Camp, with over 40 species of trees having been identified, it is not surprising that a large variety of birds can be seen at camp.

 

Mukolo Camp is also situated directly adjacent to Bwabwata National Park, and it is not uncommon to hear lion and hyena calls from the park.  In the drier months concentrations of Elephant and Plains Game migrate onto the floodplain to graze. 

Mukolo Camp hosted the US Aid / WWF delegation