The Kavango people migrated from the lakes in East Africa around the 17th century. The riverine living people inhabit the banks of the Okavango River that forms Namibia’s border with Angola for about 400 km. The Kavango live on fishing, cattle farming as well as horticulture. The fertile land of the Kavango Region allows the Kavango to cultivate sorghum, pearl millet and maize. Today five different tribes live in Namibia: the Kwangali, Mbunza, Shambyu, Gciriku and Mbukushu. Each tribe is still ruled by a chief, whose ruling power over his tribe and land is recognized by the government. The social structure of the Kavango follows a matrilineal system.
The economy of the Kavango Region is based on farming and livestock. The woodcarvers of the Kavango Region are known for their skill and produce masks, ornaments, bowls and furniture for the tourist and other markets. Many Kavangos make a living on farms mines or in urban centres. The recent rise of population in the Kavango Region is due to immigration from Angola.