Bwabwata National Park covers the skinny arm of the Caprivi Strip. Formerly known as the Caprivi Game Park the park now includes the Kwando, the buffalo and Mahango core areas. Today Bwabwata is a 6 100 km conservation area that aims to benefit the environment the wildlife and the communities of the area. Cattle movement is controlled to prevent diseases and community-based tourism is promoted. Communities in the park and its surrounding areas have been given conditional tourism rights to establish tourism facilities and operations in the park and the central area of the park has been zones for trophy hunting human settlement and development as well as other forms of community-based tourism.
Caprivi’s largest park offers a wide range of habitats and wildlife. Visitors can explore three distinct areas. The Okavango and Kwando Rivers feed large floodplains and thick woodlands. Reed-beds and floating grass mats blend into dense areas of jackal berry mangosteen apple leaf knob thorn and wild date. The drainage lines or omurambas form another area. In the third area of the park find 20-60 metre high sand dunes forming the northern extension of the Kalahari. Here seringa Zambezi teak wild raisin and bushwillow form shady woodlands.
The changing habitats support a variety of animals. Herbivores include elephant buffalo impala reedbuck red lechwe sitatunga hippopotamus giraffe Chobe bushbuck sable and roan antelope wildebeest and zebra. The lion is the apex predator and leopard and cheetah complete the trio of big cats. Also look out for the endangered African wild dog which hunts in pack and is a rare sight nowadays. Bwabwata is a great destination for birders. The perennial Okavango and Kwando areas attract kingfishers herons cormorants African skimmers wattled cranes pygmy geese and the mighty African fish-eagle. More than 400 bird species have been counted in the Bwabwata area. At this point there is no accommodation in the park. However there is a variety of guest lodges in the area.