Katima Mulilo in the local dialect of lozi means 'to quench the fire'
Katima Mulilo is a fast developing town and it is the administrative centre of the Caprivi region, it is also the area’s main settlement. Katima Mulilo in the local dialect of lozi means ‘to quench the fire’ and could most likely be a reference to burning embers carried by travellers, which are often extinguished by the river crossing at Mbova Rapids. The town is set on the banks of the massive Zambezi River which forms the border with Zambia. Katima Mulilo was established in around 1935 by British colonial forces who replaced the previous German colonial regional capital at Schuckmannsburg. Katima is very close to the point where five countries meet and as such it is a medly of different cultures and languages.
The Zambezi River is a wide and slow flowing river which is edged with massive and lush trees which are filled with tropical birds and cheeky monkeys. Hippos and crocodiles can also be seen in the area. Giant elephants are regular visitors to the river banks to take a drink of water and a dip in the cooling waters. Visitors to the area will definitely get a Zambian feel in the town more than a Namibian one because the town is the country’s most remote outpost. It is about 1200km from the capital city of Windhoek but only half a kilometer from Zambia. There are quite a number of amenities in the town including restaurants; bars; a post office; banks; petrol stations; open-air market; supermarkets; garages and a hospital. The Caprivi Art Centre is a community-based marketing outlet for artists and craftsmen in the region. The centre encourages local artists to explore their creativity and take parrt in exhibitions and workshops. The clay urns are particularly beautiful and have intricate patterns. Another popular item are the Mahangu baskets which local weavers create from the leaves of Makalani Palms. These baskets are traditionally used for gathering and storing mahangu.
Katima Mulilo and the surrounding areas have a number of hotels and lodges including Camp Chobe; Camp Kwando and Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge, to name a few.
Camp Chobe is set on the banks of the Chobe River, about 4km from the Ngoma Border Post between Botswana and Namibia. It is in close proximity to the famous Chobe National Park which boasts the largest concentration of elephants. The highlight of the main building is the ability to observe the activity of the immediate floodplains from the private lounge decks and the comfortable couches which are set on the elevated decking. Guests are also allowed to watch the Camp Chobe chefs pepare meals in the open interactive kitchen. Delectable meals are served in the dining room which has amazing views. Guests also have the option of dining outdoors and bask in the warmth of the open fire pit. Electricity is supplied by a generator as well as solar panels. Accommodation at Camp Chobe is in 20 well ventilated tented chalets which are constructed from a canvas/mopane timber combination, each unit has amazing views across the Chobe River from the private decks. All the chalets are solar powered and have en-suite bathrooms with a shower and flush toilet; mosquiot nets are fitted over the super comfortable beds.
Camp Kwando is located about 25km south of Kongola which is about 125km west of Katima Mulilo. The camp is set on the banks of the Kwando River and is the ideal place to explore the Mudumu and Mamili National Parks. The main building consists of a large thatched lapa which has decor of African artifacts and a spacious lounge strewn with comfy leather sofas. There is an open-sided dining area overlooking the river where guests can catch glimpses of hippos and crocodlies. There is also a bar; internet connection; secure parking and locally made arts and crafts available. Electricity is supplied from a generator at key times and the bathrooms are lit by paraffin lamps. The camp’s swimming pool is a perfect place for guests to relax and unwind. A hearty buffet breakfast is served for guests to enjoy before their morning activities and a light lunch of asparagus soup or quiche can be ordered. Dinner usually consists of a selection of game meats and fresh veggies which are grown in the camp’s very of own vegetable and herb garden, the meals can be followed by some delicious home-made ice-cream. Accommodation at the lodge is either in single or double thatched island tents or single or double tree houses. There are 12 thatched roof island tents one of which is a family unit and these are all equipped with two beds fitted with mosquito nets; en-suite open-sky bathrooms with a shower, toilet and basin; mosquito nets and an in-room safe. The tents are built on poles with a terrace overlooking the river. There are six tree houses which are thatched roof bungalows built on stilts. They are spacious and have big en-suite bathrooms with a shower, toilet and basin and a large terrace with a great view of the plains.
Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge is located a few kilometres east of Katima Mulilo and is an ideal stop-over for those heading to or from the Chobe National Park; Victoria Falls; the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve, the lodge is actually built on the banks of the river and is not an actual houseboat. Facilities at Caprivi Houseboat Lodge include a rose-wood deck with a lounge bar and swimming pool. Breakfast and dinner are available and are highly recommended. The main communal area which encompasses a bar; lounge area and dining table is an open deck overlooking the river. Accommodation consists of five chalets, each unit is rustic and well equipped and are situated on the water’s edge. The chalets have en-suite bathrooms; tea/coffee stations; mosquito nets and a ceiling fan.