Basically right across the border from Zambia, Katima Mulilo is little more than a stop for most travellers on their way across the Caprivi Strip. However, it’s location directly on top of the Zambezi River actually makes it a wonderful stop for a couple nights of relaxation and retreat. Unlike down river destinations like Livingstone, there are few travellers that make their way to Katima Mulilo and even fewer that stop. Sure, the tourism infrastructure is nowhere as set up as in Livingstone, but that’s what makes this place so special – you’ll likely have it all to yourself. And while town doesn’t really have much to offer, just a couple kilometers out of the city and you’ll find yourself in a peaceful lodge on the banks of one of Africa’s mightiest rivers. How cool is that?
Time Needed: 1-2 Days
Backpacker’s Budget: 40-50USD per day
Things to Do and See in Katima Mulilo
As mentioned, there really isn’t all that much to see or do in Katima Mulilo. It really is a border town in most of its functions. However, if you head east of town along the Zambezi River you’ll find a couple lodges, some of which do trips up the river. Also, about 30km southeast of town you’ll find the Salambala Conservancy which is actually one of the most bio-diverse regions in all of Namibia. It’s mostly woodlands and floodplains, but there is quite a bit of wildlife here spilling over from Chobe National Park.
Where to Eat in Katima Mulilo
In town, you’ll find the usual fast food spots you find almost everywhere in Southern Africa. There is also a shopping mall that has some nice cafe’s and a really big shoprite supermarket. There are a number of other restaurants in town, however I spent my meals eating at the Caprivi River Lodge where I had one of the best meals, rack of lamb, in my entire life.
Where to Stay in Katima Mulilo
There are a couple budget options in Katima Mulilo. You basically have the option of in town, or out of it. I chose to spend a bit more money and stay out at the Caprivi River Lodge where I got a cool little cabin in a monkey filled garden for $25. They no longer allow camping on site. In town, the slightly cheaper option is to stay at Mukusi Cabins which has budget rooms starting at $23. I’m told Mukusi used to allow camping on the premises, but I can’t confirm that to still be the case.
Getting out of Town
Bus: There are buses in town that depart for Livingstone, Zambia and there are occasional buses pushing across the Caprivi Strip to Rundu and I’m told it might even be possible to connect with the long distance buses that head all the way to Windhoek. It may also be possible to get yourself to the border of Botswana by mini-bus and then transfer to another mini-bus to get you to Kasane.
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