Trip Start Jan 30, 2009
88Trip End Aug 01, 2009
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Some history of the area is very interesting--Caprivi was named after German Chancellor Leo von Caprivi, who negotiated the land in an 1890 exchange with the United Kingdom. Von Caprivi arranged for Caprivi to be annexed to German South-West Africa in order to give Germany access to the Zambezi River and a route to Africa's East Coast, where the German colony Tanganyika was situated. (The river later proved to be unnavigable.) The annexation was a part of the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty, in which Germany gave up its interest in Zanzibar in return for the Caprivi Strip and the island of Heligoland in the North Sea.
Namibia and Botswana took a long-standing dispute over its southern boundary to the International Court of Justice. The core of the territorial dispute concerned which channel of the Chobe River was, the bona fide international boundary. This was important, as, depending on the decision, a large island, (known as Kasikili or Seddudu by Namibia and Botswana, respectively) would fall into national territory.
The Botswana government considered the island as an integral part of the Chobe National Park, whereas the Namibian government, and many inhabitants of the eastern Caprivi Strip, held that not only was the island part of the original German-British agreement, but that generations of inhabitants had used it for seasonal grazing, reed gathering as well as a burial site. In December 1999, the International Court of Justice ruled that the main channel, and hence the international boundary, lay to the north of the island, thus making the island part of Botswana.