Have you ever wondered why Namibia has such a strange shape – the “panhandle” in the upper right corner? 

This elongated arm-like part of the country is called Caprivi Strip and is a part of its German colonial heritage. The Caprivi Strip was created for Germany, who then ruled Namibia, to give access to Zambezi River and further to Indian Ocean. It was believed then that the Zambezi River is navigable and thus providing potential trading routes for Germany.

Caprivi Strip derives its name from German Chancellor Leo von Caprivi, who was the main negotiator with UK. Caprivi Strip was part of land exchanges that were negotiated between UK and Germany. Germany gave up its interests in Zanzibar and in exchange received Caprivi Strip and Helgoland in North Sea.