About Mashi Crafts

Mashi Crafts is at Kongola, a strategic road junction on the Trans-Caprivi Highway 110 km outside Katima Mulilo. In addition to Mashi Crafts, Kongola has a petrol station, a shop, Kaza Kongola that stocks all essential groceries, and caters for the many tourists that are travelling via Caprivi to or from Zimbabwe, Botswana or Zambia. It is also where Mayuni Conservancy has its offices. The junction leads down to the two National Parks in east Zambezi region (former Caprivi) along which are number of conservancies and lodges are sited. Mashi Crafts is owned by a voluntary association of local craft makers, approximately 300 plus with the purpose of providing an outlet for their crafts produce. For most of these women, it is their only source of income.

Mashi Crafts is a vibrant tourism centre providing not only an out let for craft produce, but also a diversity of information on history, culture and traditions of the people in the area, the local flora and fauna and conservancy activities. It also is an outlet a number of tourism friendly SME businesses selling firewood, honey when in season and devils claw natural remedies.

About 110,000 people of six recognised groups, Subiya, Fwe, Yei, Totela, Mbukushu and the Khoe, live in what was formerly known as the East and West Caprivi now the eastern Kavango and western Zambezi region. The lingua-franca in the area is Lozi. Due to their historical connections the Lozi people share a common language and history, and have family connections with the Lozi people in Zambia, Angola and Botswana The majority of these people practise subsistence agriculture, with some cash cropping, and depend on trees, wild fruits, fish, water lilies, reeds and grasses for food, grazing, shelter, fuel and hand-made household and farming implements.

The region forms a strip of land at the north eastern corner of Namibia. It borders with Angola, Zambia and Botswana. It also borders with Zimbabwe at the very far eastern tip. The small strip of land is the only area of Namibia that is lush and green. The terrain is flat with Kalahari woodlands and pans, and contains Bwabwata National Park, Mudumu and Nkasa Lupala National Parks with plentiful game viewing opportunities particularly along the Kwando River.

The Zambezi region is unusual to Namibia in that it contains four perennial rivers – Chobe, Kwando, Linyanti and the mighty Zambezi! These waterfront areas combine riverine forests with vast wetlands, attracting over four hundred species of bird, four of the big 5 (formerly rhino did occur in this region) as well as boasting nearly two hundred kinds of flora, shrubs, trees and fruits, to complement the wildlife and beautiful landscapes.