Impalila Island lies in the middle of the Zambezi River, about 25 minutes from the confluence with the Chobe River.
About 12 kilometers in length and 6 kilometers in width, it is one of the largest islands in the area.
The island is inhabited and there are many small fishing and farming villages complete with schools, churches and tiny shops. As many people come to the island from Botswana there is a small immigration office in a hut on the south side of the island.
Climb a baobab tree
The island interior is forested with baobabs, waterfigs, knobthorne, mopane, pod mahogany and star chestnut trees. On the river banks you find jackalberries and the Chobe waterberry tree. In the middle of the island there is a particularly old and large baobab tree which is possible to climb (however, this is extremely dangerous as the 'ladder' consists of nails sticking out of the tree trunk and there are no safety ropes — it is entirely at your own risk). If you make it to the top you can see the point where the four countries of Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia meet.
Wildlife of Impalila Island
Surrounding the island, the area is similar to that found in the northern part of the Okavango Delta where deep water channels are lined with papyrus and there are quiet lagoons covered in waterlilies. While elephants and buffalo are sometimes seen near and on the island, they are more commonly seen beside the Chobe River. Hippo and crocodile can be seen in the waters and there is spectacular birdlife. African skimmers nest on the exposed sandbanks and reed cormorants dry their wings on the papyrus while various kingfishers hover about the water to find food.
Map of Impalila Island
Places & hotels on the map
Accommodation choices for Impalila Island
We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Impalila Island. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.
Small, intimate and very comfortable, the Ichingo River Lodge is tucked into the riverine forest and thus peaceful and secluded.