From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
May 2010 satellite view of the Zambezi floodplain, west of the Zambezi-Chobe confluency, showing Impalila Island on the right edge of the picture.

Impalila (sometimes spelt Mpalila) is an island at the far eastern tip of Namibia, bounded on the north by the waters of the Zambezi river and on the south by the Chobe River. It is home to some 2500-3000 people in 25 small villages,[1] including Tswanas (from Botswana) and Subia people (from Namibia).[2]

Impalila is usually accessed from Kasane in Botswana, on the other bank of the Chobe River. There is a Namibian customs and immigration post on the island. There is also an airport with a 1,300 metre runway, used for charter flights to bring tourists to the various lodges on the island. The airport is a relic of a military base used in the 1980s by the South African Defence Forces, strategically positioned within sight of Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.[1] The Namibian Navy has refurbished the base and is now operated by Namibian Marine Corps[3].

Impalila is a led by a chief who has the power to give land to the people in need. Impalila Island is known by the Big Three Figures or persons of which all are late. The three people were Kachele, Simasiku "Six" and Libalamwe. Those heroes divided Mpalila into three portions. Each one got his portion of land which he could allocate to the community members who requested land for settlement and cultivation. Libalamwe was known for his charms of flying using pumpkins and could reach any place first and faster than his subjects who would have travelled two or three days before by car to Bukalo (Subia Tribal Authority Head-quoter)or Katima Mulilo.


  1. ^ a b Chris McIntyre (2010). Botswana. Bradt Travel Guides. pp. 193–193. ISBN 978-1-84162-308-5.
  2. ^
  3. ^

Coordinates: 17°47′00″S 25°13′24″E / 17.78333°S 25.22333°E / -17.78333; 25.22333