The Cuando rises in the central plateau of Angola on the slopes of Mount Tembo, thence flowing southeast along the Zambian border. Along this reach it flows in a maze of channels in a swampy corridor 5–10 km wide . As with all rivers in south-central Africa its flow varies enormously between the rainy season when it floods and may be several kilometres wide, and the dry season when it may disappear into marshes.
The national parks through which it passes or on which it borders are:
Coutada Publica do Luiana (Angola) Sioma Ngwezi National Park (Zambia) Bwabwata National Park (Namibia) Mudumu National Park (Namibia) Mamili National Park (Namibia) Chobe National Park (Botswana)