Epupa Falls, Kunene, Namibia (with Map & Photos)

Namibia, being one of the most visited countries in Africa, is known in the tourism world primarily for its unique ecosystem and amazing wildlife. In the north of the country, the famous Kunene River flows, which is also part of the Angolan-Namibian border. The main attraction of this region is undoubtedly the majestic Epupa Falls, the features of which will be discussed later in our article.

Epupa Falls Namibia
Epupa Falls Namibia

General Information

Epupa Falls, as mentioned earlier, is located on the border of the territories of 2 states - Namibia and Angola, although territorially it still belongs to the Namibian region of Kaokoland. There are several theories regarding the origin of the name of one of the main national attractions according to some researchers, Epupa in the language of the Herero people means foam, while in the Himba language the same word has another meaning - falling water. One way or another, both options characterize the majestic waterfall in the best possible way.

Epupa Falls Namibia
Epupa Falls Namibia

What is interesting about the waterfall?

The main attraction of Epupa Falls for visitors is the journey through the almost impenetrable forests and unspoilt wildlife. So, on the way to the waterfall, tall baobabs, fig trees and macalani palms are often found. In addition, along the way you can see many ancient rock paintings, which makes visiting this place even more interesting and mysterious.

The Kunene River forms a special ecosystem, thanks to which this region has many exciting activities for every taste. Some of them are available for self-study, while others will need to be booked at one of the local lodges. The most popular amusements for travelers are:

Birdwatching. More than 250 species of birds have been recorded in the Kaokoland area, where Epupa Falls is located, most of which are endemic. Here you can see such rare specimens as: palm thrushes, bee-eaters, African screaming eagles, red-sided astrilds and many others. etc. It is best to observe the birds during a hiking trip or an organized boat trip.

Epupa Falls Namibia
Epupa Falls Namibia

Swimming. Despite some danger of meeting face to face with local inhabitants, including crocodiles, many tourists come here with one purpose - to relax on the shore and swim in the rushing stream of bubbling foaming water. If you are not afraid to take risks and are confident in your swimming abilities, this extreme entertainment is just for you!

Trekking. Walking through the Epupa Falls is relatively safe and therefore suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. It is also a great opportunity to get to know personally the Himba tribe, who often come to the Kunene River, and learn more about their unique culture and centuries-old traditions.

Where to stay?

Since the area where Epupa Falls is located offers tourists a whole range of entertainment, many vacationers stay here for several days, setting up camp or staying at lodges nearby:

Epupa Camp is a small campground east of the falls. The campsite has a small swimming pool to cool off after the midday heat, a dining room serving traditional dishes and a spacious lounge area. The main feature of Epupa Camp is a suspension bridge connecting the lodge to its own private island.
Epupa Falls Lodge is another great accommodation option close to a major local attraction. The lodge consists of 9 luxury safari tents, each with 2 single beds, private bathroom (with hot water, shower and toilet), 24-hour lighting and mosquito net. Here you can also book an excursion to the waterfall or to the settlement of the Himba people.

Kapika Waterfall Camp is a mini-hotel, which, unlike all other lodges, is not located directly by the water, but on a high hill, which allows vacationers to watch magnificent wildlife views right from their rooms. Kapika Waterfall Camp features a restaurant and bar, a small outdoor pool and a private terrace adjacent to each of the 10 rooms.

Epupa Falls Namibia
Epupa Falls Namibia

How to get there?

Traveling around Namibia by public transport is quite unsafe and long, and the concept of "taxi" as such does not exist (taxi in Namibia are represented by large minibuses with 16, and sometimes 32 seats). Therefore, the only way to get to the Epupa waterfall, in addition to a pre-booked excursion tour, is on your own, by renting a car, preferably an SUV. Although the road leading to the destination is not gravel and has quite comfortable conditions for movement, it is still better not to risk it, especially if the planned trip coincides with the rainy season (February - April).

If your route is from Windhoek, get ready for a long journey. The distance between the capital and the Epupa region is more than 900 km and takes about 10 hours. To reach the waterfall, take the B1, C40 and then turn onto the C35 towards C43 (Kunene region).

Epupa Falls Map