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Epupa Falls

One of the most spectacular attractions of Kaokoland is the Epupa Falls which can be reached only by four-wheel-drive vehicles. The spectacular view of the Epupa Falls, meaning ‘Falling Water’ in Herero, that greets one from the viewpoint about 500m, before reaching the falls comes as a complete surprise. Stately makalani palms and boabab trees line the river as it wends its way through the arid landscape to tumble over a multitude of cascades into a deep gorge. Most of the cascades are cataracts rather than waterfalls. The falls are at their best in April when the Kunene River is at its fullest. The greatest single drop, 37m, is commonly identified as the Epupa Falls. Here the river tumbles into a dark, narrow, rainbow-wrapped cleft, which is a spectacular sight to behold.

The gradient of the Kunene River is generally gentle. At Epupa, however, a rock shelf extends at an angle of 45° across the river for 457m, causing the river to split into several channels.

The main fall, close to the southern bank, is about 36m high and is the only fall with a direct drop. It plunges into a narrow, 6m wide gorge and carries an estimated third of the water. A multitude of further cascades an estimated third of the water.

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