Ruacana Falls


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Victoria Falls’ rival


The Kunene River flows south from the Angolan highlands to the country’s border with Namibia, at which point it plummets down the Ruacana Falls into a 120m-deep gorge. In full flood, the powerful thrust of water rivals even that of Victoria Falls and covers the verdant surroundings in a fine mist of spray. Reaching 700m in width, it is among the largest waterfalls in Africa, and bleeds into the Epupa Falls downstream.

Kaokoland remains a remote wilderness accented by table-top mountains, lush hills, and vast plains punctured by the odd rock. This is the land that the Himba people – the last semi-nomadic tribe of Namibia – call home. Gain insight into their lives as they tend livestock, harvest crops, and plaster distinctive mopane-wood homes with red clay soil.

When the waters subside for the dry season, Ruacana Falls’ foundations are revealed – dramatic rock formations polished smooth by the ever-rushing waters. Birdlife is prolific, from the African fish eagle patrolling the skies, to the family of brightly-coloured kingfishers inhabiting the riverbanks. White-water raft or canoe the lower course of the river past the float of crocodiles claiming the rapid waters as their own.

 

Highlights

  • Among the largest waterfalls in Africa
  • Set in the remote wilderness of Kaokoland and its table-top mountains, hills, and vast plains
  • The Himba people – the last semi-nomadic tribe of Namibia – call this area home
  • Birdlife is prolific year-round
  • White-water raft or canoe the lower course of the river

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