Before we travel to the Epupa Falls, we spend a week at the Oppi-Koppi campsite in Kamanjab, south of Etosha National Park. Although the internet connection is not so great, we are continuing to work on our website and in particular we are editing our first films. As “overlanders” with European license plates, we are free of charge on this camp – we are only expected to stop by the restaurant and eat something. This is easy because the pizzas are delicious and large enough for two meals …

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Epupa waterfalls

The Kunene has its source in the Angolan highlands and forms the border with Angola here in north-western Namibia. At Epupa, the Kunene plunges into a rocky gorge about 60 meters deep. We are amazed at how much water the Kunene still carries in “winter”. Winter” here means temperatures of 25° to 30° during the day and 12° to 14° at night. You could get used to that!

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We spend the evening at the viewpoint in balmy temperatures. Only here are the true dimensions of the Epupa Falls visible. We can’t get enough of it. So much water and so much green in the middle of the desert!

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Epupa Camp

We spend six days at the Kunene and can hardly tear ourselves away. After months of driving through bone-dry regions, we finally have running and rushing water again. That simply feels good. Epupa Camp is romantically situated under Makalani palms directly on the Kunene River. There is no drinking water in Epupa. The water is pumped out of the river. We don’t want to fill our fresh water tank with this. Our water supply therefore determines the maximum dwell time.

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The toilets and showers are in the open air. Put something over the barrier so that others can see that the “little house” is occupied. Otherwise, open air is very pleasant, no taste …


The Himba are a tribe related to the Herero who live in the northwest of Namibia. As semi-nomads, they follow the fodder with their herds of cattle and goats, which can also mean that the men with the cattle are sometimes absent from the village for several months. If there is a shortage of food, the families move to a village further away. Similar to the way mountain farmers in Switzerland move first to the Maiensäss in summer and later to the alp and back.

We think long and hard about whether we should visit a Himba village like this. Curiosity finally gets the upper hand. The Himba know all about cattle and goats – but not all of them are educated. Their social structure is still reasonably clear. The women wear classic and self-made jewelry. This is modeled on that of a cow. The skin is coated with a mixture of animal fat and ochre, which on the one hand protects the skin and on the other is intended to reflect the shiny coat of a healthy cow.

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Himba men are allowed to have more than one wife. The main wife decides whether a second wife is allowed – after that the Himba man is free to take up to three wives. What pressure the man can exert to get the main woman to say “yes” is not clear to us. Here, at any rate, the biological sister is the second wife and the two seem to be on good terms.

We are alone in the village with our guide “Immanuel”. Thanks to his translation skills, he has a conversation with the main woman and her sister. We talk about the mountain farmers, how they move to the alp and about snow – which they have no idea what it is. They laugh and seem happy and think we should stay with them.

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We are convinced that the Himba culture will soon die out. Contact with other cultures and a certain “progress” cannot be avoided. In particular, however, the knowledge imparted by the schools will change the Himbas.

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Epupa Primary School

At the end of our stay in Epupa, we visit the primary school. The school concept is called “Mobile School” because the school follows the migratory movements of the Himba, so that the Himba children can attend the school continuously. The father decides whether a Himba boy or a Himba girl is allowed to attend school. If there are enough children to help look after the herds, there is a good chance that they will be allowed to attend school. However, it sometimes happens that children “run away” to go to school.

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Epupa Video

Water in dry land!

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