Activities | Himba Tour

Epupa is not just about the Epupa Waterfalls – it is also about the Himba. Though the Himba in Epupa has given up their nomadic lifestyle, the villages in the area are still very much traditional. But don’t expect to find a Himba without a phone – even they have learned that it is easier to call to find out where it has rained than to walk there…

Photos © Dieter – Epupa Falls Lodge

Activities | Rafting

Though this is not an Epupa Falls Lodge activity, you can book the rafting with Epupa Camp when you are in camp.

Why don’t we offer rafting? Well, we are right on the falls and you won’t have much time to raft before you well, bungee jump without a rope down the falls… At Epupa, the river is also very flat, so it is more of a relaxing boat ride. If you really want to raft, make sure not to miss Kunene River Lodge near Ruacana.

Photos © Dieter – Epupa Falls Lodge

Entomology | Epupa Bugs

Many of our guests are surprised to find bugs and spiders in their chalets and we have had complaints about it. Well, this is to warn those guests – we live in the bush and while you travel in Namibia, you will mostly be in the bush. This is not a zoo where we lock up the animals at night and open them up in the morning – placing them in cages – we live among them. Africa is their home and we try to live with them.

Here then, a collection of our bugs. We will add to this collection as we find them hiding in the crevices and in the darkness… because ultimately – they are more scared of us.

Botany | Makalani Palms

Wikipidia reports the following:

The Real fan palm (Hyphaene petersiana), locally known as the Makalani palm, is a palm tree native to the subtropical, low-lying regions of south central Africa. Its habitat is open woodland, flood plains, banks of rivers and the fringes of pans and swamps. It is found in Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and the northern and north-eastern Transvaal.[2]

As with other Hyphaene species, H. petersiana is dioicous and the female plants produce copious fruit of some 60 mm diameter. Up to 2,000 fruit may be found on a tree,[3] the combined yield of about four seasons.[4] The seeds germinate with difficulty but find saline conditions beneficial.[4] They develop massive tap-roots which draw saline water deep underground.[4] Though slow-growing,[3] they may attain a maximum height of 18m.[5] Typical adult plants are in the order of 5-7m high.

The plants are utilized by humans and animals. Repeated cutting of the growth point to obtain sap for palm wine production may eventually destroy the trees.[3] (This is sadly, also very true here in the Cunene Region where these trees are destroyed without any thought about the future.) The stem pith is edible. Beneath the outer fibrous husk of the fruit is a core of white endosperm known as ‘vegetable ivory’, initially soft and edible and containing some liquid comparable to coconut milk.[5] The Ovambo people call the fruit of the Makalani palm eendunga and use it to distill ombike, their traditional liquor.[6]

Photos © Dieter – Epupa Falls Lodge

Botany | Baobab

Did you know that the study of trees is called dendrology?

Wikipedia has the following to say about the Baobab:

Adansonia digitata (baobab) is the most widespread of the Adansonia species, and is native to the African continent. The long-lived pachycauls are typically found in dry, hot savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa, where they dominate the landscape, and reveal the presence of a watercourse from afar.[2] Their growth rate is determined by ground water or rainfall,[3][4] and their maximum age, which is subject to much conjecture, seems to be in the order of 1,500 years.[5] They have traditionally been valued as sources of food, water, health remedies or places of shelter and are steeped in legend and superstition.[3] Explorers of old were inclined to carve their names on baobabs, and many are defaced by modern graffiti.[2] Common names for the baobab include dead-rat tree (from the appearance of the fruit), monkey-bread tree (the soft, dry fruit is edible), upside-down tree (the sparse branches resemble roots) and cream of tartar tree (cream of tartar).

All Photos © Dieter – Epupa Falls Lodge

Birding | Damara Hornbill

There are various species of hornbill across Namibia. Of these, the Yellow-billed is probably the best known. However, they are all very amicable birds and a true pleasure to observe.

Not directly found at the falls, one has to do a bit of hiking to find these noisy African birds as they prefer the Mopane Bush Veld.

Photos by Dieter – Epupa Falls Lodge