Is Epupa a Town?

Is Epupa a town?

Epupa is more of a township with three lodges situated along the edge of it on the river bank and one behind the township on a small hill. Apart from the lodges there is a police station, a mobile hospital for the local people and several shebeens. So unless you count a shebeen as a shop, then there are also no shops.

What is a Shebeen?

A Shebeen is basically a shack or tin house modified into a bar or liquor shop. In some cases, you can find a few extras here – goods like chips, chocolates and maybe even a few over the counter medicines.

How far are the lodges, including Epupa Falls Lodge, from the Epupa Falls itself?

Epupa Falls Lodge & Campsites is located right in front of the falls. If you sit on our deck, the spray of the falls will more often than not, cool you down.

Omarunga Camp, is situated on the border of Epupa Falls Lodge – about 500m upstream. Epupa Camp is situated about 1.4km upstream from the falls on the banks of the Cunene river.  Kapika Waterfall Lodge is situated the furthers away about 5km from the falls on a hill overlooking Epupa town and valley.

All three lodges are privately owned and managed by hired managers, making Epupa Falls Lodge the only Lodge with the owner residing in camp and managing his own lodge.

Epupa Town lies to the right of photo with the three lodges hiding underneath the canopy of palm trees.

Epupa Town

©Dieter - Epupa Falls Lodge

Epupa Falls Lodge and Omarunga Camp just visible between the trees.



Epupa Falls Lodge | Sundown View

The sundown view from above Epupa.

You can visit this lovely spot on your own – a short hike from the lodge, or you can go up with Epupa Falls Lodge and enjoy a drink in this beautiful spot.

Do you need to book it before arrival – not necessarily. But if you want to travel without cash – better book it when booking your accommodation.

Epupa Falls Lodge | Distance to Falls

A lot of people ask me how far are we from the chalets. Well… let me illustrate.

These are the chalets:

We have five of these twin chalets, right on the river bank. Below is the view from one of the five chalets (they share pretty much the same view) and where you see that arrow – that is where the falls are.

So how far are we from the falls – less than 100metres would be a good estimate.

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And then it rained 2011

Epupa does not get rain when it rains across the country. In fact, it hardly ever rains up here in our little corner. But our river… oh dear me… The Cunene river comes from the highlands of Angola where it doesn’t just rain. IT RAINS! So it has happened, and it does so quite often, that the area of Epupa has drought, but the river is in full flood. Here are a few photos of such a flood.

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

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