Epupa Falls Lodge

The Road Less Travelled | Road Conditions
epupa road conditions

6 May 2023

Namibian seasons and epupa road conditions


Let’s start with Namibia’s winter season as our roads are mainly unchanged during the cooler months. 

Winter, according to Namibians is from May until August. But the reality is that it is about 1 week somewhere in July. Though the south of Namibia can get very cold during the night, the days almost always heat up to modest temperatures that do not require serious jackets. Northern Namibia, and especially the Epupa Valley, cools down during the winter with lovely nights and stunning days – perfect for activities in the area. As Namibia has dry winters, rain is never on the horizon although the deep south of Namibia can have an expected shower or two during a cold front. 

Maximum temperatures during the winter at Epupa Falls Lodge can still reach the higher 30s while the lows are around 15’C.

Considering the winter temperatures and the unlikeliness of rain in our neck of the woods, the roads will remain unchanged as far as river crossings and flooding are concerned.  From the middle of June to the end of October the traffic pics up considerably in our area. Due to travellers travelling too fast, not 4×4 and with the wrong tyre pressures, our roads get corrugated quite quickly and rather horrific. This will slow down your journey time. Even though the roads are graded about every two weeks, corrugation is still a problem.

A few quick tips: Lower your tyre pressure when driving gravel roads. Drive in 4×4 and DRIVE SLOWLY!

Road from Opuwo to Epupa


Now this is where the fun begins. Summer brings rain and rain brings Namibians great happiness. But it also changes our gravel roads.

Here are few factoids to consider when travelling in Namibia during the wet season.

  1. If it rains across the whole of Namibia, it doesn’t necessarily rain at Epupa.
  2. If it rains in Namibia, the Kunene is not in flood and the waterfalls are not much bigger.
  3. If it rains in the Zebraberge along the Kunene River, the smaller rivers will flood. 

When there is flooding in our neck of the woods, we’ll keep travellers up to date on our various social media platforms. So make sure you are following us. But what if you need to travel and you cannot drive the D3700?

Here are a few options.

You can either drive from Ruacana to Swartbooisdrift and from there head inland on the D3701 to Epembe. Take the C43 from Epembe and follow the directions in the previous post. Or you can head from Ruacana all the way back to Opuwo and make your way up to Epupa following the C43 all the way to Epupa. 

Although the C43 also has a lot of river crossings, the only one that is of concern here is the one at Okongwati. If this river is in flood, nobody crosses for several hours. 

Again, we’d like to share a few tips when it comes to muddy roads, flash floods and river crossings.

  1. Always drive in 4×4 on wet gravel roads. You will just have that much better grip.
  2. Walk through the rivers before you drive through them. This includes the ones that have flooded a tad earlier and are still wet. This way you can feel if there are any week spots where your vehicle can get stuck. The last thing you want to be is stuck in one of these rivers when there is rain in the air. 
  3. Lastly, stay tuned on Facebook and Instagram for the latest in road updates. And if you don’t have an account, you can always Whatsapp our office number for information.


road from epupa to ruacana

When the Kunene is in flood

When the Kunene river is in flood, it is big news. This usually leads to a few flooded houses, lost crops and the Ruacana Falls gloriously white as the waters rush downstream toward Epupa. 

Though we will clarify in a following post when is the best time to see the Epupa Falls, we’ll quickly note that flooding happens mostly between March and May when the big waters from the Angolan highlands reach Namibia. When the Kunene is in flood, parts of the D3700 along the Kunene is not passable for days on end. 

Please make sure all roads are dry and driveable before you continue your journey on the D3700.

opuwo to ruacana road

Next week we’ll answer a few more questions as we discuss the best time to visit Epupa and if you really need a 4×4 to travel through Namibia and specifically to Epupa.


Experience a day in the life of a Himba or absorb the beauty of Epupa Falls from one one of hiking trails... what ever you do, don't miss out.

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