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RUACANA FALLS NAMIBIA. All the info you need

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Ruacana Falls Namibia


I camped at Ruacana last year in June on my way to do some photography in Kunene Region. I met some tourists who had driven all the way to Ruacana to see the falls, and it being the dry season, above left is what they saw. They were mightily disappointed, as every publication on Namibia that they had seen showed a photo depicting the falls in their full grandeur at full flow. The excellent photo below was taken by my good friend Sakkie Rothmann who publishes some excellent tourism guides on Namibia.


OK, so now you know that for most of the year, (April thru December) a dry Ruacana Falls is what you will be seeing. The Kunene River begins its journey high up in Huambo Province, Angola and runs in a southerly direction through Calueque, where the river meets its first hydro-electrical-scheme-dam, a further 20km south it is again dammed at the Ruacana-Falls. The hydro-scheme here is operated by the Namibia Electricity authority NAMPOWER, so for the majority of the year the flow of the Kunene at Ruacana Falls is reduced to a trickle...

Kunene Region
1723'S - 1413'E
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Makalani Palm

Makalani Palms

Ruacana Falls In Dry Season (April to December)

Dry Season

Ruacana Falls In flood March 2002

In flood March 2002


The gorge is about 115m deep and 600m wide. if your visit is during the dry months and you're into hopping about on smooth rocks you will be treated to some views of polished rock shapes that have been formed by the waters over the millions of years. Take a drive a couple of kilometers west and just where the tarred road ends, on your right hand side is a camp site operated by the local community called the Hippo Pool. The site which has no power, but does have solar heated shower facilities and modern dry field-toilets. There is no shop on site, and no fire wood, so you must take all of your supplies with you. The locals offer guided hikes to the Ruacana Falls and to a Himba/ Zemba cattle post. Prepare for plenty of mosquitoes here.


The gravel road running alongside the river bank some 145km to the Epupa-Falls is best negotiated by 4 x 4 or a sturdy pick-up-truck. The tarred road to the Ruacana Falls will also lead you to one of Namibia's border posts with Angola. And to finish on a cautionary note. When driving in the far-north.. beware of livestock wandering on the roads.


The town of Ruacana is 17km East of the Falls area. Once a bustling South African Defense Force base, the abandoned town now has little to offer in the way of facilities.  There is a fuel station in Ruacana and a couple of guest houses, but further to that you had best stock up with your supplies before going north of Oshakati.



Corn- Pantry for Sale

Corn-Pantry for sale

Ruacana Falls The Hippo Pool

The Hippo Pool

Ruacana Falls Hippo Pool shanded camp Site

Shaded Camp Site

donkeys Everwhere beware

Donkeys... everywhere .. beware


Getting Here

Scheduled Air No

Scheduled Bus  No

Scheduled Rail  No

Map Directions

Road Distances from Ruacana

Gobabis Katima Noordowever Swakopmund Tsumeb Windhoek


1065 / 662 1253 / 777 1646 / 1023 684 / 425 434 / 270 860 / 534

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Katima Mulilo



















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