Come and experience the home of the nomadic Himba people, the rare desert-dwelling elephant and black rhino.Famous for its rugged purple mountain ranges and the Kunene River, Kaokoland is a harsh bit of Namibian desert with huge boulders and amazing wildlife dotted all around. Enjoy amazing Wild figs, Baobabs, Makalani palms and other trees.
THE KUNENE RIVER
Kaokoland is bordered in the south by the Hoanib River and in the north by the Kunene River, Namibia’s border with Angola. You can go for adventurous white water rafting and canoeing on the Kunene River. Swimming is great but beware of lurking crocodiles.
Kaokoland is most visited for its unique elephants which can go without water for as long as four days at a time. Digging deep holes to get to the water, they enable other animals to drink too. Almost wiped out by drought and poachers during the last century, they have adapted to their harsh conditions, instinctively finding food and water.
ADVENTURE DOWN THE RIVER
The highlight of a trip to Ondurusa Rapids is negotiating these torrents, passing through the looming zebra mountains and crossing the section of the river known as the 13 Rapids.
Experience the only waterfall in Namibia, Ruacana Falls. It stands at 120 m high and can get 700 m wide when in a flood. Visit nearby Epupa Fall to take photos of this landmark, about 135 kilometres downstream from Ruacana, formed by a trail of cascades stretching nearly two kilometres.
MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS
Find the highest peak in the Baynes Mountains. The Otjihipa Mountains in the north form an oasis in a sea of brown, mauves and reds- the eastern boundary of the Marienfluss Valley.
View the very dry Hartmann Mountains, despite being closer to the sea’s salty mists which float over them. Head north of the Hoarusib River to discover flat koppies.
THE HIMBA AND HOT SPRINGS
Only about 16 000 people live in Kaokoland – an empty, spacious region. The Himba people, descendants of the Herero who migrated further south in the 18th century, move around to find grazing for their cattle and goats and still live according to ancient traditions.
Relax in quiet hot water springs at Warmquelle and maybe pop into the historical Sesfontein Fort which is named after the six fountains found nearby. Date palms at the fort were planted by German police officers who came to stop the elephant and rhino poaching, as well as smuggling of weapons.