Kaokoland Safari Namibia

KAOKOLAND NAMIBIA

The scenery is dramatic, there are small pockets of desert-adapted game, and it is home to the Himba people this is what describes Kaokoland in Northwestern Namibia. Often this area is described as one of the unique unspoilt wilderness spot in South Africa and Africa as a whole.

Kaokoland NamibiaKaokoland Namibia lies in a region bordering the Skeleton coast park Namibia, Kunene River that flows on the north and Damaraland Namibia to the south. The permanent waters of the Kunene River, which also forms Namibia’s border with Angola, provide a beautiful oasis and adventure activities. Mountain ranges near the Kunene River are rugged and impressive with the highest point being 2039m. The Epupa Falls & the Ruacana falls are both on the Kunene River.

Kaokoland, in the far north of Namibia is strictly for the more adventurous. The scenery is dramatic, there are small pockets of desert-adapted game, and it is home to the Namibia Himba and Herero people. It is a fragile environment where visitors must travel with local guides who know and are committed to the area. A high degree of cultural sensitivity is essential.

 

Kaokoland, Namibia

One of the best hidden safari destinations in Namibia, Kaokoland has many tourist attractions that will keep you on your toes and you will want to go back for more every time you are in the country. It is isolated from the rest of the country and bordered by the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean and this is one of the many reasons as to why there is less infiltration of the western world here and you will find that the locals that live in the area still practice their culture as it was practiced way back. From meeting the Himba people with their unique culture, driving to Damaraland for the unique experience with the rock painting, enjoying a kayaking and boating along the Kunene River to the Epupa falls. All these can only be experienced when you visit Kaokoland.

The main town of Kaokoland is known as the Opuwo town and this is where almost all the trips around the city are organized from and a shopping Centre for all the goods that you would want to buy. Kaokoland does not receive rainfall that much as compared to other areas in the country and that is why some people say that it can be visited all throughout the year but when the rainfalls set in, it is a much difficult to drive through Kaokoland because most of the roads are filled with sand which makes it a bit hard to drive through the muddy and flooded roads.

The best time for one to visit Kaokoland is during the dry season which is experienced from the month of May to October. This is because the dry weather is quite conducive for tourists to visit and see the different animals that roam around as they gather around the different water holes for water and the roads within Kaokoland are easily accessible during the dry season. The wet season is experienced from the months of November to March and even though there are a few activities that you can carry out during this time, it is advisable that you avoid them due to the heavy rains, bad roads and chilly weather. There are several tourist activities that you can carry out while in Kaokoland and some of these are:

Track animals in Kaokoland

Kaokoland is best explored while in a 4×4 and this is because of the many bad roads that are found in the area and if you ever want to learn how to track animals especially elephants then Kaokoland is the best place for you to be. Kaokoland is greatly known for the large herds of elephants that are found in this semi-Desert area and besides getting to see the large mammals, you will also be rewarded with the sight of a few other animals that are used to the harsh weather conditions on the area and these include the rare black rhino, lions, giraffes, kudus and many more other species. These animals are best seen as they trek to the River banks and the few water holes that are located within Kaokoland.

Explore the Damaraland

The Damaraland is a place where you will be able to enjoy some of the best rock art paintings in the country and these are believed to have been painted by the san who are the first inhabitants of the country. A cultural trip to the Damaraland will also lead you to the sand dunes that are close by in the Namib Desert and once here you can enjoy some quad biking and hiking up the sand dunes and while on a trip to the Namib Desert, make sure that you carry lots of water so as to keep hydrated.

 

 

 

Visit the Himba people

If any of the activities does not actually make you feel like a trip to Kaokoland is not worth it, then you should go visit the town because of the Himba people who live in the area. The traditions and cultural practices carried out by the Himba people are enough to pull you towards Kaokoland because this is one of the few tribes in Namibia that have not been infiltrated by the western culture. These semi-nomadic people will give you a whole new experience that you will find entertaining and who would not want to experience some of the things that have been listed below.

  • The Himba people are known to be generous people and when visitors come to their community, with the permission of the husband the wife freely offers the visitor sex so that they feel at home and the husband leaves the bedroom for them to enjoy.
  • Bathing is a taboo among the Himba and this is all because there is not enough water in this Desert area but what they do to keep warm is to smoke themselves with herbs under a blanket so that they keep clean.
  • The women also apply butter on their bodies and the red ochre on their bodies and this is used to keep them cool during the extremely hot weather.
  • They are polygamous people and they believe that the more cows you have, the wealthier you are and for both the girls and boys to be considered as adults, they have to undergo some rituals.
  • One of the easiest ways to try and tell how old the Himba people are is by looking at their hairstyles because every age bracket has a different hair style attached to it and you will also get to put on some of the best locally made necklaces in the town made by the Himba women.

If you ever want to experience the above and more and not forgetting their good local food, then you should take a trip down to Kaokoland because this is the only place that you will get to enjoy all this although you should be careful because they do not like it when foreigners come into their land and try to introduce new ways and methods of living.

The Epupa Falls

Known to be one of the major tourist attractions in Namibia, the Epupa Falls are located in Kaokoland and one of the many tourist attractions that you should visit while on a safari to Kaokoland. The Epupa Falls are located within Kaokoland and these get their water from the River Kunene all located in northern Namibia. The road that lead up to the Epupa Falls are not all that bad and the only time that you will need a 4×4 car is during the wet season and it is during the wet season that the Falls are magnificent and good to watch because of the increased water levels during this period. Some of the activities that you can carry out while at the Epupa falls include the following.

  • Birding, this is best done during the wet season and some of the common birds that you will get to see while at the Epupa Falls include the malachite kingfisher, the rosy faced lovebird, the sunbirds, the Monteiro’s hornbill, the rufous tailed palm thrush, the lesser masked weaver and many more other wonderful species.
  • Hiking, there are guided hikes around the water Falls that are organized for tourists and these will give you a closer look at the water Falls, get to see the poisonous plant that has been used by the Bushmen to hunt and some birds that habitate around the Falls.
  • Rafting, this is mostly done when the water levels are high and for all those that love adrenaline high activities and do not forget your camera as you head down to the Epupa falls for all the fun filled activities.

Go for a boat ride on the Kunene River

You cannot go to Kaokoland and not get to visit the Kunene River where you get to enjoy a boat ride with other tourists. It is located at the border of Angola and Namibia and while boat cruising, some of the activities that you can do include birding, fishing, animal viewing and a trip to the Epupa falls and all these will keep you entertained while on a safari to the Kaokoland. While enjoying your boat ride along the River, all tourists who love water rafting can still do the same with the help of a tour guide and as you head out for both the boat cruise and the water rafting do not forget to ask for life jackets in order to keep safe.

Kaokoland is surrounded with many other tourist destinations that you can visit after your full exploration of the town and some of these include Waterberg plateau, the Etosha national Park, the Erongo Mountains and the skeleton coast. And even though some of them are a bit far away from Kaokoland, you should add them to your bucket list so that you get the full experience of Namibia as one of the best safari destinations on the African continent. When it comes to accommodation facilities, there are several that you can pick from that fit into your budget and if you are not so sure of where to stay, you can ask your tour operator to help you with the best selection and remember to always go with a tour guide or if you are into self-drives, then get a map so that you do not get lost while exploring the intriguing Kaokoland city.

Kaokoland, Namibia

One of the best hidden safari destinations in Namibia, Kaokoland has many tourist attractions that will keep you on your toes and you will want to go back for more every time you are in the country. It is isolated from the rest of the country and bordered by the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean and this is one of the many reasons as to why there is less infiltration of the western world here and you will find that the locals that live in the area still practice their culture as it was practiced way back. From meeting the Himba people with their unique culture, driving to Damaraland for the unique experience with the rock painting, enjoying a kayaking and boating along the Kunene River to the Epupa falls. All these can only be experienced when you visit Kaokoland.

The main town of Kaokoland is known as the Opuwo town and this is where almost all the trips around the city are organized from and a shopping Centre for all the goods that you would want to buy. Kaokoland does not receive rainfall that much as compared to other areas in the country and that is why some people say that it can be visited all throughout the year but when the rainfalls set in, it is a much difficult to drive through Kaokoland because most of the roads are filled with sand which makes it a bit hard to drive through the muddy and flooded roads.

The best time for one to visit Kaokoland is during the dry season which is experienced from the month of May to October. This is because the dry weather is quite conducive for tourists to visit and see the different animals that roam around as they gather around the different water holes for water and the roads within Kaokoland are easily accessible during the dry season. The wet season is experienced from the months of November to March and even though there are a few activities that you can carry out during this time, it is advisable that you avoid them due to the heavy rains, bad roads and chilly weather. There are several tourist activities that you can carry out while in Kaokoland and some of these are:

Track animals in Kaokoland

Kaokoland is best explored while in a 4×4 and this is because of the many bad roads that are found in the area and if you ever want to learn how to track animals especially elephants then Kaokoland is the best place for you to be. Kaokoland is greatly known for the large herds of elephants that are found in this semi-Desert area and besides getting to see the large mammals, you will also be rewarded with the sight of a few other animals that are used to the harsh weather conditions on the area and these include the rare black rhino, lions, giraffes, kudus and many more other species. These animals are best seen as they trek to the River banks and the few water holes that are located within Kaokoland.

Explore the Damaraland

The Damaraland is a place where you will be able to enjoy some of the best rock art paintings in the country and these are believed to have been painted by the san who are the first inhabitants of the country. A cultural trip to the Damaraland will also lead you to the sand dunes that are close by in the Namib Desert and once here you can enjoy some quad biking and hiking up the sand dunes and while on a trip to the Namib Desert, make sure that you carry lots of water so as to keep hydrated.

 

 

 

Visit the Himba people

If any of the activities does not actually make you feel like a trip to Kaokoland is not worth it, then you should go visit the town because of the Himba people who live in the area. The traditions and cultural practices carried out by the Himba people are enough to pull you towards Kaokoland because this is one of the few tribes in Namibia that have not been infiltrated by the western culture. These semi-nomadic people will give you a whole new experience that you will find entertaining and who would not want to experience some of the things that have been listed below.

  • The Himba people are known to be generous people and when visitors come to their community, with the permission of the husband the wife freely offers the visitor sex so that they feel at home and the husband leaves the bedroom for them to enjoy.
  • Bathing is a taboo among the Himba and this is all because there is not enough water in this Desert area but what they do to keep warm is to smoke themselves with herbs under a blanket so that they keep clean.
  • The women also apply butter on their bodies and the red ochre on their bodies and this is used to keep them cool during the extremely hot weather.
  • They are polygamous people and they believe that the more cows you have, the wealthier you are and for both the girls and boys to be considered as adults, they have to undergo some rituals.
  • One of the easiest ways to try and tell how old the Himba people are is by looking at their hairstyles because every age bracket has a different hair style attached to it and you will also get to put on some of the best locally made necklaces in the town made by the Himba women.

If you ever want to experience the above and more and not forgetting their good local food, then you should take a trip down to Kaokoland because this is the only place that you will get to enjoy all this although you should be careful because they do not like it when foreigners come into their land and try to introduce new ways and methods of living.

The Epupa Falls

Known to be one of the major tourist attractions in Namibia, the Epupa Falls are located in Kaokoland and one of the many tourist attractions that you should visit while on a safari to Kaokoland. The Epupa Falls are located within Kaokoland and these get their water from the River Kunene all located in northern Namibia. The road that lead up to the Epupa Falls are not all that bad and the only time that you will need a 4×4 car is during the wet season and it is during the wet season that the Falls are magnificent and good to watch because of the increased water levels during this period. Some of the activities that you can carry out while at the Epupa falls include the following.

  • Birding, this is best done during the wet season and some of the common birds that you will get to see while at the Epupa Falls include the malachite kingfisher, the rosy faced lovebird, the sunbirds, the Monteiro’s hornbill, the rufous tailed palm thrush, the lesser masked weaver and many more other wonderful species.
  • Hiking, there are guided hikes around the water Falls that are organized for tourists and these will give you a closer look at the water Falls, get to see the poisonous plant that has been used by the Bushmen to hunt and some birds that habitate around the Falls.
  • Rafting, this is mostly done when the water levels are high and for all those that love adrenaline high activities and do not forget your camera as you head down to the Epupa falls for all the fun filled activities.

Go for a boat ride on the Kunene River

You cannot go to Kaokoland and not get to visit the Kunene River where you get to enjoy a boat ride with other tourists. It is located at the border of Angola and Namibia and while boat cruising, some of the activities that you can do include birding, fishing, animal viewing and a trip to the Epupa falls and all these will keep you entertained while on a safari to the Kaokoland. While enjoying your boat ride along the River, all tourists who love water rafting can still do the same with the help of a tour guide and as you head out for both the boat cruise and the water rafting do not forget to ask for life jackets in order to keep safe.

Kaokoland is surrounded with many other tourist destinations that you can visit after your full exploration of the town and some of these include Waterberg plateau, the Etosha national Park, the Erongo Mountains and the skeleton coast. And even though some of them are a bit far away from Kaokoland, you should add them to your bucket list so that you get the full experience of Namibia as one of the best safari destinations on the African continent. When it comes to accommodation facilities, there are several that you can pick from that fit into your budget and if you are not so sure of where to stay, you can ask your tour operator to help you with the best selection and remember to always go with a tour guide or if you are into self-drives, then get a map so that you do not get lost while exploring the intriguing Kaokoland city.

 

Kaokoland Safari Namibia

Kaokoland’s weather is harsh and extremely hot around midday and the rugged landscape is especially attractive during the early morning and late afternoon when it is transformed into softly glowing pastel shades.

For a bit of water adventure and sporting try white water rafting and canoeing on the Kunene River. The stretch of river normally traversed is the 120km between Ruacana and Epupa Falls

Epupa falls cascades through beautifully colored rocks and orchards of fig trees, giant baobabs and makalani palm trees then plunges 60m below for 1.5km sometimes to a width of 500m during the heavy rainy period. The waterfall’s name-Epupa is translated by the Heroro People to mean ‘spray created by falling water’. Below, the falls run into Kunene River created beautiful rapids with spectacular white water rafting rapids and often used for canoe rides. Ondurusa rapids are splendid for rafting as well as the other 13 rapids.

The Ruacana Falls Namibia are also located on Kunene River just 135km upstream form Epupa falls. They are 120m high and 700m wide in full flood. The cascading water stream below becomes glistening on the onset of the spectacular sunsets and also offers water ports like swimming, however be ware of looming crocodiles on the river bank.

Epupa Falls Namibia

Epupa Falls

Kaokoland wildlife

The desert elephant found in Kaokoland Namibia is a rare species of wildlife exclusively adapted to the harsh desert weather similar to those living the border of Mali desert in Mali. There are also a few remaining Black rhinos living in Kaokoland and many of them are endangered by the increasing poaching activity. Other mammals present here include leopards, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, antelopes and large herds of Zebra that reside in the Zebra Mountains.

Bird watching is most rewarding around the permanent waters of the Kunene River and regular sights include the rare Rufoustailed palm thrush, as well as bee-eaters, the African fish eagle and Kingfishers ranging from giant to the tiny Malachite Kingfisher.

Near the hot water spring at Warmquelle is the ruined palm fringed fort called Sesfontein, desolated police post after a century now a tourist accommodation unit. Sesfontein Fort derives its name from the six fountains which have their source in the vicinity.

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