Epupa Falls Lodge & Campsite
- Longitude: 13.245
- Latitude: -17.002111
- Camp Sites
Epupa Falls Lodge & Campsite
Welcome to the privately owned and owner managed Epupa Falls Lodge & Campsite. Situated on the banks of the mighty Cunene River, we offer the best seats in the house when it comes to viewing the Epupa Falls.
Whether you are into Namibian cultures, exotic birds or just relaxing, we will definitely have something for you. Contact Us for the best rates and current specials.
Epupa Falls Lodge
Crawling along dusty roads through dry riverbeds, dodging a goat or cow, the route reminds one of a scene from Dirty Harry. Except that here you find the Himba and that your destination is so much more scenic than any town in a Western-movie. The last 40 kilometers is dotted with rock marvels, stunning Baobabs and then finally… a green oasis of Makalani Palms hiding the very essence of this place, Epupa Falls.
Right here, on the edge of this small desert wonder, is the very heart of Epupa, Epupa Falls Lodge. It has been here forever, since before the arrival of tour buses and self-drive adventurers from every nation across the globe. Back in the day, it was only a campsite with a fantastic view, now it is both lodge and campsite at one of the most marvelous places in Namibia.
The Cunene region is already a very popular destination for cultural enthusiasts that want to meet the Ovahimba up close and personal. Add to this the mighty Cunene and it’s even more spectacular falls, and we have a top destination. We now have added a new dimension to our top destination – Epupa Falls Lodge.
From any of the 5 chalets you have a breath-taking view right onto the falls. The limited number of chalets ensures that you receive personal attention and are treated as a special guest. Not only are the chalets built from mostly local materials, they are also built on stilts which ensures better views on the falls and better birding.
When you finally get tired of the view, why not join us on the deck for a drink from our very popular bar or even sample a snack from Christa’s kitchen? While enjoying an ice cold beer, you can tap into the knowledge of Koos Verwey who has been here for no less than 24 years. He has a solid reputation with his dedication and loyalty to the local people.
Koos’s intimate experience in this area will ensure that your activities are extraordinary; whether you go on an excursion to the local people, go for a hike, or a day journey through the area.
Combine all this and flavour it with delicious local meals, and you have the recipe for a well-deserved break at EPUPA FALLS LODGE.
Our prices are very competitive and certainly well worth the money you will spend, considering the facilities on offer and the picture perfect location.
Finally, Epupa Falls Lodge can be reached by any type of car during the dry season, and the closest airstrip is 7 km away. A 4×4 is recommended during the wet season.
Epupa Falls Campsite
Epupa Falls Campsite was conceived on the 13th May 1990. On the 29th August 1991 we started to develop the campsite. On those first visits, not a single hut or any sign of development was visible in the Epupa valley.
Off course things are never as easy as they first seem and a meeting with Chief Kapika through the then chief warden, Chris Eyre had to be arranged. Amos, a local lad, was employed to help clean the prospective campsite.
First we only had long drops (bush toilets) but the need for water soon became apparent and the first water tanks were put up. Showers and flushing toilets followed with fire places (barbeque areas) for the hungry campers. Everything was very basic and even more rustic. We only had Mopani poles and reed to use. The more we built, the more people arrived and soon the first fence needed to be erected to provide some form of privacy to the campers.
And so Epupa turned into a town. Next to Epupa Campsite, Omarunga Lodge started to develop. A little shop soon followed and today more than 500 people live in the Epupa valley. A police station was erected and a clinic was built – Epupa town was pinned on the map. Yet another lodge was built further upstream.
As word reached the outside world, our campsite had to grow and one very hot December we built donkeys for hot water showers. The need for local guides grew bigger and by the turn of the century Koos Verwey, the owner of Epupa Falls Campsite, helped to organise two training courses and the current craft center close to the falls was built with money from the NNF. Shortly after this, a few hiking trails were set with the trained guides.
Time moved on and Epupa campsite needed a face lift. Early 2010, Koos and Amos started the revamp process. The campsite was halved as they started to build Epupa Falls Lodge. Using mostly local materials 5 chalets were built on stilts and our small deck was turned into a fully functional bar and kitchen. Keeping everything as natural as possible, Epupa Falls Lodge and Campsite came into being.
But 25 years didn’t come without its challenges. Over the years we had to battle two big fires and a mighty flood in 2011. The flood brought many challenges like simply talking over the thunder of the water. The ground vibrated under our feet as Koos tried to save what could be rescued.
But for Koos the biggest development is his relationship with the original inhabitants. The language in itself proved an obstacle, even with the help of translators, ideas always seemed to clash. The result of endless hours under trees and in immense heat is commitment and loyalty from the Himba leaders.
Epupa Falls Lodge & Campsite; where you are constantly reminded of the pulse of water and where better to feel this living vein than on the deck of the man who saw the potential of these falls 25 years ago?
Map and Directions to Epupa Falls Lodge & Campsite
GPS: 17° 0'7.60" S / 13° 14'42.00" E
Directions to Epupa Falls Lodge & Campsite from Opuwo:
- Take the C43 gravel road northwards. (Green line)
- This road will take you through the villages of Epembe and Okongwati.
- Follow all the way to Epupa.
- As you come into the village of Epupa, you will see on your right the new Namibian Police buildings and on your left rows and rows of Makalani Palm trees.
- We are the first lodge & campsite on the left.
- Our chalets are on stilts and cannot be missed.
- Location in relation to the falls – our chalets and restaurant area look right onto the top of the falls.
Directions to Epupa Falls Lodge & Campsite from Ruacana:
Option A: Take the C35 and head southwards to Etosha.
- Turn west on the C39 and head to Opuwo.
- Follow directions as described above.
Option B: From Ruacana take the gravel D3700 along the Cunene River westwards. (Dotted Green Line)
- At Swartbooisdrift turn onto the D3701 and head to Epembe.
- From Epembe follow the C43 northwards to Epupa. (Directions above).
Option C: On many maps and in many adventure magazines a road is indicated from Ruacana to Epupa along the Cunene. This is not a road. It’s a track at the best of time and should only be driven by mature and experienced drivers in well-equipped 4×4’s and no trailers – not even the 4×4 ones. (Your luxury SUV will not suffice). Should you decide to take this road, please inform your next destination of your planned route. If you do not turn up at the lodge that help can be sent. Please note that cell phone reception is not guaranteed.
(Please note that if you are travelling with your wife/mother-in-law, you might not survive the route in any case.)