Though visitors go to Kaokoland more for the whole experience than any individual sight, Epupa is one of its highlights.
About 145km west of Ruacana, the Kunene River is already threading its way through the Baynes Mountains, en route to the Atlantic. It winds between arid hills and wild, rough-looking mountains on both sides. Angola lies to its north, Namibia to its south: both look identical. As it meanders east, a thin strip of verdant palm-forest lines its path. Photogenic, feathery fronds of green Makalani palms extend for perhaps only 30m from the river itself. Further from the water than that, the land reverts to its parched, dry state: the preserve of the Kaokoveld's semi-desert flora and fauna.
Here at Epupa the river widens to accommodate a few small islands, before plunging into a geological fault. This is 35m deep in places and, as the river is sizeable, it makes a lot of noise and some spray. The Epupa Falls don't compare with Victoria Falls in scale, but they are all the more beautiful for occurring in such an arid region. Add to the scene a phalanx of watchful baobabs, many balancing improbably on precarious rocks above the chasms, or standing forlornly on the small islands in the stream. It's a magical spot.