Ruacana Falls

Travel to Ruacana – Namibias northern gateway to Angola

A few kilometres west of Ruacana the highland of Ovambo drops steeply. This stretch of the road is particularly beautiful in the early morning light, with the huge water surface of the dammed-up Kunene glittering on your right side. Despite the Ruacana Falls not being the destination they once were, this corner of the country is still worth a visit. Ruacana Falls are 15 km from Ruacana, and the falls can still be spectacular, but this requires consistent heavy rains (i.e. summer). For views of the falls, March to April are your best bets to see water crashing over the rocks.

The Ruacana Falls are located on the border of Namibia and Angola & are mostly controlled by a dam upstream. The Ruacana falls provide fresh water to the northern part of Namibia and the southern part of Angola. They are a valuable source of hydroelectric power and a main attraction of Namibia. They are about 120 m deep and 700 m wide, but these days water gushes over the falls only after particularly good rains, when the sluice gates have to be opened. Otherwise the water is fed through the turbines of the hydroelectric power station.

Technically-minded visitors can go for a tour of the power station. Guides trained by Nacobta can show you the falls on a walk along the Kunene and they can also take you to one of the traditional OvaHimba villages in the vicinity (see the Northwest above).


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