Ruacana Travel Guide

It is located on the border with Angola on the river Kunene. The town is known for the picturesque Ruacana Falls nearby, and for the Ruacana Power Station.

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All the info to prepare your trip to Ruacana. How to get in, maps, activities & where...

Ruacana is a town in Omusati Region, northern Namibia and the district capital of the Ruacana electoral constituency. It is located on the border with Angola on the river Kunene. The town is known for the picturesque Ruacana Falls nearby, and for the Ruacana Power Station.

The Ruacana Falls and Epupa Falls are created by the Kunene River on the border of Angola and Namibia, in the Kaokoland area of the Kunene Region. The river is 0.5 km wide and drops in a series of waterfalls spread over 1.5 km, with the greatest single drop being 37 m. The name “Epupa” is a Herero word for “foam”, in reference to the foam created by the falling water. Despite being difficult to reach (a 4WD vehicle is needed to reach them from Opuwo), the falls are a major visitor attraction in Namibia, because of the largely unspoiled environment, with fig trees, baobabs, makalani palms, and colored rock walls framing the falls.

The Himba are an ethnic group of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region (formerly Kaokoland). Recently they have built two villages in Kamanjab which have become tourist destinations. They are mostly a nomadic, pastoral people, closely related to the Herero, and speak Otjihimba, a dialect of the Herero language.

Ruacana was developed around a major underground hydroelectric plant linked to the nearby dam across the border in Angola at Calueque. The dam and pumping station were bombed in a Cuban airstrike in 1988, during the Angolan Civil War. The facility was partially repaired and today NamPower operates three turbines producing a maximum of 240 megawatts.

Ruacana is the native of the Ovazemba and Ovahimba people. The name Ruacana originated from one the first settlers in Ruacana called Ruhakana. The town was therefore named after Mr. Ruhakana although it is currently wrongly written as Ruacana. Ruacana’s settlement status was upgraded to that of a village in 2005, and to town in 2010.

The place normally receives an annual average rainfall of 426 millimetres (16.8 in), although in the 2010/2011 rainy season 960 millimetres (38 in) were measured.

The 600 hectares (1,500 acres) farm Etunda is situated near Ruacana. It is run as a government supported irrigation scheme and has been established in 1993. Half of the farm is commercial irrigation land, the other half is allocated to 82 small-scale farmers. Etunda cultivates maize, wheat, watermelons, bananas, and other produce.

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Ruacana is a town in Omusati Region, northern Namibia and the district capital of the Ruacana electoral constituency. It is located on the border with Angola on the river Kunene. The town is known for the picturesque Ruacana Falls nearby, and for the Ruacana Power Station.

Travel and tourism in Ruacana. How to get in, maps, activities & where to eat and sleep. Download the Free Ruacana Travel Guide.

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Michel Piccaya

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As a freelance travel photographer, Michel Piccaya has been on the road worldwide for more than 20 years, exploring the most incredible itineraries. He’s currently based in Brussels however never stays at home for a long time !

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