KUNENE

cascades on the

EPUPA FALLS

The Kunene River serves as the border between Namibia and Angola. The water flows from the Angolan Highlands and make their way towards the Atlantic Ocean. On its long journey the rivers waters tumble down a number of waterfalls but none are as spectacular as the Epupa Falls. This is a visual story of an African wonder.

At first sight the waterfall seems nothing more than a single gorge surrounded by Makolani palms. As you walk closer to the tumbling waters the sound of thunder becomes apparent and you realise there is more in store than a single cascade.

An elevated view exposes the truth, your eyes adjust and your head turns west, there is more than meets the eye. A deep cavern sucks in thousands of litres a minute and the source of that thunder becomes apparent.

Smaller tributaries trickle down the surrounding cliffs and you become aware of the bigger picture. Twisted Baobab trees cling to every rock face as billowing plumes of spray shillouette them in the golden morning light.

The wrapping mist brings further questions, how, what & where. Water surrounds the area and the closer you look the more falls appear. Another gorge becomes visible and your feet propel you along the snaking goat track to catch a better view

The gorge opens up before your eyes and you are stuck to the spot, you can only sit and stare. Details appear. Twisted roots, precariously balanced seed pods and smaller twisting falls seem to spring to life as confusion takes hold as to where you are supposed to stare.

The waterfalls do not end there. Over a kilometre and a half on and you are still seeing new details. The rivers fury has slowed but it has allowed younger trees to take hold. Like a nursery for the little baobabs and trickling waterfalls they stand growing and learning what it takes to be a part of the bigger picture.

The waterfalls end and like a type writer resetting itself your head is thrown back towards the largest gorge. Thoughts and ideas swell as the local Himba weave their way along the ancient paths. They are the subjects now and the waterfall becomes the backdrop to one of Africa's most special sights.

As the days light fades movement becomes apparent. You are not the only one marvelling at the waters beauty. Etched along the cliffs stand numerous Himba. Socialising or staring they survey this ancient scene, drinking in the light the Himba are drawn into their sacred place.

As the last light of day disappears so do the Himba. Hushed voices and bare feet float along the dusty paths, each one racing off to separate locations in order to beat the evening chill. Morning will come soon and the sun will rise again over the distant Angolan hills allowing the Epupa falls to be admired all over again.

THE END

If you would like to experience Epupa Falls for yourself or capture some stunning images of the Himba, how about joining me on my 14 day Namibian Photographic Experience on the 24th May - 6th of June 2016. For more details please see: www.benmcraephotography.com

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