Epupa falls from angolan side?





Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Prague
    Age
    56
    Posts
    346
    Thanked: 91

    Default Epupa falls from angolan side?

    Hello everybody,
    I started to prepare our trip to south Angola in May 2020. We will be travelling in three rental Hiluxes with RTT. I am using trip reports of Stan Weakley, Wazungu Wawili and Hugo Minnaar as my main source of infomation. This is my planned route: https://bit.ly/2xNgGlB. About 21 days from Windhoek to Victoria falls. The vehicle drop-off will be Kasane. We will have to use the Oshikango/Santa Clara border as apparently this is the only land border to go with e-visa approval letter. I would be gratefull for any comments and hints.

    I have few questins to Angola experts:
    1) T4A shows the route from Oncocua to Pediva Hot Springs through Iona NP. How bad is this track? I negotiated these difficult roads during my travels so far: Klein Serengeti (riverbed crossing behind Khowarib Schlucht), Khaudum NP towards B8 tar road, north "waterfall road" in Zambia (Lumangwe falls to Ndole Bay around Lake Mweru-Wantipa)etc. Is it possible to compare Iona NP tracks with aforementioned tracks?
    2) How bad would be the detour to see Epupa falls from Angolan side? I have seen them three times, but not my travel companions. Stan mentioned it should be extremely difficult and not worth the riisk. Anyone with his/her own experience?
    3) Would you suggest to return from Lubango the same way back (use Santa Clara again) or rather a detour through Menongue to Katwiitwi?
    Thanks Petr
    .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Age
    63
    Posts
    195
    Thanked: 125

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    We put a couple of posts on Angola , I think youíll find our comments on trying to get to Epupa on one of them . If you look on page three of this Angola forum youíll see a post called ďIona as we saw itĒ . If the situation has not changed since then, I doubt it has, then it will not be possible to drive there, youíll need to hike about 6 kms

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to africancats For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    I donít know about visiting Epupa Falls from the Angolan side, but I would hazard a guess that the track will be as challenging as it was when Africancats did it.

    Here is our actual GPS route from June 2018. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...8177025873&z=6

    From your planned route, my comment would be that you are missing some of the best things to see in Angola. If you like waterfalls, both the Binga waterfalls and the Calendula waterfalls are sights to see.

    From your planned route, you are also not seeing the true wonders of Iona National Park. It is one of the most spectacular places we have seen in Africa.

    We did not drive the route from Oncocua to Pediva - we drove in from Ruacana to Iona National Park - so cannot comment. This is a wild and remote part of the world, so I would guess that the route you have planned is equally wild and remote.

    We too have driven some remote and rough tracks throughout Africa - eastern Lake Turkana in Kenya, the ď05Ē in Zambia, and through northern Kaokoland. We drove solo from Ruacana to Iona National Park, and this was some of roughest and remotest tracks we have driven. It was continuously tough for the 3 days it took us from Ruacana to Espenhierra and the Iona NP headquarters. All fuel and water need to be carried.

    I think it is possible to enter Angola at Oshikango/Santa Clara and then link up with the tough track which we took from Ruacana to Iona NP.

    Good luck and please let the forum know how you get on with your planning. And please, please write a trip report!

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  6. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    East London
    Age
    66
    Posts
    4,387
    Thanked: 2514

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    Hi Petr, pleased to see that you have Angola in your sights. I concurr with everything WW points out.
    One of our group during our Angolan trip had previously tried to reach Epupa Falls from the Angolan side. If I remember correctly he mentioned even worse roads than those through Iona and the far south of Angola that we used. Also I think that they or others had a reasonably long hike to reach to get to the falls after running out of traversable tracks. Perhaps Jan will like to comment further.

    My advice is to spend as much time as you can spare in the south. It is like Kaokoveld but less traveled and unspoilt. Iona is indeed beautiful but has relatively few animals, it is about the wilderness and isolation. Whereas in Namibia one cannot travel much of the Namib Desert coast, in southern Angola there is access to this type of unique environment. I would advise making the most of it. The coast further nothward becomes quite tropical and also deserves time.

    Enjoy your planning and yes feedback is always appreciated.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    ďGreat journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you campedĒ.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

    Trans East Africa 2015/2016 Trip report http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/...e16?highlight= from post 315.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Stan Weakley For This Useful Post:


  8. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Prague
    Age
    56
    Posts
    346
    Thanked: 91

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wazungu Wawili View Post
    From your planned route, you are also not seeing the true wonders of Iona National Park. It is one of the most spectacular places we have seen in Africa.

    We did not drive the route from Oncocua to Pediva - we drove in from Ruacana to Iona National Park - so cannot comment. This is a wild and remote part of the world, so I would guess that the route you have planned is equally wild and remote.
    I am planning to go through Iona NP but my mapping application do not know the bush track from Oncocua to Pediva, only T4A does. I would not try to negotiate neither "05" road through SLNP nor Van Zyl Pass with rental vehicles when there are technically safer roads around. Are Iona NP tracks equally challening as those ones?
    Anybody with personal experience from Oncocua-Pediva route?

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Prague
    Age
    56
    Posts
    346
    Thanked: 91

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post

    My advice is to spend as much time as you can spare in the south. It is like Kaokoveld but less traveled and unspoilt. Iona is indeed beautiful but has relatively few animals, it is about the wilderness and isolation. Whereas in Namibia one cannot travel much of the Namib Desert coast, in southern Angola there is access to this type of unique environment. I would advise making the most of it. The coast further nothward becomes quite tropical and also deserves time.
    Unfortunately we will have only about 10 days in Angola from our 21 days trip. I will have to carefully balance the mix of animals (Etosha, Caprivi NP), people ("forgotten tribes" of south Angola), wilderness (Iona NP) and relax (Binga Bay, Victoria falls) for my people, usually African novices.

  10. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Bethlehem
    Age
    68
    Posts
    854
    Thanked: 241

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    Schwott I did it and can say you need a lot of experience in hectic off-road driving to do it , and don't even think of do-ing it with Rental Hiluxes , plus to do it from Iona to Ruacana will take 5days .

    The country side .
    .Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Dag 4 029.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	389.2 KB 
ID:	534157
    The road is cattle track's from the Falls to Iona .
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Dag 4 027.jpg 
Views:	42 
Size:	508.2 KB 
ID:	534158

    Road along Kunene to get to the Falls
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Dag 2 049.jpg 
Views:	43 
Size:	522.8 KB 
ID:	534159

    You have to do a few stream crossings to get to the Falls
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Dag 3 027.jpg 
Views:	47 
Size:	361.5 KB 
ID:	534161

    This was my Transport .
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Dag 2 046.jpg 
Views:	48 
Size:	495.2 KB 
ID:	534165
    Cruiser 76 EFI 4.5 FullTime 4x4
    Cruiser 78 4.2 Diesel
    Cruiser 79 4.2 Diesel Full Time 4x4

  11. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Swart Jan For This Useful Post:


  12. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Age
    63
    Posts
    195
    Thanked: 125

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    We took the southern route from Monte Negro to the Olopima river ( on our map marked overgrown and rocky, itís rocky but itís not overgrown) and thus up to Pediva via Otechifeng. Itís a rough journey and youíll be in trouble if something goes wrong . We were in a 76cruiser. Iím with Swart Jan, I donít think a highlux is tough enough, itíll probably get through provided the CV joints or transfer box donít start playing up but itís just not as solid. The rental highluxís are often on 235 r16ís, just not big enough in my opinion.
    I really do not think it would be wise to take novice drivers on that route in any circumstance.

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to africancats For This Useful Post:


  14. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Prague
    Age
    56
    Posts
    346
    Thanked: 91

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    Quote Originally Posted by africancats View Post
    We took the southern route from Monte Negro to the Olopima river ( on our map marked overgrown and rocky, it’s rocky but it’s not overgrown) and thus up to Pediva via Otechifeng. It’s a rough journey and you’ll be in trouble if something goes wrong . We were in a 76cruiser. I’m with Swart Jan, I don’t think a highlux is tough enough, it’ll probably get through provided the CV joints or transfer box don’t start playing up but it’s just not as solid. The rental highlux’s are often on 235 r16’s, just not big enough in my opinion.
    I really do not think it would be wise to take novice drivers on that route in any circumstance.
    Thank you for all contributions. OK, I will omit Epupa falls. My road would be Oncocua, Moimba, Otechifeng, Pediva then. Also not suitable for novice drivers and would be better to avoid Iona NP at all and stick with my proposed itinerary? I want to play it safe.
    Last edited by schwott; 2019/07/17 at 07:37 PM. Reason: typo mistake

  15. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    I agree with all the comments above.

    You do not have time to even get to Pediva and back in 10 days. Plus there is no guarantee that the track from Oncocua to Pediva is any better than the track from Ruacana to Iona. The topography of the ground is likely to be similar and there are mountains to be crossed. You could check it out on Google Earth to see if it still actually exists.

    I also agree that hired Hiluxes aren’t good enough to do the job. I wonder why Namibian rental companies allow their vehicles to be taken to Angola? You would also need the original registration documents and, probably, a letter of authority (in Portuguese) to clear Angolan customs.

    The only way I can see that you could do any of your planned route in 10 days is to take the tarred road from Oshikango to Lubango. Then Lubango to Namibe down the Sera de Laba pass and return the same way. The going is slow in Angola.

    Are you doing this as a commercial enterprise with these novice drivers? I am of the opinion that Angola is definitely not for Africa novices. It is hardcore overlanding.

    Here are our actual GPS tracks overlaid on satellite imagery. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...9268306164&z=9 [EDIT: sorry, it doesn’t seem to hold the satellite imagery, but if you scroll down on the left hand side, click on the satellite imagery box.] You can see the mountains and ridges north of our track that you would have to cross on your current planned route. Please note also that it took us 8 hours to do that small section between wild camp 1 and wild camp 2. There is no town or village at the place called Moimba on the map (and you will see that we camped above a dry riverbed not far from this fictitious place).

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2019/07/17 at 09:29 PM.

  16. The Following User Says Thank You to Wazungu Wawili For This Useful Post:


  17. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Prague
    Age
    56
    Posts
    346
    Thanked: 91

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    I have good relationship with one SA rental company and they'll make an exception for me and allow me to take their vehicles to Angola.

    I am not crazy enough to take my people to the road similar to "05" through SLNP. But I always put some real African tracks (you might call it hardcore overlanding) with bushcampings to my itineraries. Not many people travelled the north "waterfall" road from Lumangwe Falls to Ndole Bay along the DRC border as African novices. Yes, it was tedious, slow (150 km in 10 hours), but we/they will always remember it. At the checkpoint near Lake Mweru Wantipa we were told that we are the first tourists for 14 days (after 2 German tourists traveling alone). We brought our rental vehicles to Lilongwe for the second group to take the cars back to Victoria falls. I knew they are crazy off-roaders and they negotiated "05". They were told at the gate to be first vehicles through it in 7 months (June 201. Even for them it was very tough. Respect. As I said, I'm not crazy and thankful for your advice.

  18. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    UK
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,365
    Thanked: 956

    Default Re: Epupa falls from angolan side?

    Quote Originally Posted by schwott View Post

    I am not crazy enough to take my people to the road similar to "05" through SLNP.


    I knew they are crazy off-roaders and they negotiated "05". They were told at the gate to be first vehicles through it in 7 months (June 201. Even for them it was very tough. Respect. As I said, I'm not crazy and thankful for your advice.
    The “05” up the Muchinga escarpment in Zambia is tough and tortuous on vehicles. However, to put it all in perspective vis-a-vis SW Angola, the 1,000 metre climb up the Muchinga escarpment takes about an hour of intense concentration and experienced 4x4 driving skills. There are also rangers at the bottom and top of the escarpment climb.

    The route we (and others on the forum) have driven from Ruacana to Iona National Park in Angola is, undoubtedly, a tough route. However, this is a minimum three day drive with many, many dry river bed crossings which require good 4x4 skills.

    But the major difference is that this is a three day drive as opposed to a tough one/two hour section on the “05” in Zambia. On the route we took from Ruacana to Iona National Park there is a good chance that someone would come past to assist if you have a breakdown before you die of thirst. There are no rangers and one is far from help.

    The unknown route you are proposing might not see another vehicle for months instead of weeks.

    If you are determined to take novice Africa drivers to southern Angola, then please stick with the route we have all advised.

    If you are doing this as a commercial venture, it is not up to forum members to plan your trip for you, but many of us are worried whether you understand what you are taking on with total novices.
    Last edited by Wazungu Wawili; 2019/07/23 at 01:40 AM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •