Popa Falls is a welcome stop-over for visitors travelling between Rundu
and Katima Mulilo, and is a convenient base for those wishing
to explore the nearby Mahango Game Park.
The rest camp on the banks of the Kavango River is dominated by
mature stands of knob thorn and dense bush willow scrub.
Much to the credit of Namibia's conservation authorities, the vegetation
was disturbed as little as possible when the rest camp was being built
and today the tall, shady trees are much appreciated after a long, hot
From the camp it is an easy ramble to the falls. A wooden bridge has
been built across the channel that flows past the camp sites. This gives
day visitors access to an island, on which a short walk will bring them
to the cascades.
Provided the level of the river is low, it is possible to boulder-hop
across some of the smaller channels to get a better view of the falls.
However, you must not expect to see a waterfall in the true sense of the
|The name is a misnomer as the
falls are nothing more than a series of rapids created by a rocky
quartzite ledge which obstructs the course of the Kavango River at this
point. Although the rapids have a total drop of only about 4 m, they
extend across the full width of the river - about 1,2 km at Popa.
When the river is in flood, the rocky ledge is submerged - the cascades
are, therefore, best viewed during the dry season when the fully-exposed
ledge reveals a multitude of rushing channels and small islands.
The turn-off to Popa Falls Rest camp is sign posted 210 km east of Rundu
on the B8 to Katima Mulilo. Turn right here and follow the road to
Botswana for 5 km to reach the entrance gate of the rest camp.
BAGANI AIR STRIP:
180706 S, 213747 E
Runway East West; 1000 m; Gravel
Visitors can choose between staying in rustic thatched-roofed huts and
pitching a tent in the shady camp site. Each hut consists of two rooms
with two beds each, as well as a large balcony with a bench, table and
Cooking is not permitted inside the huts, but there are outside
fireplaces, as well as a communal field kitchen equipped with a
refrigerator, freezer and scullery. The central Boma is ideal for
groups. The ablution facilities are, likewise, communal.
Gas lighting, bedding, towels and soap are supplied, but visitors must
bring their own cooking and eating utensils.
The camp site is served by a communal kitchen and ablutions.
Although non-perishables and cool drinks are available from a kiosk
adjacent to the reception office, you are well advised to be
Petrol is not sold in the park, but is usually obtainable at Divundu
near Bagani Bridge or at Mukwe 17 km further west.
Popa Falls: Opens sunrise and closes at sunset.
Only four persons allowed per hut.
Fishing only with a licence is permitted (obtainable from the office at
Open all year.
No pets or motor-cycles allowed.