In the far north western corner of Namibia, lies a wild and sparsely populated place that stretches from the Kunene River bordering Angola, southwards to the ephemeral Hoanib.
This is the Koakoland, one of the last great wildernesses on earth where the semi-nomadic Himba still live according to the old ways and where the wild things roam free. Gemsbok, desert elephant, springbok, ostrich and giraffe wander a timeless landscape of rock and plain, blissfully unaware of the world of men.
The word remote takes on a whole new significance here in the Koakoland and for me it is one of the most beautiful on earth. This desert, the red dust, the burnt cliffs and the endless sky. This is a place that lies at the end of all roads.
Separating one vast wilderness from another the 1200km-long Kunene River creates the border between Namibia and Angola. Originating in the Angolan highlands the river trips and falls over the vast 120m high crevice of the awe inspiring Ruacana Falls, rushing onwards through the rocky gorge of Epupa to continue on through the labyrinth of rock and stone of the Baynes Mountains in its eagerness to meet the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ruacana is among the largest waterfalls in Africa, both by volume and width and when in full flood like it is now in 2020, it is no exaggeration to say it rivals Victoria Falls in grandeur.
This is a place untouched by tourism and so isolated one feels like one of the original explorers discovering a scene so magnificent it defies description.
Experiencing the falls from the seat of an aircraft and watching resolute baobabs cling to rocky precipices, as torrents of water roar into a cauldron of rainbows and frothy mayhem is a sight one is soon not forget. The reward is nothing less than an unforgettable relationship with one of Africa’s greatest natural wonders.
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ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Flying thousands of hours in their specially modified aircraft, aerial photographers Jay and Jan Roode have spent more than a decade photographing some of the most remote and spectacular wilderness areas of Southern Africa from above.
The continent of Africa has always held an irresistible allure and fascination for them and they seem content only when free to roam the skies, capturing awe inspiring
images of the natural wonders of the region