18-Jul-2004 -- This is the northernmost Confluence in the Republic of Namibia, the only one on the 17th latitude. We were extremely excited at the prospect of being the first visitors to this point. The reason for the trip to Epupa Falls was to deliver much needed medical equipment to the rural clinic situated 1 km upstream from the falls.
The Epupa Falls clinic is a basic rural medical clinic but provides essential primary health care to the Himba communities on both sides of the river. As a trustee of the Dr Paul Coulson Foundation, it was a great honour of mine to be fortunate enough to deliver the medical supplies personally. The Dr Paul Coulson Foundation has contributed extensively through fund raising efforts over the past 5 years towards the infrastructure of this clinic. The equipment we handed over to health worker Karutjaiva was only part of a substantial donation towards this project by the French Embassy of Namibia. Should anyone wish to support efforts of the Dr Paul Coulson Foundation, kindly contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A visit from Epupa Falls to 17S 13E is highly recommended and holds many challenges for the experienced off-road enthusiast. You should allow roughly three hours for a return trip of 50 km in total. An old existing military track to the west into the Baynes mountain range will take you to the Confluence, over very rocky terrain but through the most spectacular mountain passes, past running water (even in July) and past villages of the Himba communities.
As usual, we were once again racing against a setting sun. We stopped 40 meters below the Confluence and climbed the steep rocky mountain as fast as possible. The view to the South shows the track passing below. Steenbuck and Damara Dik-Dik are common sights on this route.