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Kunene is a region in northwestern Namibia.


Map of Kunene

  • 1 Kamanjab Kamanjab on Wikipedia
  • 2 Khorixas — near an important deposit of petrified wood and the Twyfelfontein valley, known for its rock art
  • 3 Opuwo — the capital of Kunene
  • 4 Outjo — the gateway to the Etosha National Park
  • 5 Sesfontein Sesfontein on Wikipedia — a sleepy settlement with a re-built German fort

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Kaokoland — connected to the rest of the world by 4WD-only tracks, this is the remotest part of the country and is the home of the Himba tribe
  • 2 Skeleton Coast National Park — has the country's most inaccessible shores, dotted with shipwrecks
  • 3 Epupa Falls — next to the D3700, Epupa, on the Kunene River, is a scenic waterfall on the Kunene River
  • 4 Twyfelfontein Twyfelfontein on Wikipedia — the largest repository of San art in Namibia and an UNESCO World Heritage site


Kunene is situated on the Atlantic Ocean and borders Angola in the north. It has domestic borders with the Four-O region in the northwest, Otjozondjupa in the east, and Erongo in the south.

Compared to the rest of Namibia, Kunene is relatively underdeveloped. This is due to the mountainous inaccessible geography and the dryness that significantly hinders agriculture.

Kunene is home to the Himba people, a subtribe of the Herero. The most commonly spoken languages at home were Otjiherero languages (42% of households) and Nama/Damara (36%).


Get in[edit]

Due to the scarcity of other options, most travellers will arrive by car. There are no national roads (B roads) in Kunene. The major roads leading into the region are the C38 from Otjiwarongo to Outjo, the C138 from Etosha National Park, and the C46 from Oshakati to Ruacana. There are no major airports in the region but a lot of small airstrips, suitable for 2 and 4 seaters.

By public transport[edit]

Between towns you can catch a minibus. Opuwo has local shared taxis that can take you around.

Get around[edit]

The C39 from Outjo to Khorixas, the C40 from Outjo to Kamanjab, the C35 from Kamanjab to Ruacana, the C138 from Etosha, and the C41 to Opuwo, are all tarred. All other C-roads are rough, and heavily corrugated gravel roads that are just about passable with an ordinary sedan. With a few exceptions any other road requires a 4x4.

Keep in mind that in entire Kaokoland (the northwest of the region) only Opuwo has a petrol station. At smaller places you can buy petrol in 5-liter cans at an inflated price. Diesel likely comes from neighboring Angola where it is much cheaper and of inferior quality, but with a car that requires clean Diesel fuel you should not be visiting this area, anyway.




A few popular tourist destinations are touristically well developed. Everywhere else you are on your own, with communal camps (camp sites without potable water or electricity) often the only option for accommodation. Unlike the indigenous Ovahimba people you will not find water in the dry savannah and need to bring it along.

Stay safe[edit]

Cholera is a major concern in Kunene Region, particularly near the border with Angola.

All of northern Namibia is a Malaria risk zone. Take the necessary precautions. Cholera is a major concern in Kunene Region, particularly near the border with Angola.

The Kunene River has crocodiles and hippos. It is not safe to swim there. Outside the settlements it is not safe to even go near, as hippos are both aggressive and territorial and can easily outrun a human on land.

The dry riverbeds north of the Swakop River are inhabited by desert elephants. If you are driving through one of the rivers, remember that the area is theirs, not yours. They certainly know it. Don't drive too close towards a herd of elephants. 10-15 m is close enough for good holiday pictures and will normally not put your party in danger. Otherwise, the younger ones might play with your car, the older ones might get angry, either way your car might end upside down. You'll know that an elephant is angry when it shakes its head. In this case, stay in the car, switch off the engine, and avoid all unnatural noise (cell phone, camera, such things). They will eventually walk away; wait for this to happen instead of trying a daring escape.

Go next[edit]

Kunene borders Angola in the north. Domestically the following regions of Namibia border with Kunene:

This region travel guide to Kunene is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!