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Lake Profile


General Information

Description Lake Oponono is situated about 70 km north of the Etosha Pan and is the largest water body in the Cuvelai Basin. The lake is the source of the Ekuma River that flows intermittently into the Etosha Pan, sustaining the incredibly rich animal life that congregate there.
Country Namibia
Latitude -19° 15' 0" (-19.2500)
Longitude 15° 30' 0" (15.5000)


 Africa Lake Biodiversity Conservation Priorities 2003

Physical Characteristics

Description Lake Oponono receives floodwaters about twice every three years. A 7,000 square km area of ephemeral, shallow channels fill Lake Oponono when they are flooded.


Economic Value Collectively, Lake Oponono, Etosha Pan and the Cuvelai drainage support 45% of Namibia’s human population, who exist by subsistence farming and fishing.
Major Cities

Watershed Management


Biodiversity Conservation

Description The Cuvelai Basin is an important freshwater fish habitat in this ecoregion. During floods, the basin supports up to 43 crustaceans and 19 fish species (WWF
Designations LakeNet Biodiversity Priority
Ramsar Site
Ramsar Site Name Etosha Pan, Lake Oponono and Cuvelai drainage
Ramsar Designations 1, 2, 3
Species of Concern The Etosha National Park supports populations of several rare and endangered large mammals such as Diceros bicornis, Loxodonta africana and Hippotragus equinus.

Additional Data Sources

World Wildlife Fund ecoregion profiles

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