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Destination Details

Namibia

 

Damaraland is one of the most scenic areas in Namibia, a huge, untamed, ruggedly beautiful region that offers the more traveller a more adventurous challenge.Damaraland has a wild and rugged landscape and is one of Namibia’s least populated areas. Here there are prehistoric water courses with open plains and grassland, massive granite koppies and deep gorges. Towards the west, the geography changes dramatically with endless sandy wastes, that incredibly are able to sustain small, but wide-ranging, populations of desert-adapted elephant, black rhino, giraffe, ostrich and springbok. These animals have adapted their lifestyles to survive the harshness of the sun-blistered, almost waterless desert spaces. Elephant move through euphorbia bush country, and can travel up to 70km in a day in search of food and water and unusually, do not destroy trees in their quest for food. Follow black rhino cow and her calf in typical Damaraland 'melkbos' terrain. Together, Damaraland and Kaokoland are known as the Kaokoveld.
 
 
Damaraland is the old apartheid name given to the region south of Kaokoland and north of the main road to Swakopmund. It extends 200km inland from the desolate Skeleton Coast and 600km southwards from Kaokoland. The name Damaraland is derived from the fact that the Damara people live in this area (they were relocated here as a result of the Odendaal Plan in the 1960's). The name Damaraland is still commonly used in tourism circles, although the entire region has now been renamed; the southern section now lies in the Erongo region while the north forms part of the Kunene region.
 
The Brandberg 'the fire mountain' is named after the effect created by the setting of the sun on its western face, which causes the granite massif to resemble a burning slag heap glowing red. The Brandberg (and the Spitzkoppe) is a favourite place for climbers in Namibia, and both mountains contain a high density of San (Bushman) art. The main attraction at Twyfelfontein (doubtful spring) is its large gallery of rock art, one of the most extensive in Africa.
 
Two other well-known geological features close to Twyfelfontein are the Organ Pipes and the Burnt Mountain. The Organ Pipes are a distinctive series of dolerite pillars that have been exposed by erosion and can be viewed in the small gorge on the left hand side of the road leading to the Burnt Mountain. This flat-topped mountain derives its name from the piles of blackened limestone at its base.
 
The Spitzkoppe (sharp head) is one of Namibia's most recognizable landmarks. It's shape has inspired its nickname, The Matterhorn of Africa,' but the similarities begin and end with its sharp peak. It is actually the remnant of an ancient volcano, formed in the same way as the Brandberg and Erongo massifs. It was first climbed in 1946 and is now a popular climbing destination with local and foreign mountaineers alike, with plenty of technical climbs available.
 
In the caves and ravines of the area many prehistoric rock paintings have been found and none more famous than the 'White Lady' of the Brandberg. 
 
Wildlife of Damaraland
 
In Northern Damaraland there are thriving populations of wild game including gemsbok, kudu, springbok, Hartmann’s zebra, desert-adapted elephant and black rhino. Here, tracts of land have been designated ‘concession areas’. These areas are huge and villages are present but tourism is strictly limited. Operators work in conjunction with the local communities creating camps with local guides and where a proportion of all income goes straight to the community. They are excellent initiatives and give you the opportunity to explore the area with those who know it best.
 
 
As many of the camps in Damaraland are far from the roads and offer a number of activities we recommend you stay for at least three days. This will allow you to get the most out of the area and give you an excellent chance of finding the desertelephant.

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