Damaraland, Namibia

 

Damaraland is located south of Kaokoland, comprising the Southern Kunene Region and part of the Erongo Region. It stretches from Sesfontein in the north to the B2 from Swakopmund in the south, bounded by the Skeleton Coast in the west and the road between Outjo and Karibib in the east. 

Damaraland is a rocky and mountainous  desert region with areas in the north-west where desert adapted wildlife roam free, including elephant, rhino, giraffe, mountain zebra, a variety of antelope and predators like lion, cheetah and leopard.

Places to Visit in Damaraland

Spitzkoppe is located about 140 kms north-east of Swakopmund and comprises the Spitzkoppe inselbergs and a dome-shaped mountain called the Pondoks.

It is a fascinating area to explore and many of the large rocks can be climbed for magnificent sunset and sunrise views over the surrounding landscape. 

You can hire a guide to show you around and take you to some of the shelters and caves to see Bushman Rock Art though there are not many sites and the work is mostly faded.

Brandberg is a cluster of mountains in Damaraland known as the Brandberg Massif with Namibia’s highest mountain, Konigstein, which stands at 2,574 metres above sea level and can be seen from far as one approaches. Like Tsodilo Hills in Botswana, Brandberg contains a wealth of Bushman Rock Art and is certainly the best place in Namibia where one can see this unique art form of the oldest living race on the planet.

Brandberg is located 30 km north-west of Uis, a small Damaralnd town where tin was previously mined. 

There are guides at the Brandberg main reception area who accompany you on a variety of walks to view the Rock Art or take you on an adventure to the top of Konigstein. The very famous White Lady is a half hour walk from the entrance and takes you through very attractive mountain landscapes. 

Twyfelfontein is located about 140 kms north-west of Uis or about 110 kms south-west of Khorixas. It is one of the highlights of a visit to Damaraland and and most famous for its Rock Engravings and beautiful mountain landscapes. It is an area sometimes frequented by desert adapted elephants and several lodges offer game and nature drives along the dry Aba Huab River. At the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings Centre there are guides who accompany you on a variety of walks to view the the engravings. 

Other places to visit nearby include the dolerite pillars of Organ Pipes and the blackened limestone of Burnt Mountain, both areas that are best seen in the late afternoon.

The Petrified Forest can be found about 40 km from Twyfelfontein on the C39 to Khorixas. Here one finds many 200 million year old fossils of very large trees that got washed downriver and buried under the right climatic conditions  for fossilisation to take place. One can also see some Welwitschias here, an ancient plant that can live for thousands of years.

The Grootberg Mountains and Etendeka Pleateau are located east of Palmwag. Here there are lodges that offer luxury accommodation and nature experiences including guided game drives and walks to explore the very beautiful Damaraland mountain landscapes and desert adapted wildlife that occurs such as elephant, rhino, giraffe, oryx, kudu, mountain zebra and sometimes lion, leopard and cheetah.

Nearby is the Palmwag Concession which is another very exciting area to explore for desert adapted wildlife. Permits are required though it is advisable to book guided excursions as it easy to get lost here. This can be arranged through Palmwag Lodge.

Further east one finds Kamanjab where there is the Otjikandero Himba Orphan Village that offers excellent guided Himba excursions.

Damaraland is a wild and beautiful area with relatively good gravel roads that make it accessible to most visitors and offers a wealth of exciting places to see and things to do.