Destination Series Namibia - Damaraland
Located in the Kunene Region of Namibia, Damaraland is named after the Damara speaking people who originate from this area. It offers travelers a wide variety of landscapes, ancient sites and animals adapted for its high temperatures and dry climate. The region is a geological marvel for those interested in rock art, petrified forests and picturesque mountains.
Photo credit: Chiwani Safari Camps - Mowani Mountain Lodge
Bushmen Art & Towering Mountains
Home to some of the best-preserved rock art in Africa, Damaraland has various sites attracting tourists from across the globe. Visit the Brandberg area which has the highest mountain in Namibia and where over 43 000 paintings can be found including the infamous White Lady. The collection is thought to be between 2000 and 4000 years old.
Known by the local Damaras as “Uri-Ais” (jumping fountain), Twyfelfontein is another hotspot for ancient crafts. Unlike those in the Brandberg area, there are approximately 2500 Petroglyphs sculpted on flat rocky surfaces by the San people. They mostly portray scenes of hunting expeditions and various animals. Twyfelfontein was declared a monument in 1952 and is only accessible with a local guide. Furthermore UNESCO also declared it a World Heritage Site in 2007.
Photo credits: Twyfelfontein Country Lodge
Petrified Forest & Welwitschia Mirabilis
Can you imagine a forest forever captured in stone? Such a phenomenon was discovered in Namibia by farmers in 1940. Later they were determined to be over 250 million years old and declared a National Monument in March 1950.
"How is this possible?" you might ask? Well, scientist theories that at the end of the Ice Age a combination of floods, preservation and immense pressure resulted in the trunks slowly being petrified into quartz over millions of years.
Also in this area are peculiar plants discovered by a botanist during the 19th century – Welwitschia Mirabilis. Truly unique, the adult plant consists of two leaves, a stem base and roots. Some refer to these extraordinary flora as "living fossils" with ages ranging between 500 – 600 years. The older and larger plants are thought to be approximately 2000 years old! Endemic to Namibia and Angola, they only grow in an area of about 1000 km along the coastal strip.
Photo Credit: Wilderness Safaris - Wilderness Damaraland Camp
Nearby Twyfelfontein are long columns shaped of rusty rocks reaching towards the sky. With an impressive height of up to 5m, the Organ Pipes are estimated to be around 120 millions years old. Apparently, they are the result of lava intrusions into slated rock formations during the Gondwanaland breakup.
Desert Adapted Wildlife
In order survive in their harsh home, desert adapted animals have unique features. Antelope like the beautiful Oryx`s entire way of life revolves around conserving water and energy. Larger mammals like desert-adapted elephants have smaller bodies, broader feet, and longer legs to transverse greater distances.
Photo Credits: Wilderness Safaris - Wilderness Damaraland Camp & Wilderness Desert Rhino Camp
The endangered desert-dwelling black rhinos are mountaineers with larger frames and bigger feet. Another rare and wondrous sight is hardy desert lions, who obtain their moisture from their meals. The list goes on with plenty of antelope, Hartmann`s Mountain zebras and even fog beetles.
Damaraland is one of the most exciting destination in Namibia offering you the opportunity ponder the lives of the San people, marvel at remarkable remnants of eons past and witness how unique and extraordinary nature truly is.
- Wilderness Safaris https://www.wildernessdestinations.com/africa/namibia
- Chiwani Safari Camps https://www.chiwani.com/
- Twyfelfontein Country Lodge https://twyfelfontein.com.na/